Wednesday, June 19, 2024

After charges dropped, dismissed against kennel owner, puppy Fenway’s ‘fight isn’t over’

A 10-month-old Australian Shepherd named Fenway was in critical condition Monday after his owners claim he was injured at a local boarding service. (Courtesy Jessica Fox/Facebook)
A 10-month-old Australian Shepherd named Fenway died in August after his owners claim he was injured at a local boarding service. (Courtesy Jessica Fox/Facebook)

Four charges stemming from the death of two dogs last summer have been dropped and dismissed against a Newport News kennel owner after a court hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Two charges, animal cruelty and a boarding establishment failing to meet the adequate care requirements, were dismissed Wednesday against Coastal Dog Services owner Rick Tvelia after a trial in the Newport News General District Court, according to online court records.

The charges stemmed from the death of a dog named Bruce, whose owners say he died due to Tvelia’s negligence on June 26.

Two additional charges of the same nature – stemming from the death of another dog, Fenway – were dropped against Tvelia – but because they were dropped, prosecutors can bring them back if more evidence comes to light.

“Obviously I’m not happy with the outcome today, but my case hasn’t begun yet and the fight isn’t over,” Fenway’s owner, Jason Fox, said. “We knew going in there would be some struggles along the way. This isn’t the outcome we were looking for, but it’s part of the process.”

“All this did today was just reignite the fire within me,” he added.

Fenway, shown in the photo at Emergency Animal Services in Yorktown, was brought in with a severe cut over his eye. The dog was covered in mud and had other injuries around his neck and face. (Courtesy of Jason Fox)
Fenway, shown in the photo at Emergency Animal
Services in Yorktown, was brought in with a severe cut
over his eye. The dog was covered in mud and
had other injuries around his neck and face.
(Courtesy of Jason Fox)

Fenway’s owners, Jason and Jessica Fox, dropped the dog off for a weekend stay at Coastal Dog Services, located at 12618 Warwick Blvd., on Aug. 26.

About 24 hours after the dog was taken to the kennel, an employee called the couple and said that Fenway had been injured.

Fenway died several days later.

Since the death of Fenway, others have come forward with concerns about Tvelia’s kennel services, including a Northern Virginia resident, whose dog was also fatally attacked in the facility’s yard in 2011. Protestors marched outside of the business several times last fall, calling for justice for the animals who have died.

Editor’s note: Jason Fox is employed by WYDaily’s parent company, Local Voice Media. His first day of employment was Oct. 16.

WYDaily archives were used in this story.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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