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Caretakers fearful that judge will order dogs to be euthanized

Posted at 11:02 PM, Jan 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-18 23:03:58-05

IONIA COUNTY, Mich. – The fate of two dogs hangs in the decision of a judge in Ionia County who could order them to be put down Friday.

The dogs - Mario and Luigi - are accused of killing three goats and a cat belonging to a farmer. Another dog - Major, who ran away last summer - was with them as well. Mario and Luigi's caretakers contend that their innocent.

“Obviously the dogs didn’t do this,” says Byron Vamvakias, who was watching the dogs with his wife Susan the night they got away. “They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Common sense would tell you that.”

Mario and Luigi are pit-mixes who belong to Byron and Susan's son-in-law. Major is a German Shepard who belongs to the Vamvakias.

"If a dog had actually done that then their head would have been covered in blood,” says Susan. “There wasn't a drop of blood on any of the three dogs."

An affidavit written by the Ionia County Animal Shelter says that - judging by the photos of the dead goats - they were dead for 8-10 hours and noted the lack of blood found on any of the dogs, concluding that it was likely that the dogs didn't kill the animals.

The Vamvakias family is hurting emotionally but financially as well. They say animal control is charging them $40 dollars a day for boarding the dogs as they await the court’s decision. Since July, they say they’ve paid more than $7,000.

The case is set to go before a judge on Friday at 10:00 AM.

There's a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for the boarding of Mario and Luigi.