UPDATE: Humane Officer Makes Up Animal Cruelty Story

By: Cathleen Moxley, Courtney Rochon Email
By: Cathleen Moxley, Courtney Rochon Email

UPDATE 5/15 @ 11:53 p.m.

Steve Whitehair has posted bond.

He is being charged with obstructing an officer and reporting false information to an officer.

He faces up to two years in prison and more charges could follow.

His bond was set at $10,000.

The Parkersburg Humane Society has suspended Whitehair from all duties immediately.
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UPDATE: 5/15

For the past week, Wood County Sheriff's detectives have been trying to track down a man that reportedly killed eight dogs on the Interstate.

Well a major arrest has been made in the case but it's not the person responsible for killing any dogs.

Steve Whitehair is the Humane Officer with the Parkersburg Humane Society.

He was arrested Friday.

Wood County Sheriff's Detectives say Whitehair made up an elaborate story about someone posing as police officer and that the culprit was on the run.

"I thought I was helping out the facility and I tried to help them out the wrong way. Just with everything that is going wrong with the city and county financially, I just thought it would show that they're doing a good job," said Whitehair.

He is being charged with obstructing an officer and reporting false information to an officer.

He faces up to two years in prison and more charges could follow.

His bond was set at $10,000.

The Parkersburg Humane Society has suspended Whitehair from all duties immediately.

They say they want the community to know that this incident is not indicicative of the values of the Humane Society.

More importantly, they hope this doesn't affect the community's support of the animals.

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Authorities continue to search for two suspects they say committed two different crimes in one animal cruelty case.

It all happened Friday when Humane Officer Steve Whitehair says a man threw eight dogs onto the road, killing all of them.

Whitehair says there was another man on the scene in an unmarked vehicle claiming to be a state trooper who was investigating the case.

However, State Police tell us no troopers were at the incident.

Authorities say the man who stated he was a trooper was driving a black car and was dressed nicely. They say he's about six feet tall and slender.

Whitehair says no charges can be filed against the man who allegedly threw the dogs onto the road, because he can't be located.

Officials also say they can't release the names of the suspects because they're not sure they gave them the right names.

So now, the Wood County Sheriff's Department and the West Virginia State Police are working to find the man accused of killing the dogs, as well as the man who allegedly posed as a state trooper.

"We don't need anybody impersonating officers. There's a law against that, and if this person's located he will be prosecuted. Also, the person who threw the dogs, when that person's located I can assure you they'll be prosecuted to the fullest extent," Corporal Mark Mayhugh, with the W.Va. State Police, said.

Officer Whitehair says the man accused of killing the dogs will face eight counts of animal cruelty, and Corp. Mayhugh says the man who allegedly impersonated an officer will face charges for that.

Anyone who has any information on this case is asked to call the Wood County Sheriff's Department at (304) 424-1834, or the W.Va. State Police at (304) 420-4600.


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