Officials say the investigation began on April 11, 2014 after animal control was called to a house along Weber Spring Road to remove a dog that had been involved in a dog bite incident. During the incident, three dogs were on the loose on the property, one attacking a neighbor's Pomeranian. The owner of the Pomeranian was bit while trying to rescue her dog.
While on the scene, officials discovered seven dogs inside a shed on the property. They say one was lying on its side, and the other dogs were attacking it and pulling it around. There was also no food or water for any of the dogs inside the shed.
All seven dogs were removed from property. Officials say one of the dog's chain collar was so tight it had begun to grow on its neck.
The owner, Richard Howard of Inwood, W.Va., is charged with seven counts of animal cruelty, three counts of dogs running at large, and failing to confine a dog for rabies quarantine.
Authorities say Howard was officially charged on April 17, 2014. He was arrested Wednesday April 30, 2014 and released on his own personal recognizance.
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