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Another suspect charged in animal cruelty case

Another suspect has been charged for animal cruelty after a dog who appeared to be starved by its owners was reported to the Barnesville Police Department. The dog was put down April 13 by a veterinarian in Griffin. Curtis Brown was charged with cruelty to animals as well as Connie Brown of 138 Park Place who was charged earlier. A first hearing for both suspects has been set for Wednesday, June 3. ’The police department was contacted in regard to a complaint of animal neglect. Upon investigation, animal control and the police department were unable to make contact with the owner. The complainant was informed the city would continue with the investigation and followup,’ said Barnesville city manager Kenny Roberts. ’Relatives of the owner were informed they should take the animal to a veterinarian and that the city would follow up. The dog was taken to a Griffin veterinarian by a family member. According a statement provided by the veterinarian, due to the dog’s poor condition and financial concerns the dog was humanely euthanized. The police department has charged two individuals for animal cruelty. The case remains under investigation.’ The person who first reported the case said they were scared the dog’s owners would retaliate and did not want to speak openly with the newspaper but said the dog was found wandering around the neighborhood and was sometimes fed by neighbors. The Barnesville animal control ordinance states, ‘any person who has personal knowledge of the violation of all or any portion of the provisions of this article shall notify the police department and shall also make known their willingness to appear and give testimony concerning any such violation in the municipal court of the city upon being summoned thereto at the time and place specified in such summons.’ Others have said they would have adopted the dog or paid for its veterinary bills so it could be adopted out. Photos of the dog were placed on social media websites and many commented on the situation and offered suggestions for how it could have been handled differently. The dog’s rib and hip bones could be clearly seen through his skin. Marilyn Price, who contacted The Herald Gazette, commented, ‘A lot of people were offering to pay for the vet costs. When the animal control officer came out with the police officer, they should have taken the dog in when they saw the condition of the dog, but they put it back on its chain. I want to know what the protocol is to correct a situation like this and the average citizen needs to know what to do if they see an animal being abused.’ Roberts said citizens may contact either the Barnesville Police Department or Animal Control as they work together to investigate complaints of neglect and cruelty. After owner Connie Brown was charged with animal cruelty, the family was given the chance to care for the dog as they should, but they chose to have the dog euthanized instead. Others said they felt the dog should have been taken off the chain and away from the owners immediately. Barnesville city ordinances specifically prohibit animal cruelty stating, ‘it shall be unlawful for any person to overdrive, overload, override, torture, torment, unjustifiably injure, deprive of necessary sustenance, food or drink ‘¦’ The state law says if a person is convicted of a second cruelty to animals violation, they ‘shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three months nor more than 12 months, a fine not to exceed $10,000, or both, which punishment shall not be suspended, probated or withheld.’ Price and others who have become concerned with the case say there is another dog on the other side of the house from where the starved dog was and their concern is that it may be owned by the same people. Roberts said he hopes something beneficial comes from the sad situation, stating that the city currently has 12 dogs at the animal control facility that are available for rescue or adoption. ’Nine of the 12 dogs are pit bulls, which are often not adopted,’ he said. ‘Anyone who is interested in adopting a dog can contact animal control or city hall to arrange a visit with and the adoption of these dogs.’

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