Preston man charged with animal cruelty after police find dead dog, 2 others without food, water

KINGWOOD — One dog died and was partially eaten by another that was without food, according to an animal cruelty complaint in Preston County.

Preston Sheriff’s Cpl. C.R. Cline charged Thomas Matthew Tasker, 35, of Arthurdale, with four counts of animal cruelty Thursday. Tasker was freed on $12,000 bond.

According to the criminal complaint, the deputy responded to a complaint on Y Road in Arthurdale and saw a brown and white pit bull so thin its ribs and vertebrae were visible. It did not have food or water.

Deputy Cline saw what appeared to be a boxer and blue tick mix dog dead in another kennel. The dog, “had been there for some time and appeared to have been partially eaten by another.”

When Cline asked Tasker about the dog, he said it had been about 10 years old and sick. A family member told the officer the dog, Rebel, was only 3 or 4 years old and had not been sick or seen by a veterinarian.

Tasker said, “that he had not been able to feed the animals because he did not have the money to purchase food,” according to the complaint.

Cpl. Cline also took an iguana and a “blue nosed pit bull” from inside the home. Neither had food or water, he said in the complaint.

Animal cruelty is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $300 to $2,000 or confined in jail not more than six months, or both, for each offense.

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