Two Convicted on Animal Cruelty Charges in Waynesboro

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

A Waynesboro judge has convicted two people of animal cruelty in a case that police say nearly cost a dog its life. Both defendants could face jail time, but they've already taken the case to a higher court.

A Monday trial in Waynesboro District Court ended in guilty verdicts against 36-year-old Elvira Janet Ring and 33-year-old James Simmons-McBeth. They could face jail terms of 10 to 20 days, but that all hinges on the appeal they immediately filed to circuit court.

Ring and Simmons-McBeth were arrested in November 2012 on misdemeanor charges. Waynesboro police say both of them were responsible for an 8-month-old pit bull that had a collar buried an inch deep in its neck.

The canine was hospitalized for two days, after a veterinarian sedated it and removed the band. Since then the dog has been kept at the regional animal pound.

"The dog got some very good treatment and is now—I won't say fully recovered—but is doing a lot better," said Sgt. Brian Edwards of the Waynesboro Police Department. "It was probably just days away from irreversible injury that would have killed the dog."

The dog was among several living in a makeshift kennel behind Ring's house on Henry Avenue in Waynesboro. The district judge ruled that both defendants are barred from owning companion animals.

Ring and Simmons-McBeth also face fines and restitution for the expenses of boarding the dogs at the animal shelter. The two defendants are free on bond until their trial in February.