Pit Bull Puppies Killed, Dumped In Dog Food Bags - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Humane Society Offers $5,000 Reward For Pit Bull Puppy Killer

Photo By Rachel Lucas Photo By Rachel Lucas

UPDATE: BLUEFIELD (PRESS RELEASE)  - The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ killing more than 10 pit bull puppies and discarding their bodies in Princeton, W.V.

On Friday, April 26, a property owner in the Grassy Branch area of Mercer County saw bags being thrown from a vehicle. Upon noticing an odor coming from the bags, the resident called 911. Animal control officers reported to the scene on April 28 after the property owner called 911 reporting an odor.

Animal control officer Elizabeth Morehead reported to the scene on April 28 and found at least 10 decomposing pit bull-type puppies, estimated to be about 6 months old, stuffed into bags. The property owners were able to provide a description of the vehicle the dogs were dumped from, but they did not get a tag number. The investigation into these crimes is now being carried out by the Mercer County Sheriff's Department in conjunction with Mercer County animal control officers.

Under West Virginia state law, if an investigation uncovers that the puppies were killed, the person(s) responsible could face felony cruelty to animal charges. A person convicted on this charge could face one to five years in a state penitentiary.

Animal Cruelty: Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.
"The killing of these puppies is a despicable crime, and we are thankful that the authorities are investigating," said Summer Wyatt, The HSUS' West Virginia state director. "We hope that this reward will bring forward anyone with information about this heinous act of cruelty."

Animal control officer Tracey Monninger is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 304-487-8364.






UPDATE: BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - Residents say they are horrified by the news of a local man who discovered ten dead pit bull puppies dumped in dog food bags on a Bluefield back road.

Bluefield resident and pit bull owner Keisha Farmer says she is outraged.

"That is the only word I can use to describe this."

Elizabeth Harrell, also a pit bull owner says it is an unnecessary crime.

"I am disgusted. With this pit bull ban there are plenty of us with the Mercer County Pit bull Awareness Team who are willing to help place animals," Harrell said. "Justice needs to be sought out."

Justice is what police in Mercer County are searching for.

Investigators recovered the puppies bodies Tuesday from the dump site on Rock Wood Road.

The next step; necropsy. Necropsy is a process which examines the body of a dead animal. In this case it will be used to determine the cause of death.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John McGinnis says that is key in first understanding if the horrific scene is really a crime.

"Every animal cruelty case is awful, but at this point I couldn't tell you how bad this actually is," McGinnis said. "Until we determine the cause of death of these animals I can't speculate this is an animal cruelty case."

Members of the team, however, are convinced. They say they've received nearly sixty tips with a description of the possible culprit.

"We are doing our own research," Harrell said.

The team is even offering a cash reward for tips that lead to a conviction. The person responsible is someone they say the entire community should be concerned about.

"Someone who abuses an animal is eventually going to graduate to abuse a human," Farmer said. "So why would you want to be in a community with people who would do this to an animal and eventually a human being."

Animal cruelty is a felony offense that is punishable up to five years in prison.

UPDATE: BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - The Mercer County Sheriff Department has launched an investigation into the pit bull puppies found dead, disposed of in dog food bags.

Sergeant Kerry is handling the investigation.

WVVA's Rachel Lucas will have the latest information on this story on WVVA at six.


BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - Ten dead pit bull puppies are found stuffed in dog food bags on a secluded back road just outside Bluefield city limits.

Gagging, property owner Bernard Neal cut open the bags which revealed ten lifeless bodies of what seemed to be once healthy puppies, estimated around six-months old.

"No one has the right to do this."

The puppies were dumped on the dirt road nearly one week before. They were discovered by neighbors grandchildren.

The gruesome scene is one that Neal and his neighbors were forced to take care of themselves.

"We are left to dispose of these animals," Neal said. His neighbors are digging a grave with a backhoe.

"We are going to bury them, but there won't be any dignity to it."

While it is hard to understand why anyone would do this, Neal says he knows why.

"The reason why anyone would do this is because of the city's stupid ordinance against pit bulls," Neal said. "Pit bulls aren't dangerous. It's these idiots that own them that makes them dangerous."

Concerned about the health hazard of the rotting bodies just 200 yards away from their homes, Neal says he and his neighbors of Rock Wood Road are cleaning up someone else's mess.

"What we ought to do is load them up and dump them at the municipality building. That's where they came from. Let them clean up the mess. Take them right back where they came from. Let them deal with it. Why should we as the public have to deal with this?"



The HSUS Animal Cruelty Campaign raises public awareness and educates communities about the connection between animal cruelty and human violence while providing a variety of resources to law enforcement agencies, social work professionals, educators, legislators and families.

The HSUS offers rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country and works to strengthen laws against animal cruelty. The HSUS recently doubled its standard cruelty reward from $2,500 to $5,000 thanks to a generous donation from HSUS board member Cathy Kangas and her husband Ed Kangas of New Canaan, Conn. To see information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, click


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