Rescued dog shot dead

Rescued dog dead after adopter had neighbor shoot him

A rescue dog, who was adopted from a no-kill animal shelter in West Virginia, is dead after his adopter had a neighbor shoot the dog. According to the Tri-State Update, Sam Rife shot the pug mix, named “Bernie,” at the request of Amie Bowling, who adopted the small dog from Little Victories Animal Rescue Shelter in October.

Rife told the publication that Bernie was “a mean little dog,” who bit several people. It is Rife and Bowling’s claim that Bernie was mean which has prevented the county prosecutor from pressing charges. On Monday, the animal shelter stated, “Putnam County Prosecutor Mark A. Sorsaia says it is common practice for people who live in WV to shoot their family dog if it shows sign of aggression. No charges should be filed.”

The no-kill agency also provided their own description of the dog who was killed with a pistol, “Bernie, a 15 pound Pug was not aggressive as witnessed by hundreds who came into contact with him, my staff, veterinarians, and the adopter herself!” The shelter added, “we love him and are so sad he was murdered for unfounded aggression as we at Little Victories have in our contract to accept the animal back, 3 days after the last checkup we were told he was happy and healthy…and then were advised children found his body in the woods.”

A neighbor told the local news agency that Bernie would often come to her home to get away from cruelty at his home, and to receive affection – she noted that he was a “gentle” dog. No word on why Bowling did not adhere to her contract to contact the shelter if things were not working out well. In the meantime, no charges are expected against Bernie’s killers.

(Photo via Little Victories Animal Rescue FB page)

116 replies
  1. Sheri says:

    NO CHARGES??? WTF!!!!! That “owner” and the shooter both need to be charged with animal cruelty at the very least!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • GPC says:

      She sounds like she needs to be institutionalize. Poor little dog probably had to defended itself from her viciousness. Put her on every DNA list in the country.

      Reply
    • CATHY WALL says:

      Agree totally…..this is so sad…..and it is mighty strange to me that a different neighbor said he was a gently dog……if he was agressive at all he was probably responding to the evil treatment that he was receiving…….totally disagree with no charges….RIP precious baby….

      Reply
  2. Darla says:

    RIP Bernie. I’m so sorry you were murdered. Your life mattered and you were a good dog. Beyond this, anything else that I want to say would not be printable.

    Reply
  3. Angela Corso says:

    This family should be banned from ever owning another dog or pet. Also, all animal shelters should be notified of this family’s killing of Bernie so they are never allowed to adopt another dog!!!! If this family is given another dog then the animal shelter should be held accountable for the dog’s welfare.

    Reply
  4. maxiemom says:

    Sounds like someone got a dog to abuse and nothing more, and the IDIOT WV prosecutor isn’t going to do a damn thing about it. Typical.

    Reply
    • Catherine Staffy says:

      My thought exactly. Poor love. He was adopted by people incapable of responsibility. Animal protection laws need to get tougher.

      Reply
  5. Heather Simpell says:

    This is ridiculous.The prosecutor there must be a spineless.back woods shit kicker. Overwhelming evidence that this women (and I use that term loosely) is a blatant lier. This adoption was a contract that if not fufilled the dog was to be returned. No wonder this shelter is devastated.I don’t give a shit if that’s how people that live in this region do if they have a mean dog.Until laws change,prosecutors grow balls and judges dole out real sentences these type of abusers will continue to flourish.

    Reply
  6. Mary Mooney says:

    That’s bullshit. They have so many witnesses to the dog’s temperament that these monsters should be charged and convicted of felony animal cruelty. Unacceptable. I think we should all contact the Prosecutor;s Office in this town and demand they be held accountable.

    Reply
  7. Karen Dennis says:

    The bitch & the bastard should both be shot & their bodies dumped in the middle of nowhere failing that life in prison

    Reply
  8. Bob says:

    People in W VA need to stand up and change laws regarding shooting of dogs. In other words, anyone there can use aggression as an excuse to use a gun? Ridiculous! Get out and make changes.

    Reply
  9. Althea Armstrong says:

    What the heck, charge them!!! The adopter could have taken him back to shelter instead of killing him. Poor baby no telling what adopter was doing to him, sick person. RIP poor Bernie!!!!

    Reply
  10. Carla Gaylord says:

    Rip Bernie they should have never shot him that’s just down right cruel and aweful if they didn’t want him they should have returned him back to the adoption place People can be so heartless the people ought to be charged for murdering that little dog!!fly high Bernie!!

