On Tuesday, February 7th, 2023, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office began investigating a case of two stolen dogs from Waid Park. The owner reported that the dogs had broken away from him and were picked up/stolen by men in an unknown vehicle. As the investigation continued into this week, the dogs were located deceased in the 500 block of Carolina Springs Road on Tuesday, February 14th, 2023.
After transporting the dogs to the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech for necropsies, the cause of death was determined to be gunshot wounds. Great investigative work from the Office of the Sheriff, in addition to assistance from the community, has led to an arrest in this case.
The owner of the dogs – Terry Eugene Michel, 58 years old of Ferrum, VA – was arrested and charged on February 16th, 2023, in relation to this incident. Charges include the following: two counts of Felony Animal Cruelty, one count of Filing a False Police Report, and two summons for improper disposal of a companion animal. Michel is being held without bond.
The Office of the Sheriff is thankful to be able to provide a resolution to this case, although the reasons why are still hard to comprehend. We have noticed the many comments with concerns about this occurring at the Waid Park Recreation Area, but we do want to confirm that the reported theft and subsequent death of these dogs have no connection to Waid Park.