A Jersey City, New Jersey woman, whose dangerous dogs had been impounded since she violated an order to send them away, apparently took the dogs home in the chaos as Hurricane Irene approached.

“We believe there is evidence she had them but it was in the context of the evacuation of the shelter,” said Hudson County New Jersey Prosecutor Edward DeFazio of Susan Kolb, 60, whose South African Boerboels were tied to several attacks.

“It looks like there was a misunderstanding in that somebody other than the owner should have removed the dogs,” the prosecutor said.

The dogs were returned a day after they were discovered missing.

After the attacks in 2008 and 2009, which sent three adults and a baby to the hospital, Jersey City impounded the 160- and 100-pound dogs.

They faced possible euthanization under the state Vicious Dog Law, but Kolb went to trial to defend them in Jersey City Municipal Court.

The dogs’ lives were spared as a result of an agreement reached in May 2009 in which Kolb promised in court to send the dogs out of state. Kolb’s violation of that court order has triggered new proceedings against the dogs in municipal court under the Vicious Dog Law. Their lives are again in the balance.

In January police found the dogs at Kolb’s home and she was arrested on warrants for unpaid municipal court fines and charged with criminal contempt of court in Superior Court. The dogs were impounded at the Liberty Humane Society pending the outcome of the new Vicious Dog proceedings.

On Saturday, the shelter was being evacuated when it was found that Kolb’s dogs were missing. Police went to Kolb’s home looking for them but they did not find her or the dogs and the man that answered the door was uncooperative. On Sunday, a man brought the dogs back to the shelter.

Kolb pleaded guilty to the contempt charge on Aug. 24 and is expected to get probation when sentenced on Oct. 7 by Superior Court Judge Lisa Rose. No new charges have been filed against her for the brief reunion with her pets this weekend.

Story by Elaine Furst for Dog Files