Jason S. Miyares
Attorney General of Virginia

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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Jason S. Miyares
Attorney General


202 North 9th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
FAX 804-786-1991
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Victoria LaCivita
(804) 588-2021 
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Attorney General Miyares Prosecutes Abusive Dog Trainer in Animal Cruelty Case


RICHMOND, VA – Attorney General Jason Miyares today announced the successful prosecution of Virginia dog trainer Shawn Deehan for animal cruelty charges. Deehan, of Orange County, plead guilty to two felony animal cruelty charges and five misdemeanor charges of failure of a boarding establishment to provide adequate care for animals. 

"I'm proud of the work of the Orange County Sheriff's Office, the Fairfax's Animal Protection Police and my office's animal law unit,” said Attorney General Miyares. "Animal cruelty and violence will not be tolerated in Virginia.”

In March of 2021, a German Shepherd puppy was picked up from Shawn Deehan's facility after the owner received a tip that the puppy was in bad shape. The owner took the puppy to a veterinarian in Fairfax County, who contacted the Fairfax Animal Protection Police immediately. They referred the case to the Orange County Sheriff's Office for investigation. 

The German Shepherd puppy, Scout, ultimately had to be put down due to trauma from being kept in a crate for hours upon end.  Upon an investigation of Deehan's property, the Sheriff's Deputies found twelve dogs in crates and kennels standing in urine and feces with no bedding. 

 Deehan received five years with four years and six months suspended on each count for a period of incarceration of six months for a period of 10 years to run concurrently for the two felony charges. Deehan will serve his six months jail term under house arrest  Deehan also received 12 months with 12 months suspended for a period of five years for the five misdemeanor charges. 

Deehan is also barred from owning, possessing, caring or training dogs for the rest of his life.

Additionally, Deehan was ordered to pay almost $100,000 in restitution to the dog's owners and the Orange County Animal Shelter who have taken care of his dogs for two years.  He has surrendered his six dogs to the Orange County Animal Shelter and they will be adopted by Police Units. 

The Virginia Office of the Attorney General would like to thank the Orange County Commonwealth's Attorney Diana O'Connell, the Orange County Sheriff's Office, the Fairfax Animal Protection Police, the Orange County Animal Shelter, and all of the veterinarians and dog owners that assisted with this case.  The Virginia Office of the Attorney General's Animal Law unit, which assists local law enforcement officers and prosecutors across the Commonwealth, and Senior Assistant Attorney General Michelle Welch assisted with the local prosecution.