(Graphic Content) (Pictorial) (Video) Dog Reportedly Left Outdoors to Freeze Overnight

preston dog 1 preston dog 2

Photos are courtesy of the Mon and Preston County Rumor Mill

With temperatures dipping  into the single digits overnight across the Mountain State, a dog, in Preston County, WV,  was reportedly left in the elements, overnight, where he succumbed to the cold, according to a post in the Mon and Preston County Rumor Mill.

As an editorial note, we were unable to attain any additional information regarding the alleged incident. However, our investigation is ongoing and will be updated should more information become available.

The incident in question allegedly took place in the vicinity of Rt. 1, Salt Lick Road area of Rowlesburg. At the time of publication the post had been shared more than 3,700 times and had in access of 1,600 comments.

According to the post dated December 27, 2017,  This is what it’s like to be a dog in Preston County. This is what happens when people don’t truly care. When you hear people complaining about the treatment of animals in Preston County and brush it off as “dogs have fur and can live outside”, this is what we are complaining about! This little dog was alive last night, in Rowlesburg… several people called in to complain that it was outside in the cold with no adequate shelter. Nobody went out. Police were at the same home on a domestic complaint and this little dog laid in the back yard, slowly freezing to death. This sweet little dog curled up and went to sleep forever, cold and probably in a lot of excruciating pain. Can you imagine how painful it is to freeze to death? Do something, say something! We have to get better treatment for animals in Preston County. Do not let this slide! This is cruel, this is wrong, this is absolutely heartbreaking! Please advocate for animals, please just DO SOMETHING. We need help to help them! Call the Sheriffs Dept and the Prosecutors Office and demand charges for this sweet innocent dog. We should not have to wait until they suffer to the point of death, to help them!

UPDATE, for those wondering why a picture was taken, yet the dog was left…they contacted police and were assured someone was coming to check. They were also threatened. When law enforcement showed up, they did not check on the dog. The folks who initially took the picture then went to get the dog anyway and it was already too late.

As we have researched, in an attempt to keep your pets from dying from exposure to the cold, the best thing you can do is bring them inside. If this is not possible be sure your pet has a warm, insulated place to take shelter from the cold. The shelter should include a blanket and/or straw to insulate heat. Additionally, the shelter should have some type of door to serve as a windbreaker for the pet to keep the freezing winds out and the heat inside the shelter. Also be sure your pet has proper food and water. Water should be checked frequently or an electric warming dish should be utilized to ensure your pet has drinkable water at all times.

Animals go through the same painful experience in freezing to death as do humans. It isn’t a painless go to sleep and not wake up again scenario. There is great pain and trauma involved in this death.

Checking West Virginia state code, we found the following in reference to cruelty to animals:


  • 61-8-19Cruelty to animals; penalties; exclusions.

(a)(1) It is unlawful for any person to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly,

(A) Mistreat an animal in cruel manner;

(B) Abandon an animal;

(C) Withhold;

(i) Proper sustenance, including food or water;

(ii) Shelter that protects from the elements of weather; or

(iii) Medical treatment, necessary to sustain normal health and fitness or to end the suffering of any animal;

(D) Abandon an animal to die;

(E) Leave an animal unattended and confined in a motor vehicle when physical injury to or death of the animal is likely to result;

(F) Ride an animal when it is physically unfit;

(G) Bait or harass an animal for the purpose of making it perform for a person’s amusement;

(H) Cruelly chain or tether an animal; or

(I) Use, train or possess a domesticated animal for the purpose of seizing, detaining or maltreating any other domesticated animal.

(2) Any person in violation of subdivision (1) of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $300 nor more than $2,000 or confined in jail not more than six months, or both.

(b) A person who intentionally tortures, or mutilates or maliciously kills an animal, or causes, procures or authorizes any other person to torture, mutilate or maliciously kill an animal, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a correctional facility not less than one nor more than five years and be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000. For the purposes of this subsection, “torture” means an action taken for the primary purpose of inflicting pain.

