Waynesboro couple charged in dog cruelty case

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The Waynesboro Police Department arrested a city couple on animal cruelty charges after they abandoned their 14-week-old ill-treated puppy near their apartment complex last month.

Both Christopher Michael Dewhirst, 30 years old, and his wife, Christi Marie Dewhirst, 27 years old, are charged with a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.  Mrs. Dewhirst  faces an additional misdemeanor charge of animal abandonment.

On August 25, the police department’s animal control officer responded to Brandon Ladd Apartments for a report of a stray puppy.  The ACO found the puppy, a pit bull mix named Daisha, near the complex’s maintenance office.  Daisha appeared scared and apprehensive when approached by the ACO.  Upon closer inspection, the ACO observed that Daisha’s collar was imbedded into her neck causing a wound that was partially infected.   ACO tracked the ownership of Daisha to the Dewhirsts.

The ACO located Mrs. Dewhirst at her apartment and interviewed her about Daisha’s present condition.  She told the ACO that she let the puppy go the previous day because it kept messing their apartment with feces and urine.  After speaking with Mrs. Dewhirst, the ACO took Daisha to Woodworth Animal Hospital for treatment.  It is estimated that the collar had likely been on the puppy since she was six to eight weeks old.  Daisha is now recovering at the Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center.

The Dewhirsts were arrested yesterday evening at their apartment.  Christopher and Christi Dewhirst are being held on a $1,500 and a $1,000 bond, respectively, at Middle River Regional Jail.

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