Swainsboro Dog Death Incident - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Swainsboro Dog Death Incident

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Swainsboro, GA -

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.

This is a rather complicated case that has pitched neighbor against neighbor... and a dead dog is in the middle of it all.

When Jinny Woods Peebles and her family want to visit their dog, Monkey, this is where they come. It's a makeshift memorial to the seven month old Chihuahua who was allegedly shot by neighbor Lewis Claxton three months ago.

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.

Lewis Claxton doesn't want to talk about what happened, but he has a constant reminder in a nearby freezer.

According to Peebles, she was offered an ultimatum. 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.

Until the situation is resolved, Peebles and her family can only visit a memorial while watching and wishing for Monkey's return. She says she "does forgive Claxton, but he needs to face up to what he has done." 

There is a restraining order against the dog owner.  Last week, Claxton pleaded not guilty to one charge of cruelty to animals. He will go to trial in October.

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