Many dogs found in a home without human supervision

Published 8:47 am Friday, October 3, 2014

A house filled with dogs, but no humans, was discovered over the weekend when law enforcement responded to a community complaint.
Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said that on Saturday just after 2 p.m. the department received a call from a concerned community member that several dogs were living in less than ideal conditions.
When the officer arrived at the home, located in the 400 block of Sycamore Road, he found about 30 dogs inside and outside the home, but no people were present.
Tucker said the investigation showed the previous occupant, a renter, had left the dogs in the home without alerting the homeowner.
Some of the dogs were found to be in kennels, while others were roaming free around the home. About eight dogs were also found in the fenced yard, but are suspected to have gotten out of the house when the community member entered the home, Tucker said.
While there was no food in their bowls, none of the dogs appeared to be malnourished and there was water in their bowls, Tucker said.
In order for law enforcement to be able to take custody of animals state law mandates probable cause of abuse or neglect must be established, and while the conditions the dogs were found in were not ideal, power was on in the home and three window units were keeping the interior cool, Tucker said.
However, the officers noted the conditions were bad and the home contained a foul odor of ammonia and excrement.
“It was pretty overwhelming,” Tucker said.
In all, the deputies counted close to 30 dogs living in the home without human supervision.
As the officers investigated the identity of the owner of the dogs they came into contact with the homeowner, who told them the house was being rented. When they contacted the renter, it was discovered that individual, who has not been named since no charges have been lodged at press time, was living in Louisiana.
Since the discovery, the dogs have been moved to a new location by the property owner, Tucker said. Deputies have inspected that location and the local SPCA has been asked to help rehome some of the dogs, Tucker said.
An investigation is ongoing and the department is looking into whether they can use a local ordinance on animal neglect to press misdemeanor charges against the renter. Tucker said Mississippi law enforcement agencies are limited in what they can do under the state’s animal neglect laws.
“None of our guys like seeing this either but we got to follow the law,” Tucker said.

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