Owner of pet boarding business accused of killing man’s 3 dogs

Vonna Hughes (Courtesy: Angels Camp Police Department)

ANGELS CAMP, Calif. – The owner of a Northern California pet boarding business faces multiple charges after allegedly killing a customer’s dogs, according to KTXL-TV.

On July 4, a man reported to police that his three dogs were killed after he dropped them off at Pet Bath House in Angels Camp. He had brought the dogs in after losing his home in a wildfire that ravaged Butte County, prompting Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency. As of Tuesday morning, the fire had destroyed 41 homes as firefighters work to contain it, according to officials.

The dogs lived at the Pet Bath House for 18 months, and the man paid for the dogs’ stay in advance.

Police say the owner of the Pet Bath House, Vonna Hughes, told the man his dogs were involved in several fights during their stay and ultimately had to be “put down.” The man told investigators that Hughes had contacted the police department, but police say they became involved after the man accused Hughes of killing his dogs illegally.

Investigators say Hughes gave Calaveras County Animal Services false information about the dogs and the severity of injuries she said she sustained trying to handle the dogs. She reportedly told Animal Services she had given the dogs back to their owner.

Police said Hughes told them the dogs were “turned loose” when investigators say she actually hired a third party to “take care” of the dogs. Police identified that person as 60-year-old Patti Guy, of Angels Camp. Investigators asked the public to report Guy’s whereabouts if they see her.

Police say the dogs are believed to have been killed, though they are unaccounted for — dead or alive.

Hughes was arrested Saturday and booked into jail on charges of animal cruelty, animal neglect, theft of an animal and conspiracy.