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Charges pending in dog abuse case

Charges are pending against a Deering woman accused of abusing a dog recently found with its hind legs tied.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Charges are pending against a Deering woman accused of abusing a dog recently found with its hind legs tied.

According to Steve Van Sant, director of the Lawrence County Humane Society’s shelter, the society has filed charges with the Lawrence County prosecutor’s office against Julie Simmons. The charges currently being reviewed by the prosecutor’s office are misdemeanor animal cruelty, abandonment and neglect. If convicted of the charges, Simmons could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

According to Trish Ellington, an investigator with the prosecutor’s office, the case is currently being looked into to see if enough evidence warrants a court hearing. On Wednesday, she said two individuals need to be interviewed before a determination can be made.

The Lawrence County Humane Society investigated the incident when they received a call about the dog on June 7. Ironically, it was Simmons who called the Humane Society, VanSant said. He said two people called the Humane Society and identified Simmons as the dog’s owner.

"We have two signed witness statements that say the dog belongs to (Simmons)," VanSant said. "We are absolutely convinced we’ve taken the proper actions."

The dog, a black Labrador-chow mix, was taken to the Proctorville Animal Clinic where it was examined by Dr. Joseph Snyder. It remains at the clinic where it is being treated for the severe injuries it sustained to its hind legs and tail. The dog also has mange and heart worms.

VanSant said upon Dr. Snyder’s advice only employees of the animal clinic and officials from the Humane Society are permitted to go near the dog until it has had time to heal.

Through an anonymous donor, the Humane Society was offering $100 for information leading to the identity of the individual responsible for the abuse of the dog. The Humane Society of the United States added $2,500 to the reward, according to a news release issued by the organization.