UPDATE (6:49 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7): The director of the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association says the two dogs are being cared for by their owner’s family, and are not considered a public safety risk at this time.

At this time, there is only one humane officer working for the department. A second officer left the department last month, leaving their search for the two pitbulls involved in the weekend attack shorthanded.

The director of the Humane Association, Bethany Hively, told 13 News the shelter is actively recruiting to hire another humane officer. The Kanawha-Charleston humane officers respond to all calls in the twelve unincorporated communities in Kanawha County.

Hively adds even if a humane officer determines animals to be public safety risks, they need the Sheriff’s Department or Prosecutor’s Office to step in to facilitate a decision.

“They can’t just go out and take people’s animals if they’re owned, they also can’t take people’s animals just because they’re not necessarily following the law,” Hively said. “That’s typically not an issue. But there are circumstances where we have true neglect situations where people are unwilling to comply with the law. At that point we do have to contact the sheriff’s department to help us with those situations.”

UPDATE (2:57 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7): The two dogs involved in a Kanawha County attack this past weekend are being taken care of by their family, according to the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association.

KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Two dogs involved in a Kanawha County attack this weekend are unaccounted for.

The dogs’ owner, Zachary Atkinson, was arrested on Saturday night after he was allegedly caught on video beating a woman while his two pit bulldogs attacked her.

The intake workers at the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association say those two dogs are not there, and never were. This comes after the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department told 13 News that they called the humane officer to step in on Saturday.

Following Atkinson’s arrest, the Sheriff’s Department told Metro 911 to call for the humane officer. It was the department’s understanding that the humane officer would handle the dogs from there.

The assistant director for Metro 911 told 13 News they left a voicemail for the humane officer, but it is not known if that message has been heard.

A spokesperson with the sheriff’s department said they do not know where the dogs could be either, since Atkinson was brought into custody while he was taking a walk without the dogs.

13 News tried calling the humane officer on Wednesday as well, but could only get as far as his voicemail.

The victim also said she has not heard from a humane officer since the attack happened, nor where the dogs could be now. She is hoping the dogs will be examined for diseases after being bit and clawed in the head, neck, side, upper thigh, and knee.