    Reply
  11. Linda Szymoniak says:

    If criminal charges aren’t made, the rescue can take the adopter to civil court. They had a signed contract, which the adopter signed – and then ignored. RIP, Bernie. If you were being vicious, it was likely just to protect yourself. You were a small dog and in a new, strange place with new, strange people. I hope a necropocy is done to see if Bernie suffered any injuries prior to being shot. I suspect they’ll find something.

    Reply
  12. Barkley's Mom says:

    Are they all heartless morons in West Virginia? it’s not illegal to shoot a dog if it shows signs of aggression? This is absurd, If they were having a problem with Bernie then take him back to the shelter! Someone needs to pay for Bernie’s murder! Note to Little Victories Animal Rescue Shelter, you better be more careful who you are adopting to, and if the outcome turns out like this, you best have some recourse to punish this behavior and the ones that pull it off!

    Reply
  13. Mary Ann Clark says:

    If the law can’t arrest them for this then they might as well quit or be fired for not doing their sworn duty and both those people are obviously a danger to society! I hope there are not any children in the vicinity because they a danger to all living things! I hope that a swift and horrible punishment comes their way!

    Reply
  14. linda says:

    POS’s! She couldn’t bring the dog back? She lied saying Bernie was happy? If the neighbor believes Bernie was abused this concerns me that adopters can lie very well to get an animal.

    Reply
  15. Wanda Yearber says:

    I have a pug mix and three pugs…my chug, is the smartest one of the bunch, and I have never heard of or seen a chug/ pug mix that was mean !..if you did not want the dog, why not give it back to the shelter. .I can guess why you didn’t give it back…cause it would show that you are a FAILURE! ! And in my eyes you are the lowest evil pos on this earth!!

    Reply
  16. CATHY says:

    SOME PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK EXCUSE MY LANGUAGE FUCKERS NEED TO BE CHARGED LOCK THEM UP AND THROUGH AWAY THE KEY…….. PERIOD…..WTF…….

    Reply
  17. carolynaallen says:

    This is horrible! This poor little dog should have been returned to the shelter to be reevaluated. Peoplie lie, and this poor baby had no chance. Charges should be filed for killing this dog. In September I adopted a dog and signed a contract that if ever things did not work out that she should be returned. R.I.P. little one. You deserved better than what you got from these two low life’s.

    Reply
  18. LW says:

    If children found his body in the woods, I’m surprised they are not being charged with improper disposal of a dead animal at the very least. Leaving dead animals lying is a public
    health issue.

    Reply
  19. Mary says:

    Please, post the name, phone number, and email address of the prosecutor. For this woman and her neighbor not to be prosecuted is ridiculous for this prosecutor to try and justify. The man is as sick as the woman and the shooter. Turns my stomach that this seems to be acceptable behavior. Post, and have everyone call, and email this so called attorney. Let him know this is not the way for this to end. If enough people are up in arms over this, just maybe something will be done.

    Reply
  20. Proud Grands says:

    1st off…RIP Bernie so sorry????but you are now no longer in pain or being mistreated. Run Free Across the Rainbow Bridge ???? ????
    More than likely their reading these for the laughs but someone else will have the last 1!!
    2nd forgive me everyone this makes my blood boil! The 2 sorry Ass sacks of shit need to be bound, beaten and shot! You have the audacity to adopt a furbaby, to take care of it and you fucken have it shot! Someone else coulda loved and spoiled this baby! But NO you now lie about it so y’alls piece of shit asses can get away with it! Your gonna rot in Hell, God don’t like it when people harm his lil’ Angels! So Karma’s a Bitch!

    Reply
    • pennysdachshund says:

      If THESE TWO “BUZZARD VOMIT ” INDIVIDUALS COULD JUST STAND THERE AND PUT A BULLIT in this little dog instead of taking him back to the Shelter ,, JUST WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY HIDING FORM THE RESCUE… maybe the fact they beat, tortured, maimed the little guy…. THE NEIGHBOR STATED the little dog had run to her house for safety, and was not aggressive….. MAYBE this BITCH”S KIDS are Ruthless SCUM BAGS SUCH AS THE LIKES OF HER AND HER PSYCHO DOG SHOOTING FRIEND….and the terrified dog struck out in self defense from being poked with sticks and kicked!!!! I have to say the Law Enforcement must be REALLY A BUNCH of FIRST CLASS HILLY BILLY CREATON”S to just turn away for this HORRIFIC ACT!!! It has been reported and verified that WEST Virginia per capita is THE LARGEST PERSCRIPTION DRUG ABUSING STATE IN OUR NATION!!!! ANY GUESSES WHY!!!!!

