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Dog Found Frozen to Ground in Sub-Zero Temperatures

By Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell    January 09, 2014 / (9) comments

A dog named Peanut in Jasper, Indiana, is expected to make a full recovery after sheriff's deputies found him frozen to the ground in sub-zero temperatures.


"He has some sores on his feet where he was pulled from the frozen snow," said Mary Saalman, executive director of the Dubois County Humane Society, which has been caring for the dog. "Other than being underweight, he seems very happy."


Dubois County Sheriff's Department responded to an anonymous call of animal neglect on Monday night when the temperatures dipped to 6 below zero with wind chills as low as 25 below.


According to Stuart Wilson, a sergeant and spokesperson for the sheriff's department, a deputy found two dogs, one chained to a pole out of reach of a barrel used for shelter and another dog, Peanut, described as a Shetland/Jack Russell mix, in a small pen with no food and frozen water.


The dog had been there, with only an unlined barrel for shelter, long enough to become frozen to the ground. It took about ½ hour for the deputy to use warm water to help release Peanut.


Wilson told Pet360 that Peanut was immediately taken into custody, pursuant to Indiana law, which allows the department to confiscate animals deemed to be in immediate danger. As well as being left in sub-zero temperatures, Peanut was emaciated, weighing only about 50 percent of a healthy weight for a dog his size.


The other dog, which was a larger breed dog, did not appear neglected and was taken inside by the owners. "They have since checked and the dog has remained inside," Saalman explained.


Wilson said there were six other small breed dogs inside the house, but those dogs could not be confiscated because they did not appear neglected and weren't in immediate danger.


Saalman plans on contacting the owners to inquire about relinquishing custody of the other dogs, including some puppies that were spotted running on the property, but she is unsure if the people will agree. "At this point, the sheriff's department can't make them," Saalman shared.


"I did receive word this morning that they had relinquished Peanut, so he now belongs to us," Saalman explained. "We have a pretty rigorous adoption process and we've had such interest, we'll probably try to keep him local."


The sheriff's department has filed papers with the district attorney's office seeking charges for animal neglect, which is a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a possible 1-year jail sentence and a $5,000 fine.


"We've recommended charges, but that isn't our call to make," Wilson explained. There is a felony animal abuse statute in Indiana, but to file felony charges, the incident has to involve an animal's death.


"A lot of people are really angry about a dog being left to freeze to the ground and I don't blame them," Wilson shared. "We're following the law, I don't necessarily agree with it, I'm a dog lover myself, but if people want to change the law, they need to contact their state legislators."


Dubois County is a small jurisdiction with about 40,000 residents and only 18 full-time sheriff's deputies, but his department handles all animal control calls. Wilson urges anyone who suspects animal abuse or neglect to call their local law enforcement. "There's no doubt in my mind that if we hadn't gotten there, that dog would have died," according to Wilson.


Update: 50-year-old George Kimmel and 55-year-old Dorothy Kimmel have been charged with animal neglect. 


Dog Found Frozen to Ground in Sub-Zero Temperatures originally appeared on Pet360.com.




Image via Facebook

Comments  9

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    01/28/2014 08:11pm

    I cant believe that someone would do that to a cute loving puppy like that instead of 1 years jail time and a fee of $5,000 I think that it should be 5 years jail and a fee of $50,000 because that is against the law and the law stats that ANIMAL ABUSE OR ANIMAL CRULATY that is recovered or also known as found by the police is against the law oh also I am only 11 years old and in 5th grade going on to 6th and in 1month about to be 12 years old and when I grow up I want to be a VET AND HELP FIND CURES TO DECESES THAT ALL THESE ANIMAL HAVE AND I WANT TO HELP STOP ANIMAL ABUSE AND STOP PUPPY MILLS.

  • 03/04/2014 08:01pm

    [i]who ever your parents are , they should be very proud of you !!! I sincerely hope you fulfill your dreams and always stand your ground when it comes to animal abuse.[/i]

  • 08/23/2014 05:48pm

    The only way we can stop animal cruelty and abuse is to strengthen animal laws. For starters, animals are considered as an owners "property" and their is no law that requires their pets to be spayed/neutered. Contact your state legislators.

  • Animal Cruelty Laws
    03/07/2014 01:33pm

    Aiden 12344 is correct about stiffening animal cruelty laws. This should be addressed in all 50 states. Animal Planet used to have an Animal Cops program from about 7 different cities in the U.S. that featured animal cruelty and neglect cases and the resultant actions to the owners. It was difficult to watch, but opened one's eyes to what constitutes cruelty/neglect of peoples' pets/animals. Education doesn't guarantee people will change their ways, but will make them aware of the penalties if they don't. I hope Aiden 12344 is representative of the upcoming generation who will change overall society's views on animals and correct care of them. We are the voices for species that have no voices.

    03/09/2014 05:20am

    Thank GOODNESS this couple was reported to the authorities. Aiden12344 is right, laws/punishment against animal cruelty needs to be MUCH MORE STRICT AND SEVERE. To the anonymous caller, THANK YOU!, this adorable dog now has the chance to find a loving home. WE need to be the voices and protect pets/animals against those who are heartless and don't respect life.

  • Ice Storm
    04/01/2014 03:43pm

    Back in the winter of 99/2000 we had a bad ice storm in Oklahoma and cops had to go to peoples homes and tell them to get their pets inside. I saw three dogs outside on just the street I lived on, one was chained up and looked to me like he was dead, nobody answered the door when I knocked so I just reported it to police. I never found out what happened but I never saw the dog again.

  • 12/31/2014 10:24pm

    You sound like someone who loves dogs very much and that you had a concern about these little ones that has remained with you to this day, especially as you wrote "you never saw the dog again. " We can only hope that dog got into a better situation. You demonstrated that you cared by knocking on the door but if there is no answer we have to persist. And we can not wait for police when an animal is suffering. Anyone would be well justified to take an animal into their home for warmth and shelter and leave a note to let the "owners" of the dog know where the pet has been taken. It may be that such people shouldn't have a pet, but we have to take the initiative ourselves to protect them, though not always easy for different reasons to do so. But positive friendly energy and confidence helps to do the right thing. Or pretend to have friendliness (even when the situation makes you angry) for the sake of a suffering pet. It will always be worth it when you care.

  • Tell her to give up dogs
    08/30/2014 09:36pm

    This Dorothy Kimmel lady was easy to find on FB. Perhaps people should start a campaign for these animal abusers to give up their pets. Picket their house? Publicly shame them?

  • Pet?
    09/10/2014 09:44pm

    Most families that have a pet consider that pet as a "Family Member" so would these families leave their family members out in below freezing weather? I think not! Abuse/neglect your children which are family members will put you in the Law system for a long time, but abuse your pets? a slap on the wrist is all you get! Not right at all! Higher Penalty Laws are needed to protect our "Family Members/Pets"
    Aiden12344 I salute you for speaking out against animal cruelty of any kind!