Man accused of letting two dogs starve to death, throwing bodies down ravine

    The ravine where NHS investigators say they found two pit bulls' bodies on January 9, 2019

    An Omaha man is accused of allowing two dogs to starve to death.

    Mark Langan, Vice President of Field Operations for the Nebraska Humane society, says officers served Shane Palmer, 43, with an arrest warrant for felony animal cruelty Tuesday morning.

    Court records show animal control officers were called to a ravine near Evans and 14th Avenue on January 9th.

    Firefighters found two dogs' bodies about halfway down the ravine while they were putting out a fire in the area.

    In an affidavit Nebraska Humane Society Investigator Kelli Brown writes that the dogs appeared to have been tossed down the ravine and slid to a point where they got stuck on a roll of carpet.

    She says the dogs appeared to be pit bulls, one mostly white male with a few spots of dark fur, and one gray and white male.

    Once she got down to their bodies, the affidavit says she found the dogs appeared to be "emaciated, with all ribs hip bones, and vertebrae prominent". She also says one of the dogs appeared to have frost bite on some spots of his body.

    Brown says she found a microchip in the gray and white pit bull that identified him as Boss. The address on file says the dog's home was just feet away from the ravine, where Shane Palmer lived, according to the affidavit.

    Brown spoke with Palmer and, according to the affidavit, he told her the dogs disappeared about a month and a half before, but Brown says he contradicted that just a few minutes later. She says he said he did not know the dogs had died, but that he did not show any emotion when she told him of their death.

    Brown says Palmer showed her where the dogs had been living in his home.

    "He showed me first to a spot in his fenced back yard where a doghouse and chain were located. Outside of the doghouse was a bowl of frozen water, and inside the doghouse was a blanket."

    She wrote in the affidavit that he also showed her another doghouse with a bowl of frozen water and straw or hay.

    According the affidavit, Brown cited Palmer with misdemeanor animal neglect at this point, but he ran away when she told him police were on their way to confirm his identification.

    Later in the day, Brown turned to Facebook to try to learn more about Palmer and the dogs. In the affidavit, she writes that she found a picture posted about a month before with a dog "nearly identical" to one of the pit bulls' she found in the ravine. It identified the white pit bull as Pokie.

    "The only difference was the dog pictured was much heavier in weight."

    Investigators say a necropsy was performed the next day.

    The affidavit says the main cause of death was starvation in both of the dogs with hypothermia being a secondary cause.

    The necropsy also found that Pokie had heartworms.

    This is the second arrest similar to this in the last few weeks.

    Ayeshea Colbenson is accused of allowing a pit bull to starve to death while keeping it confined to a kennel in her Omaha home.

    Ayeshea Colbenson is charged with felony animal cruelty

    "There is no excuse for owning a dog and letting it starve," said Langan.

    He said the Nebraska Humane Society has programs and services for pet owners in need and accepts any pets for any reason.

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