AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF)- While most people are celebrating this Mother’s Day holiday, Chris Budd of Steel Jaw Kennels is trying to figure out how he will bury his dogs. That’s after someone broke into his kennel and shot several of his animals.
Chris Budd is the owner of Steel Jaw Kennels. He’s been breeding dogs for more than 10 years and Friday the unthinkable happened. Several of his dogs were stolen and others shot dead inside of their kennels. I spoke with him today and he says he’s still hoping someone will come forward and return his animals.
“I got here Friday night around 8 o’clock and I noticed my gate was open out to the road when I only ever open it in, so immediately I knew there was an issue,” said Budd.
He says he thought a mailman tried delivering a package and maybe the dogs rushed the gate. Then he realized something was wrong when one of his dogs came running out of the house.
“I continued down my property, my kennels were in the back about 150 to 200 yards from the house and when I entered my kennel, I saw one dog laying dead another dog that was laying down and you could tell she was off just wobbly, there was just something wrong,” said Budd.
He says he thought the dogs had been poisoned, he tried treating the dog that was wobbling then he came across a bullet casing.
“When I found that obviously I was unsure did they poison them did they shoot them what happened, so I went and started looking at the dogs closer and I started finding holes in them, bullet holes,” said Budd.
Budd says he contacted the Burke County Sheriff’s office and together they found a total of 15 bullet casings.
“They killed three dogs and they’ve got another one who they punctured in the chest right under the nipple and I got one more, that was hit with a ricochet in the foot, there were pieces of bullets not the shells but the actual bullet where they were hitting the concrete or the metal of my kennels,” said Budd.
Budd says he makes his living off of breeding and selling those dogs. Several of his canines were also stolen, some of them were already pregnant.
“The female that was pregnant and due to drop puppies those puppies standard color would’ve been from 5 to 7 thousand. Merils would have been from 10 to 12 thousand, I think she had eight puppies. I had another female that was pregnant, her last litter was around 40 thousand dollars. We’ve got two more that were set to go in and those were both supposed to be bred to fluffy frenchies, which is the new craze, it’s a long-haired french bulldog and fluffy carriers can go anywhere from 10 to 0 thousand full fluffies can go anywhere from 30 to 150 thousand dogs,” said Budd.
Without his animals, he’s losing thousands of dollars much of that money used to care for his canines.
“The amount of money that litter would’ve brought in, that’s at least 2 3 or 4 months of our living and surviving so it’s just unreal and that’s money that was also about to go right back into the business,” Budd.
While investigators have no suspects yet, Budd says animal breeding can be a cut-throat business.
“This is a business, where people know there’s a lot of money and you do see people that won’t bring anyone into their house or their kennel because of all the robberies, I mean there are people that have been killed in their homes,” Budd.
But for Budd, his canines were more than just a business, they were his family.
“These are dogs that the parents and the grandparents are special dogs to me and my children, you know so it’s more than just a monetary loss,” Budd.
The dogs shot are still inside of Chris’ kennel. He’s now trying to figure out how to bury those animals as well as replenish his business.