The case that could force an Oak Ridge couple to forfeit their two dogs and be put at risk for euthanization may not be delayed any longer, after the dogs were recently forced to leave their current facility.
Prosecutor James LaSala said he was notified Tuesday afternoon that the facility where Susan and Gary Kolb's two African Boerbels were being housed, Woofs N Whiskers in Andover, had closed due to financial issues.
Because of this, the case may proceed soon due to a deal made between the Kolbs and LaSala in late October. They agreed in Municipal Court to put the case on hold under two conditions; if the Kolbs came up with the money it has cost the township so far to house the dogs since October 2011 when they were taken away for violating a court order, and if they agreed on another place to house the dogs if they couldn't continue at the Andover location.
Now that the dogs are out of the facility, either LaSala or the Kolbs will need to find another place to house them. LaSala said he has searched for out-of-state facilities, but hasn't had any luck.
LaSala said the dogs are now back in the Jefferson Township Pound, but they won't be able to stay long because the facility is too small and there isn't enough personnel to keep them.
"Unless the Kolbs have had more luck than we have had in finding an alternate place to put the dogs, we will be back in the court on the forfeiture proceedings," LaSala said.
LaSala said he has not yet been able to speak with the Kolb's attorney, Robert Dunn, to find out if the Kolbs were able to find another facility.
Dunn did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on Tuesday.
When contacted, Susan Kolb referred questions to the prosecutor.
The other part of the agreement, which involved the Kolbs paying the money the municipality has spent housing the dogs since October 2011, was met two days after the deadline last week.
LaSala said although the couple paid the first of two payments of the $12,000 it has cost to care for the two 100-pound-plus dogs, it is still "very possible" that the forfeiture proceedings will happen again soon.
The two dogs were taken from the Kolbs in October 2011 when they allegedly violated a court order for walking the dogs without muzzles.
The dogs allegedly attacked three people near the Kolbs' previous home in Jersey City in 2008 and 2009, when they allegedly knocked over a woman who was holding a baby, and bit two people.
Once they moved to Jefferson, they were required by the state to follow several rules, including only walking the dogs with a muzzle.
The Kolbs are facing contempt of court charges for walking the dogs without muzzles. If convicted, they face up to 18 months in prison.