VIRGINIA BEACH--A dog allegedly left outside overnight at the Virginia Beach Animal Control Shelter died from apparent exposure.
Officials stress the shelter is not associated with or part of the Virginia Beach SPCA. The SPCA is a separate, privately-funded, non-profit organization that does not receive federal, state, or local funding.
A shelter volunteer said the 10-year-old Pitbull they call “Batman” was found dead by another volunteer Monday around 11 a.m in an outdoor dog run area.
Temperatures that night fell to the lower 20's.
Wayne Gilbert with Animal Control said that Batman was let outside around 12:45 Sunday afternoon to go to the bathroom.
“This is a very preliminary investigation so there's lots of information I don't know yet, that an employee let the dog out on Sunday afternoon sometime after 12 and one and then the dog was found yesterday(Monday) sometime after eleven o’clock," he said.
When the volunteer found the dog she notified two employees who attempted CPR, but they were unsuccessful.
Gilbert says they are reviewing their policies.
"Well, number one, we're reviewing our policies and procedures as well as are the investigators that have been assigned by the police department to see if they were followed or to see if there was perhaps something we could do different in the future to ensure that everybody is back inside," said Gilbert.
MPO Jimmy Barnes with the Virginia Beach Police Department said authorities were investigating all aspects including the shelter's policies and procedures and whether they were followed by employees.
There is no word if any employees have been let go over the incident.
Officials say a necropsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.
According to a woman who says she used to be a volunteer at the shelter, this is not the first time something like this has happened. "This has been going on for a long time. This is not the first time this has ever happened. This is the first time the news has gotten a hold of it," she said.
She also is concerned about the police investigation since the shelter is under the police department.
“That's my main concern the police investigating the police. Really do you think anything is going to be done?," she suggested.
The woman also says Mayor Will Sessoms and the city attorney were made aware of the incident.