Bedford County couple mourning the loss of their dog after neighbor tortured it

‘It was a heinous act,’ said the dog’s owner

Donna Ripley and Dennis Evans say their neighbor, Michael Elliott tortured their dog, forcing them to have to put her down.

EVINGTON, Va. – A Bedford County family is mourning the loss of their dog, after they say their neighbor tortured the dog to such an extreme, it has to be put down.

Donna Ripley and her fiancé, Dennis Evans are the owners of the two-year old husky, Winter.

They say last week, they were forced to put their beloved dog down after their neighbor tied Winter up to a tree and beat her.

“With multiple ties of ropes around the tree and one rope around her neck. She could not even, she was gasping for breath. Her eye was almost out of the socket. And the other ear had been penetrated by a BB gun, is what the officer told me when he went over there,” said Evans.

Bedford County Sheriff’s Office charged Michael Elliot with one felony count of animal cruelty.

They say their neighbor did it believing the dog killed his cat.

“It was a heinous act,” said Ripley.

“It was mishandled,” said Evans.

Winter was dragged from another neighbor’s porch, while playing wit the neighbor’s dog the day it happened.

“They were both on the deck right here. The neighbors behind started beating on my front door. And they said that Winter had killed their cat, “ said the neighbor, Claire Falwell.

“Winter was right there on the deck. And then they went and grabbed a rope, wrapped it around her neck, and dragged her off my porch. I called my husband while they were yelling at me, who he then called Dennis to let him know,” she added.

The vet told Dennis it was best to put Winter down.

The dog’s injuries were just too bad.

The couple hopes the man who did this to their dog is held responsible.

“Hopefully he will never own another animal. I really hope that something is done about the fact that this man did this with no remorse,” said Ripley.

“I just hope the commonwealth and the judge does justice,” said Evans.

Felony animal cruelty charges in Virginia could be punishable by up to five years in prison.

Elliot’s arraignment is scheduled for July 21.


About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.