2009-05-21 / Local & State

Report Of Dogs Thrown From Truck Was A Lie

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - A Wood County animal rescuer trying to gain publicity for the Humane Society of Parkersburg is facing charges of fabricating a story about a man killing dogs by throwing them out of a moving truck.

Steven Whitehair, 37, of Parkersburg is charged with obstruction and falsely reporting an emergency incident, said Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy.

Whitehair also has been suspended from his job, said humane society Executive Director Maryann Hollis.

Sandy said Whitehair made up a story about a man killing seven puppies and an adult dog on May 8 by throwing them onto Interstate 77. Whitehair said he was removing the carcasses when the suspect returned to the scene and told him that he killed the dogs because he was upset with his wife.

Deputy Shana Modesitt said investigators became suspicious after asking Whitehair to clarify some information and uncovering discrepancies in his story.

Hollis apologized "for any distress this has caused the community as well as local law enforcement.''

"This incident is not indicative of the values of the Humane Society of Parkersburg and we are extremely upset over this development,'' she said in a prepared statement.

Whitehair, who has run unsuccessfully for Parkersburg City Council and the state Legislature, is free after posting a $1,000 bond.

He could not be reached for comment Monday and a call to his attorney, Brian Carr, was not immediately returned.

Return to top