Weighing only 15 pounds -- about one half his ideal weight -- and frozen to the ground inside a dog house, Peanut probably would not have survived without Deputy Sheriff Stuart Wilson of the Dubois County Sheriff’s Office, who rescued him.
"As a dog lover, I can't imagine leaving a dog out when it's that cold," says Deputy Wilson, who stated that around 11:00 Monday night, the temperature dropped to minus four in Jasper, Indiana.
"About five 'til 11:00 that night, our department received an anonymous call about some dogs that were being left outside at an address on State Road 56, about halfway between Jasper and French Lick," Deputy Wilson told 14 News.
When the officers arrived at the home, Deputy Wilson saw Peanut, a little Sheltie, inside a barrel-style dog house, “but it was…certainly not appropriate” for the freezing temperatures that night.
Peanut’s stomach and feet and tail had frozen to feces that was in the pen. Deputies poured warm water over the little dog to free it from the floor, Wilson said.
They also found another dog outside on a leash, which was wrapped around a pole so that it could not get into its dog house nor get access to its water bowl. The water that was available was already frozen. Deputies brought the dog indoors.
Because of the conditions in which he was kept the officers decided Peanut was in danger of further harm and deterioration; and they legally seized him and took him to the Dubois County Humane Society, where he was bathed and treated for fleas. He is expected to make a full recovery after he gains back some weight.
"You can unfortunately feel every one of his little ribs," said Andrea Hedinger with the Dubois County Humane Society
Peanut will be looking for a warm, loving home when he becomes available for adoption. Several people have already shown an interest in him, according to the Humane Society.
Meanwhile his now-former owners George Kimmel, 50, and Dorothy Kimmel, 55, are charged with Animal Neglect. Unfortunately, it is only a class A Misdemeanor.
The Kimmels own other dogs that were not found to be in active neglect at the time. The Humane Society says it is trying to convince the Kimmels to give up these dogs, too.
Pet should always be kept inside in cold weather. Leaving a pet outside in sub-zero temperatures can seriously injure or kill an animal quickly.