Sheriff’s Investigates Animal Neglect Complaint
An ongoing investigation by local authorities concerning abuse to a dog named Diamond on Fifth Street, in New Martinsville has turned up no evidence of abuse of any kind, according to the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Department. Complaints concerning abuse to a female Silver Lab named Diamond have been coming in to their office frequently, along with complaints to the New Martinsville Police Department and the County Commission.
The complaints and social media Facebook chatter allege the dog has been mistreated and abused. However upon investigation by the Sheriff Department and PETA it’s been determined that the dog had not been mistreated.
Wetzel County Sheriff Deputy Cody Elliott received several calls and complaints over the course of the investigation. The dog was examined at Dr. Meckley’s office which resulted in no evidence of abuse and neglect by the owners that would warrant taking the dog.
On August 26, 2020 the owner had the dog at Dr. Meckleys and it received it’s rabies shot. Elliot said he spoke with neighbors that expressed concern, and they said they never seen abuse, but just lack of attention to the dog, including never coming outside to pet it. They also said they gave it water but were advised by the owner not to, so they now stay off the property.
On January 26, 2021 the owners took the dog to Waynesburg Animal Hospital where she was examined by Robert Haven DVM,PhD. who reported he completed a physical examination on Diamond and found she had an excellent temperament and was bright, alert and responsive. Her teeth, ears, eyes, coat, lymph nodes, heart, lungs and muscularity were all appropriate. Her weight was just right, not too thin and not too heavy. He said he considered her exam excellent.
Following Diamonds report, her owners expressed to local authorities that they have retained legal counsel to combat what they consider harassment and defamation of character, from the public, local community and law enforcement
Sheriff Mike Koontz stated that Deputy Cody Elliott has done an excellent job over a four month period investigating and answering calls concerning the case. Koontz said, Deputy Elliott is to be commended for his work through a lot of criticism, and unfounded media hype. Koontz stated he can only enforce the law as it is written. He said if there is a problem with the way the law reads residents need to take it up with their state representatives.
Sheriff Koontz said his Department and PETA consider the case closed. He added his directive to his department will continue to be to investigate neglect and abuse cases and if they find any criminal offense to take the proper action.