DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Macon County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested two Decatur area people for animal cruelty and neglect last week.

Deputies were sent to the 4300 block of North Taylor Rd in Decatur after responding to complaints that there were several animals on the property suffering from the extreme cold weather.

The sheriff’s office said 42-year-old Mark Miller, Jr., and 39-year-old Nyssa Richards were both charged with animal cruelty and neglect, Class A misdemeanors, after deputies observed five dogs on the property that appeared to have insufficient protection from the weather. The reported temperature at the time was one degree with a wind chill of -16.

Deputies immediately took one dog, an American bulldog, suffering from the extreme cold into custody. The dog was near death and ultimately had to be euthanized at the University of Illinois Veterinary Clinic in Urbana. The four other dogs were taken into protective custody by Macon County Animal Control officers. 

Miller and Richards were cited and given a notice to appear with a court date set for March 14, 2023.

The sheriff’s office reminds everyone that Illinois law requires pet owners to provide sufficient food, water, and shelter that is adequate for the outside temperature and weather conditions.

Additionally, the subsequent convictions or aggravating factors may result in a Class 4 felony charge.