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Friday, Sep 19, 2008County: Hillsborough
Charges: Misdemeanor, Felony CTA
Case Images: 2 files available
Alleged: Michael L. McKinney
Hillsborough deputies say the scratches on 'Little Man's' face show that he was used for fighting. Now, besides animal cruelty, 'Little Man's' owner Michael McKinney faces a felony charge related to dog fighting. Investigators say he doesn't seem to care.
"He has been particularly cavalier and callous towards investigators, thumbing his nose at the law if you will," said Hillsborough Animal Services Spokeswoman Marti Ryan.
This is the second time McKinney has been charged with animal cruelty. In 2006, investigators found dogs at McKinney's home in terrible conditions. One of the dogs was dead, hanging from a fence.
This time, they say, someone must have seen or heard something because the tip came in through an anonymous call.
McKinney's former neighbors say they remember hearing dogs, but never seeing any.
Shon Bryant calls McKinney a 'good guy'.
"I wasn't aware that there was any type of animal cruelty going on in our neighborhood," Bryant said.
Animal services also confiscated two more dogs, 'Monkey' and 'Onyx,' from McKinney's home. Onyx was pregnant, but by the time investigators found her puppies, one of the five was already dead. She gave birth to five more while in the care of Animal Services.
Ryan says all three dogs had been chained to heavy axles, giving them little room to move, and inadequate exercise. All of which, she says, McKinney wasn't too worried about.
"He didn't seem to give it too much concern. We are hoping with the cooperation of the courts that he will have a lot to be concerned about again. And we will not go down this road," Ryan said.
For Monkey, Little Man and Onyx the road, now, is towards recovery and putting their painful pasts behind them.
McKinney faces charges of animal cruelty, confinement of animals without food and water and owning or possessing animals for fighting.
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