Sunday, December 11, 2016

Virginia: Chesterfield pony ‘Patches’ dies in Rottweiler attack; police shoot dog

VIRGINIA -- Police and Animal Control units are investigating after a miniature pony died following an attack by two Rottweiler dogs on Wednesday, November 30.

Cathie and Michael Richardson live in the 3800 block of Baldwin Road in Chester. Mr. Richardson said he was in his home when he heard dogs barking. He said he looked outside and witnessed the dogs attacking the pony's face.

He said the Rottweilers were playing tug-of-war with Patches' face, each yanking the poor little pony left and right. The pony couldn't escape them. Finally, exhausted, Patches fell over and the Rottweilers began attacking his belly and neck.

Richardson says he ran outside with a baseball bat to save Patches but with both Rottweilers trying to attack him - and obviously not having a firearm on the property - Richardson says he had no choice but to run back inside the house and call 911.


Chesterfield Police and Animal Control responded to the scene and one of the Rottweiler dogs was shot by a responding Chesterfield officer.

The pony was euthanized after a responding veterinarian consulted with the family and said there was no chance for survival. Patches had suffered serious injuries to his face, his body and one of his legs was broken.

The Richardson family said they are in disbelief that this could happen. The pony, named “Patches,” was 34 years old and had been a member of their family for 27 years.

For Chelsea Richardson, Patches had been around in her family longer than she’s been alive. The pony was her brother’s 6th birthday present.

“She was here before me and it was just an incredible privilege growing up having an animal like that,” Richardson said.

She remembers the unique experiences that came along with having a pony as a pet.

“My bus would stop out at the road there,” Richardson said. “Sometimes my dad would bring the pony to the bus stop just to really mess with the kids on the school bus.”

In regards to what happens to the dogs that attacked her pony, she said that’s not up for her to decide. But, she wishes the owner had done more to prevent it.

“The breed has enough trouble as it is,” Richardson. “If you choose to have a breed like that, you need to be extra responsible for it.”


One of the dogs was shot by an officer when police arrived on scene, but both dogs survived.

Both dogs are currently at the Chesterfield Animal Shelter.

The owner of the dogs met officers at Animal Control and was given eight charges, confirmed Animal Control Officer Alice Berry.
  • Two summons for running at large, up to $250 fine
  • Two summons for no rabies vaccinations, up to $250 fine
  • Two summons for no county dog license, up to $250 fine
  • Two summons for depredation by dog, defined as “killing of livestock,” which could leave to a civil court case.
A judge will decide whether the dogs were killers and if the judge determined, “yes” the animals could be euthanized. Animal Control stressed that euthanization of the Rottweilers would be at the judge's discretion.

The person that was fined lives in a neighborhood that borders the neighborhood where Patches lived.

The owner has a court date on Jan. 18 in Chesterfield General District Court.


(WTVR - Nov 30, 2016)

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