JACKSONVILLE (KTRE) - Officers from the Jacksonville Police Department arrested a couple from that town on Sept. 13 in connection to animal cruelty allegations.
According to an animal control officer, the man and woman allegedly moved away from their Jacksonville residence, leaving three dogs to fend for themselves. When a woman attempted to move into the home, she found the severely malnourished dogs and reported them to authorities.
Rickey Lee Davis, 55, of Jacksonville, and Carolyn McWright, 53, of Jacksonville, are still being held in the Cherokee County Jail on three felony cruelty to non-livestock animal charges. Davis and McWright each had collective bonds of $15,000.
"The Chow dog was in bad shape," Suzi Clements, an animal control officer for the city of Jacksonville, said. "By the time we got a seizure warrant for the dogs and got back to the house, it had died."
Clements said that her office has dealt with the couple in the past for a different set of dogs. She said in the past situation, the couple allegedly left two starving dogs behind when they moved a previously. She said the man and woman took the Chow dog with them that time, and that when she saw him out walking the dog, she convinced him to sign the other two dogs over to the town's animal shelter.
"The Chow was an old dog that didn't get proper vet care," Clements said. "It had bad teeth and gums, and it was severely malnourished."
The dead dog was sent to a Jacksonville veterinary clinic, so a necropsy could be conducted, Clements said. She said the veterinarian told them the dog was severely malnourished and had heart worms.
The other two dogs were taken to a Jacksonville animal shelter.