Wellsburg Man Sentenced for Shooting Dog

Ronald J. Sebeck, 71, of Wellsburg has been placed on one year of house arrest and ordered to create and fill blessing boxes with pet food for public use as well as pay restitution and fines after pleading guilty to cruelty to animals.
Sebeck was charged with the crime for shooting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a pellet gun on his property on Oct. 6.
Brooke County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Barki said the dog was taken to a Wheeling veterinarian who removed a small metal pellet from its abdomen and found it had died from blunt force trauma and internal bleeding.
Under state law, the penalties for the charge include one to five years in jail and a fine not less than $1,000 and no more than $5,000.
On Monday, 1st Judicial Circuit Court Judge Ronald Wilson sentenced Sebeck to one year of house arrest, during which he must undergo electronic monitoring, and ordered him to pay $3,000 in restitution to the dog’s owners, $200 to the Brooke County Animal Shelter, a $1,000 fine and court costs involved in his prosecution.
The judge also ordered him to build the five boxes, one every 60 days during a 240-day period, and fill them with dog and other pet food that can be claimed by the general public.
Their locations are to be determined by the county animal shelter.
Sebeck also was ordered to have no contact with the dog’s owners and, as a convicted felon, he may not possess any firearms.
The judge advised Sebeck that if he fails to comply with the orders, he will be required to serve the original sentence.
Sebeck offered an apology to the dog’s owners, who delivered their own statement about the impact of the loss of their pet.
As they had done before Sebeck’s last hearing, a group of community members stood outside the courthouse prior to his sentencing with signs urging “Justice for Poppy,” the dog’s name.