Terry Paxton just wanted what's best for the dogs he calls Girl and Daisy, but now he's accused of breaking the law.
For years, owners John and Glenda Venable were happy to let Paxton feed the dogs who spend their days chained up next to his Virginia storage unit business, but when Paxton recently tried to get Girl and Daisy help after a bitterly cold snowstorm, things turned ugly.
Upset that the dogs were left outside in sub-freezing temperatures, Paxton reported their plight to animal control, who refused to take action or return his calls.
"They haven't been mistreated and they have not missed any meals," Appomattox County Animal Warden Micky Martin told WSET-TV, "when we had snow they could get water from the snow. We had a bird dog that would go and eat snow."
Frustrated by Martin's inaction, Paxton shared photos of Girl and Daisy's sad circumstances with a friend, and soon they went viral online.
"You can see for yourself the water was frozen, no food, and so on," Paxton tearfully told WSET-TV. "She can't even reach her water."
Since then, the photos have sparked an internet "firestorm" and the Venables have had Paxton arrested for stalking and taken out a protective preventing him from photographing the dogs, WSET-TV reports.
Paxton is currently free with his first court date set for next Wednesday. Meanwhile, Girl and Daisy are still chained up outside and now not even Paxton can help them.
"These animals deserve better," said Paxton. "I was just trying to make it better for them."
In Appomattox County, as in much of the United States, it's still legal to leave a dog chained up outside. To learn how to pass an anti-tethering ordinance in your community, click here.