      Reply
  21. Gail Ribeiro says:

    This is the reason people keep abusing and killing Animals,because there are no consiquentis for their actions!! We the people need to Demand Justice to these ABUSERS and murderers!!!!????????????????

    Reply
  22. Lizz says:

    What is wrong with the prosecutor?? No backbone!! He obviously is not a dog person. Those 2 people did what they did because they are sociopaths!!! They shot the little dog 6 x, 6 TIMES!!! Charges should be filed!!

    Reply
    • mike says:

      They didn’t shoot the dog 6 times. They didn’t have too it was a small dog. However, they should be shot 6 times for killing the dog.

      Reply
  23. Joanne says:

    Heartbreaking and Horrific! This poor innocent dog suffered horrible cruelty, profound betrayal and a horrific murder! Angel dog, I am so very sad and sorry that humanity failed you. The dangerous evil monster that heartlessly murdered this poor innocent dog must be severely punished! We must be the voice for this helpless innocent dog that died a cruel and awful death. Rest in Sweet Heavenly Peace, Angel Dog, you are now safe in the tender loving care of Jesus. Angel Dog, I am praying for your deserved justice. Angel Dog, you are loved and you will not be forgotten. God Bless you and RIP Precious Baby ♥️????♥️

    Reply
  24. pennysdachshund says:

    The State of West Virginia has more “METH HEADS” than Decent People!!! It would fit perfect for the Movie Industry to PRODUCE “DELIVERENCE II ” in because they would not have import any actors!!! There are more than enough “SQUEEL LIKE A PIG” rotten, derelict , scum bags like the Bitch and the Next door Neighbor to fit the parts. Why didn’t the lady that the poor little dog was begging for help take him back to the Shelter of call the Law… OMG did I say Law “” What the “F” there is NO LAW down there in the ” Pit of Crime, Drugs, Abuse , Incest , Animal Abusing STATE of WV”!!! May all of those involved in this horrific murder of a little harmless dog that ONLY WANTED to have a Good HOME!!

    Reply
    • linda says:

      Strange as it is I got her full name and Mr. Rife’s. She is very young with children. I sent them both a nasty message. She is not a meth head, but, a young POS who had no business adopting a dog

      Reply
      • pennysdachshund says:

        JUST this morning 2/2/17 CNN came out with the States ranking the #1 with content and little lines ;;;;;HAWAII;;;;;;the worst state in the UAS for Illness, and NOT in good general place in life so to say>>>>>Guess ::::::: #10 WEST VIRGINIA ::::: should NOT BE A SURPRISE!!!!!

  25. 19thcenturylady says:

    Please out this woman’s name to every shelter and rescue you can. She violated her conract. Sue her ass. And to the neighbor to whom this dog kept coming for help. Next time take the dog to a shelter and report the abuse. The ignorance of everyone involved is monumental. The man who shot the dog, the neighbor, the POS owner – all are responsible. Shelters and rescues start doing home visits in the days and weeks after adoptions. If you think something is wrong take the dog back. Everyone failed this baby.

    Reply
  26. Sherry says:

    What the hell kind of backwoods shit takes place in Putnam county where this lame prosecutor actually says it’s commonplace to shoot the family dog. WTH is going on? What a ridiculous excuse for a prosecutor. So sorry to this poor animal who went to the neighbor’s for refuse. Wonder why the neighbor didn’t report the cruelty. This is awful how some people treat animals. I am disgusted. Rest in peace sweet angel. You deserved a better life !

    Reply
  27. Julie Rowell Lyons says:

    This rescue group needs to push for charges. I don’t give a damn if it is a “common practice” in West Virginia. I imagine that incest is common practice there as well but it doesn’t excuse their actions. The neighbor is clearly a witness to animal cruelty and they should hound this bitch to the point of pushing her into the truth. Send in a P.I. to watch her behavior and she will slip up and show her nasty character. I pray someone will pursue and expose this horrible woman. At the very least they need a mugshot and description of her and her actions broadcasted to every shelter in the region so she can’t murder the next poor animal. Shame on all the officials involved in this case. I can hear them now; ” well if the dog was aggressive I’d a killed it myself.”. I know this backassward thinking from experience. As if a tiny little pug could do any real harm to any of them!

    Reply
  28. Rick Cardy says:

    Sometimes, rescue pets who otherwise show no aggression, may do so after being adopted into a home where ass clowns abuse them. I’m sorry Bernie that your final days on this earth were spent living in the care of non-compassionate goons and also, I’m sorry that the justice system in your case was every bit as cold as those who adopted you and promised to love you.

