Michael Queen, of Lucasville, and self-identified minister, called the Scioto County Humane Agency in January and said he was holding two dogs, a pit bull-mix and a chow-mix, in his barn.
He said the dogs had killed his dog and were threatening him and his wife at their home; and said he was going to poison them with rat poison.
John Owens of the agency warned him not to do so, and said he would have the pound come out to pick up the dogs.
“To be honest, we suspect he had already poisoned them by then,” Owens said.
The next day, Queen called Owens and said the dogs had gotten loose.
Several days later the dogs were found. The pit bull was already dead, frozen to the ground in front of a home. A necropsy report performed by Shawnee Animal Clinic confirmed the dog had died from ingesting rat poison.
“The dog literally bled to death internally, and that is a very slow and agonizing death,” Owens said.
When he returned to Queen's home to serve the citations, Owens said he asked Queen if he had any rat poison, and Queen said he did not.
Owens said it would be very odd for someone who lives in a farm-setting, like Queen, not to have rat poison to kill the field mice in the area.
Owens believes Queen lured the dogs into his barn with food and then locked them inside to feed them the rat poison.
“He said, ‘I suppose you hear this all the time, but I'm a minister,'” Owens said. “I'm not at all that familiar with the churches out here, but isn't there some kind of forgiveness or tolerance? Wouldn't it be wrong to even consider doing this?”
There was no information available of where Queen presides as minister.
Queen was charged with committing an act of cruelty for confining two companion animals for three days without food or water, causing needless pain and suffering; a misdemeanor in the second-degree. He will appear in municipal court on Friday.
“The last thing he said to me before we left was that he was glad the dog was dead,” Owens said.
All reported cases of suspected animal abuse or intentional death are investigated by the Scioto County Humane Agency, and could face prosecution. If anyone has any questions on how to handle an aggressive or threatening animal, Owens advises them to call the Scioto County Dog Pound at (740) 353-8802.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235.