The Craig County Sheriff’s Office was facing some heat since
Friday over what thousands of animal lovers thought was the office failing to
take action on a dead dog pile up on private property.
Sheriff Jimmie Sooter said his office started investigating
the dead dogs on February third when the property owner, Luke McDugle reported
“The process was slow to get started after we took pictures
on the first day because we could not locate the tenants,” said Sheriff Sooter.
McDugle was worried the Sheriff’s Office was not moving on
the case so he posted a picture of four dead dogs on Facebook with some
info. It went viral. As of Wednesday, there is even an online
petition going around to bring justice to these allegedly mistreated dogs, and
two starved horses that the tenants owned.
“The four dogs’ bodies have been sent to OSU medical lab in
Stillwater for necropsy exams to determine how they died; if they were poisoned,”
said Sooter. “We cannot make any arrests
until we get those results.”
The tenants are the Wells family. The wife, Katrina Wells spoke to FOX23 News
off camera on Friday. She said her dogs
all died last year. Three died in
October and one died in December. She
claimed she was out of town and they must have been poisoned because they were
dead when she returned. She said she
asked her son to bury the dogs but he failed to do that. She said he has a disability and she should
have looked after him burying them. She
said she never abused, or neglected her dogs in the 23 years she has been caring
for dogs. Wells also told FOX23 she
would do an on camera interview once the veterinary reports came back from the
one dog that was still alive and from the two horses she had on the property
that were reportedly thin and looked starved.
However, when FOX23 asked her on the Wednesday if she would interview on
camera because she said the veterinary reports were complete she said she
wanted to wait until the four dead dog’s necropsy exams came back. She
told FOX23 that her one living dog ‘s veterinary report came back clean and the
two horses came back “wormy.” That does
not match up with FOX23’s initial conversation about the horses because on Friday
she said they were healthy looking.
A local horse rescue expert who has been closely following
this story told FOX23 news on Wednesday evening that it can take up to two
months to determine if a horse is wormy and horses should be dewormed every
Another challenge the Sheriff’s office has faced is false
information. Reports online say there
were 13 dead dogs, when there were only four bodies. There were several bones mixed into the pile,
but the sheriff is only focusing on the bodies right now until he can determine
how old those bones are and how long the Wells have lived on the property.
The office should have the necropsy results back in the next
week or two.
The sheriff also told FOX23 the two horses are at a new home
and the one living dog is also at a new home.