Two dangerous dogs could be on the loose in Waterville, Maine, but their disappearance is considered suspicious, as they went missing right after a court order to put them down.
Police say the pit bulls have been missing from the Humane Society Waterville Area since Tuesday.
The dogs attacked a woman and killed her terrier last year. After a civil trial, a judge ordered the dogs euthanized. Their owner, Danielle Jones, appealed the order to the State Supreme Court.
Tuesday, around noon, the court upheld the euthanasia order. Around 12:30, Jones went to the humane society and was allowed to take the dogs for a walk. When she came back, she told shelter staff that they got loose and ran away.
"People should be very concerned," said Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey. "The dogs have already shown they can be aggressive and vicious."
Police said they had difficulty locating Jones, but made contact with her Wednesday. She refused to answer questions.
Jones owns the Muddy Paw dog grooming business in Winslow, Maine. Her boyfriend, who also works at the business, told necn they would not answer questions about the pit bulls Thursday.
A spokesperson for the Waterville humane society did not respond to multiple requests for comment Thursday.
Police are actively searching for the pit bulls, and investigating their disappearance.
Winslow Police Chief Shawn O'Leary, who handled the original case when the dogs attacked, said their disappearance is "suspicious."
Steve Blackwell, lawyer for the victim of the attack, Sharon Carey, said she is "very uncomfortable" that the dogs are missing.
"She is hopeful that they will be found as quickly as possibly to avoid any harm that might come to others, who might come into contact with them, especially if they are walking their dog like she was when she was attacked," said Blackwell. "There is no question in her mind that they are very dangerous."
Police said if anyone sees the pit bulls, call them -- and not approach.