Two Arrested on Animal Cruelty Charges in Waynesboro - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Two Arrested on Animal Cruelty Charges in Waynesboro

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Elvira Janet Ring Elvira Janet Ring
James Simmons-McBeth James Simmons-McBeth

Police have made two arrests in a disturbing case of animal cruelty in Waynesboro.  They say a young pit bull had a collar deeply embedded in its neck that was "grossly infected" and potentially life-threatening.

Waynesboro animal control officer Dee Price says that during a decade on the job, she has thankfully seen only a few cases like this one.  It began last Wednesday with the investigation of four dogs roaming free through the city's Wayne Hills neighborhood.

Elvira Janet Ring, 36, and James Simmons-McBeth, 33, were arrested Wednesday on misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty.

Waynesboro police say the victim is an 8-month-old female pit bull that had a narrow collar buried an inch deep in its neck.  The collar was sized for a puppy.  A veterinarian removed it from the dog, which needed two days of hospitalization.

"It was grossly infected," Price said.  "This dog was running an elevated fever as well.  It was pretty bad.  We had to get the dog sedated in order to try to get this collar off the dog, and treat the dog's neck wounds as best as we could."

Waynesboro police say the dog at the center of this case was among six pit bulls that were being kept in a makeshift kennel at a home on Henry Avenue.

Ring also faces four charges of allowing dogs to run at large.  Police say she and Simmons-McBeth dispute ownership and responsibility for the animals.  The case begins working its way through courts later this month.

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