Family in tears, wondering if their dog is alive or dead in Wilson County

WILSON COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Wilson County family wants answers after their pit bull was apparently euthanized.

The dog, named Chance, got loose in Jeffrey and Shannon Horne's Wilson County yard, and the owners said they asked the county shelter to hold on to their dog until they could secure their fence.

The Horne family said the Wilson County Sheriff's Department gave them 72 hours to fix the fence and pick up their dog. After the fence was repaired, they went back to pick up Chance the next day, but couldn't.

Shannon said the animal shelter first told her husband that Chance was not at the shelter, and that later they told him Chance was dead.

"When my husband got there at 1 p.m., they said he was dead," Shannon said. "I don't understand. I know he's a dog to most people, but that's my family."

Her sister-in-law, Melanie Horne, said the family just can't get any straight answers.

"No explanation. No apology. My brother then asked to see his body to confirm -- they refused," Melanie said. "He asked to see a report from the incident, from what happened -- they refused."

The Horne family said their pit bull never acted out, but the sheriff's department said they found the dog with blood on its mouth.

Jeffery said the dog chewed its way out of the fence, and said that's where the blood came from. The family said they just want to know what happened to Chance.

"We want to know for sure that Chance is not alive because their stories aren't adding up," Melanie said. "One person we talk to says he's not there. The next person says he's dead."

She said they called back again and got another story still.

"My brother called back on Friday morning, and spoke to someone who was not familiar with our story, and they pulled Chance up in the system, and it showed him as active, but not there," Melanie said. "Well if he's dead, how could he be active?"

Shannon said she's already assumed the worst and shared the heartbreaking story with her daughter.

"I want to see my dog and I want to know why it happened, 'cause it hurts," Shannon said. "Having to explain that my dog is dead to my 6 year old is the hardest thing I've ever had to do 'cause she don't understand."

ABC11 reached out to the Wilson County Sheriff's Department. They would neither confirm, nor deny, if Chance was euthanized. They said their office is looking into the matter to see if protocol was followed.

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