Update: A Pratt County couple is arrested on animal cruelty charges. Jimmy and April Cleaver were arrested Thursday. The Pratt County Sheriff's Department says they couple failed to provide food, water and shelter to at least six dogs.
They were released from jail after posting $500 bond.
Original Story - Jan, 2013
A Pratt county couple faces animal cruelty charges after complaints about the way they treat their dogs.
County Attorney Ken VanBlaricum says he's received many reports about the dogs being malnourished and left out in the cold without shelter.
With freezing temperatures this week, he says it's a pressing concern.
Many people you talk with in Preston say they know about the dogs on Main Street. They say on most days there are about six dogs chained to the trees in the front lawn of the home.
"I've been here for the last 4-5 months, I've seen the dogs out here when it was hot outside, cold outside, no shelter," says Jennifer Bowman, board member of the Pratt County Humane Society.
But the man next door says he's witnessed neglect for more than a year.
"They leave them out in the bad weather when it's cold, when it's raining, they do not provide adequate shelter, they do not feed them or see that they have water," says Mike Richard.
This week, sheriff's deputies wrote a report and sent photographs to the county.
Now the Pratt County Attorney has filed animal cruelty charges against the owners. There will be a hearing where a judge will decide what's next.
I asked the County Attorney about the severity of the charge.
"This situation needs to be corrected as soon as possible," VanBlaricum said. "These animals need to be in a position where they are sheltered and fed adequately, without having to suffer."
The plan is for the Sheriff and a veternarian to resuce the dogs and take them to the Pratt County Humane Society. That could take up to a week.
In the meantime, concerned residents worry about the dogs out in the below freezing temperatures.
"It's been extremely frustrating because we can't help those dogs. We drive by every day and you can't do anything," says Dr. Pamela Howell.
Eyewitness News asked the dog owners for an interview but they declined to be on camera.
Some of the concerned residents started a Facebook page in support of taking care of the dogs.