Court victory for three dogs bittersweet as only two are released Tuesday morning


IONIA COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Newschannel 3 is getting reaction from the owners of three dogs who were released from death row.

The dogs were acquitted late Monday night in the killings of three goats and a cat in Ionia County.

While it seemed like Tuesday morning was going to provide a happy ending, it didn’t quite happen and instead a crazy case got just a little bit crazier.

Three dogs went into what’s been called ‘doggy prison’ for the goat killings in July of 2016, on Tuesday morning only two dogs walked out, begging the question, what happened to the third dog, what happened to Major?

After ten months in lock-up, Mario and Luigi were able to walk free, but noticeably absent from the happy scene was their German Shepherd counterpart, Major.

“So where is he?” asked Newschannel 3’s Alex Jokich.

“I have no idea and neither do they,” said Susan Vamvakias, Major’s owner.

Vamvakias says she was waiting for the worst after the dogs were accused of killing to goats and cat.

“The grave was dug last summer,” said Vamvakias.

Vamvakias says visiting hours with the dogs was pretty limited. She showed us pictures.

“This is Major and I at the shelter, I’m crying obviously,” said Vamvakias. “They’re good, loving dogs. They’re good, loving family members and they’re being treated like garbage. They are under lock and key, literally.”

Somehow, despite the strict orders, one of the dogs disappeared in September. Vamvakias says that questions are still swirling about the whereabouts of four-year-old Major. The judge addressed that scandal in his verdict on Monday.

“That’s a huge problem in my mind,” said the judge.

“If they didn’t accidentally euthanize him, I don’t think I want the sheriff to find him because someone then obviously stole him to save him,” said Vamvakias.

Vamvakias says that the victory in court will remain bittersweet at best until her four-legged friend is found.

The question remains, was Major euthanized, did he escape or was he stolen?

The shelter has yet to provide any answers on this, but as soon as Newschannel 3 learns something more we will pass it along.

The Ionia County Prosecutor issued the following statement on the case;

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