Cumberland County group wants abuse charges filed for pit bull

Cumberland County group wants abuse charges filed for neglected pit bull

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When D.O.G. came back from the owner, he weighed only 35 pounds. When D.O.G. came back from the owner, he weighed only 35 pounds.
D.O.G. has since regained much of his weight. D.O.G. has since regained much of his weight.
"I want to see the person responsible for the neglect charged with the highest crime possible," said Karen McMeekin of A Time 4 Paws. "I want to see the person responsible for the neglect charged with the highest crime possible," said Karen McMeekin of A Time 4 Paws.
"The route that it's supposed to take, is go through animal control," explained Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess. "And they take it and write an affidavit and get a summons." "The route that it's supposed to take, is go through animal control," explained Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess. "And they take it and write an affidavit and get a summons."

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

CROSSVILLE (WATE) - A group in Cumberland County is outraged because they say local law enforcement has not acted on a case of dog abuse.

The group, A Time 4 Paws, a nonprofit, no-kill organization, says they have tried everything to get an investigation started.

Karen McMeekin, president of the group, is currently fostering a pit bull named D.O.G. Just a few weeks ago she says the dog was in bad shape.

"When we picked him up on the 17th and saw him, I was in the state of shock," said McMeekin. "He was malnourished. You could see every bone in his body, every rib, every vertebra."

Back in January, D.O.G. was adopted by a Cumberland County man. On November 5, animal control was called out to pick up a stray dog. It was later determined through a microchip that the dog was D.O.G.
 
"When we adopted D.O.G. out, he was 65 pounds and when he came into the shelter he was 35 pounds," said McMeekin.

Along with the weight loss, D.O.G. also tested positive for heartworms.

McMeekin now wants the owner of the dog to be charged with abuse, but says no one, including the sheriff, is doing anything about it.

"The route that it's supposed to take, is go through animal control," explained Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess. "And they take it and write an affidavit and get a summons."

The sheriff says he has been contacted about this situation, but says their department only deals with large animals. The county's animal control handles all smaller animals.

Mike Harvel, a county commissioner and the assistant sanitation director, is in charge of animal control.

"Right now we are doing a report," said Harvel. "We actually got a call from the mayor this morning asking us to do a report on that."

Harvel says no one from A Time 4 Paws contacted him about the abuse.

"They have never contacted me," said Harvel. "I have contacted them a week ago, Wednesday, and told her I would do whatever I could to help her, and she said she had it under control."

McMeekin says she got the run around about who to contact. She feels the system to protect small animals in Cumberland County is broken and hopes other animals like D.O.G. will be protected in the future.

"I want to see the person responsible for the neglect charged with the highest crime possible," said McMeekin.

McMeekin filed a civil lawsuit against the man who adopted D.O.G. Friday. She is seeking more than $2,000 in damages for breach of contract and to pay for the dog's medical costs.

The civil case goes to court on December 18.

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