    Reply
  29. Sue Bush says:

    That’s just not right. If they can’t throw them in jail, they should at least be fined for not adhering to the contract she signed.I guess the neighbor can’t be liable, but he SHOULD have investigated the dog before he shot it.Poor little guy,what a terrible way to go.It’s just not right.Somebody should pay for that poor little dog,it’s just not in pugs to be mean.

    Reply
  30. May says:

    So one just says ” he’s mean” and then it’s okay to shoot him?
    This is disgusting. Where are the laws? Is no one enforcing them? What kind of people are these? Low lifes who better not have kids. We already have too many people like these on Earth.
    Poor, poor dog. He was probably so happy to be adopted but then he found out you are vile, despicable morons.
    You God fearing people- you think God would condone your behavior? Rot in hell.

    Reply
  31. Tina L. Hunter says:

    Bless the sweet fur baby. Run free now Bernie. He was in a no kill shelter just to be adopted to be killed. WTF. POS in WV…get the polititions to get their heads out of there asses and get some updated laws against this in WV….piss me off

    Reply
  32. Cathy says:

    These sick bastards need to rot in hell. This is what’s wrong with the people today, and our so called Judicial system stands behind these psychopaths. But you let someone do something to them or their family and they are going to watch them fry.

    Reply
  33. mk4compassion says:

    There are TOO MANY Witnesses that the dog was NOT aggressive and he was trying to escape the cruelty going on. How can 2 people who obviously are lying OVERIDE so very many? BULL, and BULL on West Virginia and shooting their dogs. That is a COP OUT and this is 2017 NOT 1817. They also had the option to bring the dog BACK, who the hell are these people. West Virginia and Putnam County Prosecutor Mark A. Sorsaia, you are NOT in this century. Is it customary to allow child molesters go or wife beaters, or even husband beaters, or, or… see where we are going with this. THIS is a FELONY, pure and simple, Charge them.

    Reply
  34. MARLENA MARKELL says:

    People in the South are evil in their treatment of pets. They will chain them up, abuse them and , I guess now, its legal to shoot an innocent dog. The South just sucks!

    Reply
  35. Brigitte says:

    Are they all cops in that area to be able to shoot any dog. Fucking bastard judge should be shot too. Karma to the fucking bitch aht had her neighbour shoot the dog. I just hope someone shoots her !!

    Reply
  36. Lisa Farrell says:

    The owner and neighbor should both be shot. THey are uselesss to society and don’t deserve to breathe the same air that tha precious little dog did. That poor baby. 15 pounds and probably not a mean bone in his body. I am so sorry the world failed you little guy. I pray that your murderers will meet the same fate.

    Reply
  37. Robin says:

    I adopted a dog from little victories . All the ones I saw was really nice not aggressive . They must have treated them wrg. And besides wv doesn’t kill dogs for being aggressive . The person and neighbor should b shot

    Reply
  38. Elle Haynes says:

    So what good is the adoption “contract” if the adopter can’t be held responsible and return the dog to the no-kill shelter if things don’t work out? Now, the adopter is free to go out and get a new puppy, and when she’s tired of it, she has the GOOD NEIGHBOR to help her out. This is just ridiculous!!! At the very least, and it does not make up for the cruel death of a dog that could have been a loving companion to another family, this woman needs to be charged with breach of contract. I know it’s a drop in the ocean, but at least it’s something.

    Reply
    • pennysdachshund says:

      NEWS FLASH CNN THIS VERY MORNING 2/2/17 PUT OUT THE TOP TEN HAPPIEST/HEALTIEST STATES (#1 HAWAII) THE TOP TEN UNHAPPY/ NOT HEALTHY STATES (# 1 NON OTHER THAN WEST VIRGINIA) THIS SHOULD TELL THE USA WHAT TYPE OF PEOPLE LIVE IN WEST VIRGINAI!!! THESE TWO ASS-WIPE’S ARE A CLASSIC CASE APPARENTLY !!!!

