Police seek neglect charges in frozen dog case

Herald Staff Writer

CRYSTAL — The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department is pursuing charges against a Crystal-area couple whose dogs — including one that was frozen to the ground — were the subject of a Monday neglect complaint.

The sheriff’s department received an anonymous call at 10:56 p.m. Monday about animals being neglected at the 8495 E. State Road 56 home of George Kimmel, 50, and Dorothy Kimmel, 55.

The temperature at the time of the call was 5 degrees below zero and the wind chill was estimated at between 15 degrees below zero and 20 degrees below zero.

The first deputy who arrived on the scene initially found one dog tied up outside. The dog’s chain was wrapped around a pole, prohibiting the dog from getting into its dog house or accessing its water. The water that was available was frozen, according to the sheriff’s department.

That dog was brought indoors, police said.

A second dog on the property was in a very small kennel with only a plastic barrel for a dog house, according to the sheriff’s department. There was no bedding and no other shelter.

Police said the dog, named Peanut, was frozen to the ground at its feet, belly and tail. The deputy used warm water to melt the ice to free the animal.

Peanut was transported by the deputy to the Dubois County Humane Society in Jasper, where staff warmed and cared for the dog.

The sheriff’s department said the humane society staff is in the process of attempting to get Peanut’s owners to relinquish ownership of other dogs at the property that were not being actively neglected.

Misdemeanor charges of animal neglect are being sought against the Kimmels, according to the sheriff’s department. Information in the case will be sent to the Dubois County Prosecutor’s Office for review when the investigation is complete.

While updating the public on the case, the sheriff’s department thanked local humane society volunteers for their assistance. The department also encouraged the public to call the humane society or a local law enforcement agency with concerns about animals that may be neglected.

“With this case, without receiving the tip received from the public, the dog would have frozen to death,” said Sgt. Stuart Wilson.

Anyone making a report about a neglected animal may remain anonymous.

Contact Bill Powell.

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