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Thursday, Aug 23, 2007County: Hart
Disposition: Not Charged
Person of Interest: James Hammond
Nearly 20 dogs, some kept in cages above the ground and fed with food contaminated with feces, were seized Thursday from a Hart County home following an investigation by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
The Department of Agriculture responded to a complaint that James Hammond, 32, of Liberty Hill Road was selling dogs without a kennel license, Sheriff Mike Cleveland said.
The owner of the dogs, already was in custody at the Hart County Sheriff's Office on an unrelated charge.
"The dogs (most of them adults) were in poor condition," Sheriff Cleveland said. "They were fed and watered, but they were out in the heat."
Mr. Hammond agreed to release ownership of the animals to the Department of Agriculture. No additional charges have been filed against Mr. Hammond, Sheriff Cleveland said.
"He's going to stay with us awhile," the sheriff said. "With him in jail, they couldn't prove animal neglect on him."
Some of the dogs were taken in by area animal rescue groups; the Hart County Humane Society took possession of 14 dogs, including 10 Chihuahuas and four Labrador retrievers.
In the absence of a county animal shelter, the dogs were taken to Hartwell Animal Hospital where Dr. Robert Mauldin is treating them for skin lesions, fleas, ear mites and heart worms, according to Donna Madkiff, the Humane Society's vice president.
One of the dogs had a broken leg, she said, and appeared to have been struck by a car while another was pregnant.
She said five families have stepped forward to care for the dogs in their homes on a temporary basis.
"We're divvying them up to foster homes so they can be nursed back to health," she said. "Once they are healthy, we will try to find homes for them."
- Independent Mail - Aug 23, 2007
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