(c) A person, other than a licensed veterinarian or a person acting under the direction or with the approval of a licensed veterinarian, who knowingly and willfully administers or causes to be administered to any animal participating in any contest any controlled substance or any other drug for the purpose of altering or otherwise affecting said animal’s performance is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $2,000.

(d) Any person convicted of a violation of this section forfeits his or her interest in any animal and all interest in the animal vests in the humane society or county pound of the county in which the conviction was rendered and the person is, in addition to any fine imposed, liable for any costs incurred or to be incurred by the humane society or county pound as a result.

(e) For the purpose of this section, the term “controlled substance” has the same meaning ascribed to it by subsection (d), section one hundred one, article one, chapter sixty-a of this code.

(f) The provisions of this section do not apply to lawful acts of hunting, fishing, trapping or animal training or farm livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife kept in private or licensed game farms if kept and maintained according to usual and accepted standards of livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife or game farm production and management, nor to humane use of animals or activities regulated under and in conformity with the provisions of 7 U.S.C. §2131, et seq., and the regulations promulgated thereunder, as both statutes and regulations are in effect on the effective date of this section.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of subsection (a) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, shall be confined in jail for a period of not less than ninety days nor more than one year, fined not less than $500 nor more than $3,000, or both. The incarceration set forth in this subsection is mandatory unless the provisions of subsection (h) of this section are complied with.

(h)(1) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, no person who has been convicted of a violation of the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section may be granted probation until the defendant has undergone a complete psychiatric or psychological evaluation and the court has reviewed the evaluation. Unless the defendant is determined by the court to be indigent, he or she is responsible for the cost of the evaluation.

(2) For any person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section, the court may, in addition to the penalties provided in this section, impose a requirement that he or she complete a program of anger management intervention for perpetrators of animal cruelty. Unless the defendant is determined by the court to be indigent, he or she is responsible for the cost of the program.

(i) In addition to any other penalty which can be imposed for a violation of this section, a court shall prohibit any person so convicted from possessing, owning or residing with any animal or type of animal for a period of five years following entry of a misdemeanor conviction and fifteen years following entry of a felony conviction. A violation under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,000 and forfeiture of the animal.

Laws vary from state to state. In an effort to stiffen those laws please contact your state representatives to know you care about animal welfare and they should too. After all, the next election cycle is just around the corner.

Here is a list of phone numbers/emails you can contact to make your voice heard, and to let all concerned parties know you will be voting in the next election.

Rowlesburg Town Hall: 304-454-2441

Preston County Commission– 106 West Main St, Suite 202, Kingwood, WV 26537 Phone–304-329-1805

County Administrator, Kathy Mace kmace@prestoncountywv.gov 
Craig Jennings – President, cjennings@prestoncountywv.gov
David Price  dprice@prestoncountywv.gov 
Don Smith  dmsmith@prestoncountywv.gov

Preston County Petfinder Phone–304-329-3461  email– pcas@prestoncountywv.gov

Preston County Health Department Phone– 304-329-0096

Sheriff Dan Loughrie, –Phone– 304-329-1611 email–  drloughrie@prestonsheriff.net

Prosecuting Attorney Mel Snyder – Phone– 304-329-1885 email– msnyder@prestoncountywv.gov

Sypolt TSypolt


Office of the Governor Jim Justice
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone: 304-558-2000 or 1-888-438-2731

Governor’s Mansion: 304-558-3588

Senator Joe Manchin: 202-224-3954

Senator Shelley Moore Capito: 202-224-6472

Congressman David McKinley: (202) 225-4172

Here is a link to find your state level elected officials in your area to make your voice heard. Your vote counts.

Here is a link to a story about a Raleigh County man arrested for animal cruelty earlier in December.


This video is unrelated to this story but viable as a resource in understanding animal cruelty. Is there a link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. Find out here.

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