STEWARDSON — Shelby County authorities charged a Stewardson man with a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty after allegedly finding his dog outside in the recent bone-chilling temperatures without adequate shelter.
"The dog's small water bowl was turned over with a chunk of ice next to it," the sheriff's department said in a post to its Facebook page on Wednesday. "The dog's house was non-insulated with no form of bedding or straw within it to keep the dog warm. The dog was taken into temporary custody with Shelby County Animal Control, due to it being exposed outside to life-threatening cold weather conditions throughout the entire day and the previous night."
Lanny D. Grove, 53, was arrested at his home on Tuesday evening, officials said. Grove is free after posting $150 bond. He could not be reached for comment.
A neighbor, Arianna Roberts, said in an interview that she was worried seeing the dog, Duke, out in the cold and called the sheriff’s office, which directed her to Shelby County Animal Control. When she could not reach an employee there, Roberts called Judi Bone, a volunteer at Effingham Area Rescue Sanctuary. Sally Perles, a state certified Human Investigator and EARS volunteer, also got involved to help.
“My position was to get that dog out of the cold,” Perles said.
Roberts said Grove has more dogs inside the home, but Duke is seemingly always outside.
Perles and Bone were persistent, and told the sheriff’s office their concerns about the freezing temperatures.
“The main thing I needed them there for was an assist,” Perles said. “My part is only to go for the safety of the dog.”
A Shelby County deputy was dispatched around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday evening.
The dog was temporarily placed with Shelby County Animal Control, due to exposure of life-threatening cold weather conditions throughout the entire day and the previous night.
After the Class A misdemeanor charge against Grove was processed at the Shelby County Detention Center, he posted $150 bond.
Shelby County Undersheriff Rob McCall said the dog was taken to a veterinarian Wednesday morning for examination. A photo of the dog shows what officials say could be frostbite.
Perles and McCall said they have yet to see the report of the dog’s examination by the veterinarian. Perles noted that Grove will more than likely release the dog to EARS.
The Shelby County Sheriff's Office and Shelby County Animal Control urge the community to take care of pets and animals during the ongoing deep freeze.
Authorities say that if an animal cannot be kept inside the home during cold weather, the owner must provide a warm, solid shelter. Access to fresh and unfrozen water is also a must. Bedding should be thick, dry and changed regularly to provide a warm, dry environment. Position the shelter away from prevailing winds.
Perles said one positive outcome from Duke’s story is that it could encourage pet owners to take the law more seriously and bring their animals inside.