A number of viewers have reached out to WATE 6 On Your Side with concerns about pets in a possible animal cruelty case in Anderson County.
One post clarifies concerns about three dogs and a cat at a home in Andersonville, calling for the community to put an end to animal abuse and neglect.
WATE 6 On Your Side will not the pet owner’s name or their address because they’re not facing any charges.
Anderson County Animal Control officers were called out to the home on Saturday about a dead dog. Officers say when they got there, they found a deceased hound on a chain leash that was wrapped around a tree.
There were two other dogs and a kitten at the home. Officers say those pets are alive. They’ve been checked by vets, are healthy and we’re told are in good shape.
Anderson County Animal Care and Control Officer Brian Porter says after investigating and taking a closer look at the deceased dog, it accidentally choked itself.
“He was not charged because the cruelty statute is pretty clear. It starts out with intentionally, knowingly, that’s 3914-202 and there was no intent. He didn’t intend to choke his dog. Even if you go to criminal negligence, which is 3911-106, where it explains intentional and knowingly, it just doesn’t meet the criteria to charge this guy. It was just an accidental death. Probably everybody today is at work. A majority of people have a pet. When you go home today and that pet’s gotten into something or chewed through an electrical cord and is dead, does that constitute us charging you with animal cruelty? I’m going to say no because it’s an accident,” added Officer Porter.
Animal control officers say there was food and water available. Officer Porter says while the pet owner was moving, the animals were not abandoned.
One of the dogs was given to a neighbor to keep. The other dog, a puppy, was surrendered and taken to the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley for adoption. The kitten was also surrendered and is available for adoption through the Anderson County Animal Care and Control Center.
The pet owner says it’s disheartening about what’s being said online because he cares so much about animals. He adds they were planning on moving the dogs and the cat to their new home, but when they found out they couldn’t have pets, they were working on finding new responsible owners.
The pet owner also says he’s had pets since childhood and the hound that passed away was one of the best dogs he’s ever owned.
Officer Porter says there is no history of any problems at this residence or concerns about this pet owner’s animals.