Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18526
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Monday, Jul 18, 2011

County: Eddy

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Tahj Davis

A local man is charged with animal cruelty after allegedly letting several dogs starve to death. The animals were put in his care when the owners went out of town.

According to documents filed in Magistrate Court, Tahj Davis, 19, of the 300 block of Etter, pleaded not guilty Monday to the cruelty charges as well as unlawful use of a telephone and harassment.

On July 18, police were summoned to a residence in the 600 block of South Fifth Street belonging to Pamela Gonzales, who told officers that she and her family went to Michigan for an extended time to assist with the care of a family member, said a report filed in the case.

Davis, the boyfriend to one of Gonzales' daughters, who also lived at their residence, volunteered to look after the family's six pit bull puppies.

The family was later notified by a friend that Davis had been bringing other girls into the home he shared with the Gonzales family. According to the complaint, Gonzales' daughter ended their relationship shortly after, but allowed him to stay in the residence until he could find somewhere else to live.

Davis still reportedly volunteered to look after the animals.

A family friend went to the home to check on things while the family was still in Michigan, and allegedly found four of the dogs outside of the fenced yard, appearing to be hungry and thirsty.

The friend told police that the animals regularly got out of the fence, and she would put them away and feed them. She said she was unable to go check on the other dogs inside of the residence.

On July 4, the Gonzales family tried to return to their Carlsbad home when their car broke down in Oklahoma.

According to police, the family asked Davis to give Gonzales' daughter's car to the family friend so she could pick them up in Oklahoma.

"(The family friend), before leaving, went into the residence and observed that the residence was covered in dog urine and feces. She observed that the animals had been left inside without care or nourishment," reported Cpl. Paul Fodge with the Carlsbad Police Department.

After Gonzales returned, she found one dog under the house, very malnourished, and found one dog dead inside of her daughter's room. A third dog was inside the house, and eventually had to be euthanized due to its inability to recover from the health complications set on by the abandonment.

Following the incident, Davis allegedly sent text messages to Gonzales' daughter, saying he wanted her back, and also saying he slashed the tires on her vehicle.

While no slashes were found on the tires, Davis allegedly let someone else use the vehicle, and it was damaged as a result.

"Gonzales also reported that she received a phone call one day where Davis reported that he was in their house and, when she looked for him, she found an expensive item that was on the dining room table just minutes before was now laying in the back yard," said Fodge.

A pretrial conference has been set for 9 a.m. on Dec. 1. Judge Henry Castaneda set the bond at $2,000.

According to court documents, Davis was also convicted of battery in Carlsbad Municipal Court on Monday. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail on the battery charge.


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