Man charged with Felony Animal Cruelty in Vinton

Vinton–According to a media release from the Vinton Police Department, on April 25 at 4:28 p.m. officers of the Vinton Police Department were called to a private residence located in the 600 block of South Maple Street, in reference to a “well-being check.”

Family members reported having difficulty contacting the resident of the home, Gary Edward Thompson, age 45, and were concerned for his health and safety.

Through their interaction with Mr. Thompson, at his home, Vinton officers discovered a deceased German Sheppard on the front lawn of the home. An examination of the dog at the scene indicated the dog did not likely die of natural causes.

On April 26 the body of the animal was transported to the Lynchburg Regional Animal Health Laboratory for a necropsy examination so as to confirm the manner and cause of death. Thompson was subsequently arrested and charged with violation of 3.2-6570 (F) of the Code of Virginia and transported by officers of the Vinton Police Department to the Roanoke County – Salem Jail.

According to Vinton Police Chief Tom Foster,:

  • The dog belonged to Mr. Thompson.
  • The dog appeared to have been well cared for prior to sustaining the injuries.
  • The dog was thought to be 4 or 5 years old.
  • The dog had suffered trauma that was obvious to the responding officers.
  • No other pets or animals were located on the property.
  • The results of the necropsy have not yet been received.


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