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Alleged Theft and Killing of Dog by PETA Employees Moves Virginia Attorney General to Create New Legal Unit

02/06/2015 05:10 pm ET | Updated Apr 08, 2015

Virginia's Attorney General has announced a new animal law unit in response to the refusal to prosecute PETA for its workers allegedly stealing and killing a little girl's dog.

Two pet thefts in Accomack County, Virginia, have received national attention recently. One involved PETA employees, who were videotaped stealing a dog that was later killed; the two employees were arrested, but released when the local prosecutor deemed that there was insufficient evidence of criminal intent. A second case involved the alleged theft of a dog from the same area, by animal activists unconnected to PETA (and critical of that organization). These activists were arrested and charged.

When Commonwealth's Attorney Gary Agar decided not to prosecute two members of PETA for stealing a pet chihuahua here in Accomack County, it was not a very popular decision. Many called on him to turn the case over to a special prosecutor, or even the Attorney General's office -- something he declined to do. Well now, the Attorney General of Virginia has created his own animal law group, designed specifically for these types of cases.

The new legal unit will address these issues statewide, and will be available to local officials who require aid dealing with animal welfare incidents.