PENDER COUNTY (WWAY) — A Pender County man is mourning the loss of 16 of his animals. Breeder Joshua Strand says he returned to his farm in Currie to find the bodies of his dogs laying around the property.
“Me and animal control together found nine bodies and found a mass grave, believed to have three to four dogs in it and had mentioned there were 16 dead dogs,” said Strand.
Strand is currently separated from his wife. He claims that on January 11th, during a court hearing to gain access to his property, his estranged wife said the dogs had died in a” massive fight” with one another. He says that’s when he and animal control went to the property and found the dogs.
“Coming out here and seeing what was your family and not even being able to recognize them, but knowing it’s them and you know it was, everything’s gone I mean I had three other men here with me to help me bury these dogs and they’re still having nightmares about it” Strand explained.
Strand got involved with the breed around 2002. He fell in love with them and was using them for their original intended purposes of helping work around the farm. He also runs the “Cane Corso” project in Pender County, which breeds them and helps other owners with them as well.
“We brought a dog our here from my mom’s house, she was here, and we took her to my mom’s, brought here out in the car one day and opened the door for here and she refused to get out of the car for the whole day, she didn’t want to be here,” Strand said.
Strand says animal control told him the dogs died of dehydration. The Pender County sheriff’s office confirms animal control went to the scene but as of now, they do have not any other information on this case.