Charges filed against owners of dog found frozen to ground

Published: Jan. 8, 2014 at 12:13 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2014 at 11:57 PM CST
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The owners of a dog found frozen to the ground in Dubois County are now facing charges.

The Dubois County Sheriff's Office says 50-year-old George Kimmel and 55-year-old Dorothy Kimmel have been charged with Animal Neglect, a class A Misdemeanor.

Officials say keeping a pet out in the cold could seriously injure, even kill the animal.

It was a long Monday night for a Sheltie mix named Peanut, who was found frozen to the ground in sub-zero temperatures at the Kimmel's home at 8495 E St Rd. 56.

"As a dog lover, I can't imagine leaving a dog out when it's that cold," says Stuart Wilson with the Dubois County Sheriff's Office.

At about 11:00 Monday night, the temperature dropped to minus four in Jasper.

"About five 'til 11:00 last night, our department received an anonymous call about some dogs that were being left outside at an address on State Road 56, about halfway between Jasper and French Lick," Wilson tells 14 News.

When deputies arrived, they found one dog outside on a leash and another dog, Peanut, inside his dog house.

"A barrel-style dog house. But it was not, certainly not appropriate for the temperatures we had last night. The dog, its stomach and feet and tail had frozen to feces that was in the pen. They took warm water and poured it over the dog to free it from the floor," Wilson says.

Deputies say the other dog had its leash wrapped around a pole and could not get into its dog house or access its water. The water that was available was also frozen. Deputies brought that dog indoors.

Peanut was seized from the Kimmels and deputies took him to Dubois County Humane Society.

"He received a bath and much needed flea treatment last night. He's about half of the weight that he should be right now. He's weighing in at about 15 pounds and we think he should be a little bit closer to the 30 pound mark. So, you can unfortunately feel every one of his little ribs," says Andrea Hedinger with the humane society.

Peanut is expected to fully recover and there are already several people wanting to adopt him.

The Humane Society is in process of attempting to get the Kimmels to relinquish ownership of other dogs at the property that were not being actively neglected.

Deputies and the Humane Society hope Peanut's story will serve as a lesson to other pet owners.

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