Washington County VA

UPDATE: Missing dog found after accident in Washington County, Virginia

ABINGDON, Va. - UPDATE: We're told the missing dog was turned in to the Washington County, Virginia animal shelter. Lexi will be sent to her new home on Tuesday.


An accident Saturday morning on Interstate 81 damaged a transport vehicle carrying 70 rescue dogs. Now those dogs are staying in Abingdon, Va. until the vehicle can be fixed.

A woman is working to help care for these dogs until they can continue their journey from Arkansas to their new homes in the Northeast.

Big dogs, small dogs, she takes care of them all, said Anita Campbell, an independent rescuer in Bristol, Va. and Bristol Tn.

"It gets to be a little much," she told us. "A lot of newspaper, a lot of paper towels, a lot of Lysol but it's all for them so it's not bad."

Campbell picked up the dogs from the C.C. Porter Animal Shelter in Abingdon, Va. where they were taken right after the accident.

"I was thinking, what am I doing? This is crazy!," Campbell said.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department told us they worked with first responders and volunteers to get the dogs to the shelter.
"We got them here in a couple of trips," said Sgt. Jason Alexander, Animal Control Division. "It didn't take too long. We didn't want to stress the animals out and of course wanted to get them moved away from the highway as quickly as possible."

The Washington County Sheriff's Department worked with the Meadowview Fire Department, Virginia State Police and volunteers to get the animals to safety after the accident, Alexander said.

"It wasn't too difficult," he said. "We had a lot of help. I think everybody on the scene must've been an animal lover and so everybody was really careful with the animals."

Campbell moved the dogs from the shelter to a local gym so they'd be inside until the transport vehicle can be repaired or another can get there

The Got Orphans transportation company told us it could be a few days before the vehicle is fixed.

The windshield was destroyed in the accident and is being replaced, they said.

70 of the 71 dogs on the transportation vehicle are in Campbell's facility, she said.

One is still missing.

It was picked up by a man shortly after the crash, Campbell said.

"The family does know the dog is missing and they are heart broken," she said. "They were so excited. The little girl knows and she is heart broken."

Campbell told us the dog was going to a seven-year-old girl.

The man picked up the dog near the Washington County Solid Waste facility after it's crate broke in the accident, she said.

"I think the gentleman just saw it and thought it would be a great little gift for his granddaughter," Campbell said. "We don't think there was any maliciousness."

The missing dog's name is Lexi, Campbell told us.

There is a $1,000 reward for anyone who can find Lexi.

Campbell is asking anyone with information on Lexi's whereabouts to contact her directly at (423)-534-2442.

The Got Orphans transportation company has been transporting animals for seven years, they told us, and this is the first time they've lost a dog.

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