      Reply
  39. Silvana K says:

    Silvana K
    Fucking bitch …And A Mutherfucker why shoot a small innocent dog …You have no Fucking souls…I wish I was there to blow your Fucking Brains off…Fucking Sick people…I don’t understand what’s wrong with this law…
    They have no compassion to charge these two Fuckers for murdering a helpless animal that can’t defend itself….Shame on you Dogs are family , they’ve always protected their owners …They are loyal companions…What sick world were living in ….If I were the law I would excute them….I wish you both Burn in Hell…Karma is a Bitch you will get yours and more you just watch…

    Reply
  40. Laura Lee Wojtowicz says:

    So let me get this straight….The owner asked neighbor to shoot pug, and so that neighbor did. Owner says dog was mean but neighbor says the dog was not mean. And wanted love SO He Shoots the nice dog?????!!!!!!!!! Whether the dog was mean or kind or whatever, and you don’t want it anymore, you send him back or have patience and love him….Not shoot him and bring on unecessary pain. So those people can shoot shoot all dogs they adopt all they want.

    Reply
    • pennysdachshund says:

      IT WAS (MY DEAR) another neighbor that the little dog had escaped for assist and help several times ( yet she didn’t do a fking thing to help him) that said he was not a mean dog!!! This whole group “OF SO CALLED HUMAN BEING ARE BUZZARD VOMIT” NOT THE MAN THAT SHOT AND KILLED HIM>>>

      Reply
  41. V. Sovinski says:

    Does stupid ever take a day off???? I am beyond words about this. It is appalling that this happened and nothing is considered to be wrong behavior. Well look out little kids if you’re misbehaving around this lady. She just might decide to shoot you too.

    Reply
  42. Karen Sweatman says:

    This sick nasty bitch will just go out and adopt another dog to abuse, unless something is done about it. Her name and face should be circulated around to let rescues know that she is an animal abuser. This is outrageous. Laws don’t protect animals. Too bad the rescue can’t sue her for breaking the contract. 15 lbs of vicious dog, I hope a pit bull chews her face off, the evil witch.

    Reply
  43. Patty Oroian says:

    We need name and phone #s, call the news and every place we can think of in WV…fight for “Justice for Bernie”!!!! If enough people call and call, send emails too…maybe, something will happen!!! They had a contract with the shelter that should be enough, but no!! This is heart stopping????

    Reply
  44. Carolyn Burgin says:

    RIP Bernie. Your life really mattered. So sorry your human failed you and didn’t give you the love and compassion you deserved. So sorry she didn’t try to treat you the way family should. So sorry she didn’t take you back to where she got you from, so that; you could be with a family that would treat you like a family member. So sorry you were put in the wrong hands and only new fear. You ate safe now from danger, and you will experience love and happiness in Heaven. She will have to answer to God for what she did to you. Run free little one.

    Reply
  45. Lorena Wendler says:

    UNREAL!!! The same thing should be done to both of them!! Poor little Bernie, he didn’t even get a chance! RIP, baby. Rot in you know where, killers!!

    Reply
  46. Carol McKay says:

    Charges should definitely be brought. The owner could have returned the dog to the no kill shelter per the contract. Not abiding by the contract is yet another infraction.

    Reply
  47. Linda says:

    People need to put their frustration words into action! You will type something on FB that this and that needs done, but how many will walk away from this story and not take a stand against this poor pup? Everyone should call this prosecutor and call the Governor of WV to change the law! I already penned it in for my to do list on Monday! Call…call…call for Bernie! Make a change for these innocent babies! We are their voice!!!! RIP sweet Bernie. ????❤️????????

    Reply
  48. resqdogz says:

    “Putnam County Prosecutor Mark A. Sorsaia says it is common practice for people who live in WV to shoot their family dog if it shows sign of aggression. No charges should be filed.”

    FUCK YOU – SORASIA!

    Why wasn’t a) the neighbor’s repeated observations of his escapes from cruelty, and b) THE ADOPTION CONTRACT considered as evidence of wanton cruelty??

    Deplorables in WV frequently shoot each other, too: I pray on of them finds you…. you bastard!

    Reply
  49. Charla says:

    The owner seems like a mean little so and so…guess maybe someone should call that same evil neighbor. You know the one who would kill a dog because some low life told him to.

    Reply
  50. Lisa says:

    Sounds like the person who adopted the pet and the person who shot the pet are aggressive…..I think THEY should be shot!

    Reply
  51. jennifer taylor says:

    Provide with the name and contact details of this bitch and the fw neighbour as I am ready,willing and able to help enact the required permanent payback to these bastards YES!! I hope that these bastards read my comment as they need to be terrified!!!! An eye for an eye is required!!!!

    Reply
  52. jan S says:

    W. Virginia It figures ..Home of the dueling banjoes , Deliverence., and banging family relations..Backwards Country.. disgusting vile laws..It doesn’t surprise me..No respect for animals there..Bet you marrying you siblings marrying is not against the law. .

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *