Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19779
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: cat
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Saturday, Jul 7, 2012

County: Sevier

Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 3 files available

Defendant/Suspect: William Allen Hood

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A Sevierville man has been accused of animal cruelty after dozens of cats, including several dead and decomposing animals, were found on his property.

William Allen Hood was arrested on June 7 and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.

The arrest came after an investigation by the Sevier County Humane Society and the Sevierville Police Department.

Humane Society workers and police were called to Hood's former home at Edgewater Court on May 27 after reports of dead animals on the property.

"It appears that this gentleman, for some reason, was evicted or just left," explained Sevierville Police Detective Kevin Bush, "didn't tell anybody, didn't make preparations and just left the cats with no food, no water."

In all, 26 cats were found; just eight were alive.

"I've been working in this industry for over twenty years now, and the difficult thing about this case in particular was that we recovered more dead animals than live ones," said Jayne Vaughn, Sevier County Humane Society executive director.

The live cats were treated for dehydration, emaciation, flea infestation, and anemia.

Humane Society workers report finding feces and urine covering every inch of the home. "The conditions were horrific," said Vaughn. "We had to wear protective garments and masks in order to enter."

Vaughn said the dead cats likely died from starvation. They were found in varying states of decomposition, leading investigators to believe most died before their owner abandoned the home.

Hood is out on a $5,000 bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned on July 11.

Shelter officials say donations of cat food, litter, toys and money for veterinary care are needed. Call 865-453-7000 for more information on how you can help.


Case Updates

A Sevierville man has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and entered into a plea agreement with the district attorney's office and the Sevier County Humane Society.

William Allen Hood, formerly of Edgewater Court, Sevierville, was arrested in May and charged with aggravated animal cruelty after the Sevierville Police Department and Humane Society officials discovered 26 cats living in poor conditions in a mobile home where Hood had been residing.

The Humane Society took custody of 18 of the cats that were dead at the scene, and eight others that were alive but suffering from dehydration, emaciation, flea anemia, and hypersensitivity from the extreme conditions.

As part of the plea agreement, Hood must serve 30 days in jail. He will remain in the Sevier County Jail until he is placed in an in-house rehabilitation facility where he will stay for 28 days. He also must have an "anicare" mental health evaluation and treatment. Anicare is a new program that will be available next month through the University of Tennessee, and focuses on treatment for animal abusers and hoarders.

Hood will be on supervised probation for five years, perform 200 hours of community service work, and can never own, possess, be in the presence of, or reside with animals. The Humane Society may can ensure he is complying with the order.

As part of the plea agreement Hood must provide the Humane Society with 28 pounds of cat food each month for two years, and pay $5,820 in restitution to the Humane Society for the costs incurred in treating and caring for the eight surviving cats.

"We are satisfied with the conditions of this agreement," Jayne Vaughn, director of the Sevier County Humane Society, said. "Most importantly is that Mr. Hood will not be allowed another opportunity to put any more animals in harm's way, and that he will be receiving several months worth of rehabilitation and counseling. There are several facets to this order, of which if any are violated, could result in Mr. Hood facing five years in jail."
Source: The Mountain Press - Aug 25, 2012
Update posted on Aug 26, 2012 - 11:19PM 

References

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