Police: Man charged for shooting 6 puppies in the head, throwing them off cliff

Jeremy Smallwood is facing animal cruelty charges.
Jeremy Smallwood is facing animal cruelty charges.(WV Corrections)
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 1:54 PM CST
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COWEN, W.Va. (WDTV/Gray News) – A man in West Virginia accused of shooting six puppies in the head with a pellet rifle and throwing them over a cliff is facing animal cruelty charges.

Warning: The following story has graphic details that may be disturbing to some readers.

According to a criminal complaint, two people called authorities to report their neighbor’s dogs had injured and killed their chickens.

When officers responded, they found one dead chicken and several others with chunks of feathers missing. They also said the fence had been torn down where the dogs had gotten in.

One of the people who called 911 told police Jeremy Smallwood, 40, went to her home during the attack. She said Smallwood threatened to kill his dogs that attacked the chickens.

She said he took the dogs in his truck and then left.

Officers were able to find Smallwood driving and pulled him over. They saw a pellet rifle in the back seat of his truck and questioned Smallwood about where he took the dogs.

The criminal complaint states Smallwood told officers his dogs had killed the neighbor’s chickens and he took the dogs to get rid of them. He explained he took them across a bridge at a wide spot. That’s when two children, who were also in the truck, told officers Smallwood shot the puppies and put them “over the hill.”

Court documents state officers searched the area for the dogs and found six puppies, all of which had shot wounds to the head, about 60 feet over a cliff.

Officers said, “it appeared all six dogs had been shot in the head with a pellet rifle multiple times and then thrown over the hill/cliff,” according to the criminal complaint.

Four of the dogs were taken to the animal shelter to be euthanized due to their injuries. Two others were taken to an animal hospital in hopes of treatment, but one died on the way. The other puppy remains in care with critical injuries.