The battle over a dead dog's body heats up in Swainsboro. The two pound Chihuahua was shot by a neighbor three months ago, but its owners are angry because the accused killer has the dog in a freezer and won't give her back. WJBF News Channel 6's Dee Griffin has the story.
When Jinny Woods Peebles and her family want to visit their dog Monkey, they go outside to the side of their yard. It's a makeshift memorial to the seven month old Chihuahua who was allegedly shot by neighbor Lewis Claxton three months ago. Dog owner Jinny Woods Peebles says, "I just walked up there and asked him did he kill 'em? He said yeah he did. After that everything was pretty much a blur."
Peebles reported the dog's death. Deputies gave her a citation for failing to have the dog on a leash. According to the police incident report, the suspect admitted to killing the dog with his shotgun because it was around the chicken coop. But it ends with a note that reads, there were no chickens on the inside of the chicken coop.
I asked Mr. Claxton is he killed Monkey. He replied, "I don't have anything to say to you." Claxton continues saying, "she done told enough lies for both of us."
Lewis Claxton doesn't want to talk about what happened.. But he has a constant reminder in a nearby freezer. "The dog is in a freezer has been there since a couple days after it was killed," says Peebles.
According to Peebles, she was offered an ultimatum that if she takes down the memorial and an online petition, Monkey's body will be returned to her family. But she says realizing her family pet is in a freezer only makes a bad situation worse. "She was like a member of the family laying in a freezer. How would you feel if a member of your family, a loved one, was laying in a freezer?" Peebles asked.
Until the situation is resolved, Peebles and her family can only visit a memorial while watching and wishing for Monkey's return. "We do forgive him. But, I think he needs to face up to what he's done," she adds.
There is a restraining order against the dog owner. Last week, Lewis Claxton pleaded not guilty to one charge of cruelty to animals. He will go to trial in October.
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