The Google definition of animal cruelty (animal abuse, animal neglect or animal cruelty), is the infliction by omission (animal neglect) or by commission by humans of suffering or harm upon any non-human. More narrowly, it can be the causing of harm or suffering for specific achievement, such as killing animals for food, for their fur or even their tusks; opinions differ about the extent of cruelty associated with a given method of slaughter.
Generally, animal cruelty can be divided into two categories: neglect and intentional cruelty. Examples of intentional cruelty include, among others, overt abuse, when an individual purposely inflicts physical harm or injury on an animal, dog fighting and cock fighting. Acts of neglect include companion animals being neglected or denied basic necessities of care, such as food, water, shelter, or veterinary care.
Animal Control Officers have served 353 welfare checks since the beginning of this year. These checks are performed for all complaints that come into the department regarding animal neglect, abuse, hoarding and other infractions concerning animals.
On July 3, Officer Christopher Pigg was dispatched to a home in south Jonesboro to assist ACO Ashlee Jackson with a welfare check of children and animals inside the residence. ACO Jackson had received a complaint that there were approximately 20 dogs inside the residence and she expressed concern about the living conditions inside the home. Both officers arrived at the incident location and were invited in by the occupants. The smell of urine and feces emitted from the home as they walked through the front entrance. Dog feces and urine were observed throughout the home along with adult dogs and puppies that were contained in small cages and rooms.
The children and elderly lady that were present that day did not look to be malnourished like the dogs but DCFS and Area Agency on Aging were called to investigate their well being in the living conditions.
ACO Jackson wrote the owner of the home a citation for cruelty to animals and began the process of getting a Search and seizure warrant for the dogs that were discovered. On July 5th, the warrant was issued. She was accompanied by two JPD officers along with ACO Matt Gragg. They proceeded to rescue the dogs from the small crates and searched every room. Overall, 17 dogs and puppies were seized and taken to Animal Medical Center to be treated for their illnesses and injuries. All of the dogs were malnourished.
The owners recently plead guilty to 17 counts of animal cruelty and were court ordered to surrender the dogs to Animal Control. All treatments for the dogs, performed by Animal Medical Center, are being paid for by the owners. When they are well enough to travel, most have been placed in Animal rescues in the north.
If you suspect someone of maliciously injuring or mistreating animals, contact Animal Control at 935-3920 or the Jonesboro Police Department 935-5657.