Tuesday , June 17, 2014 - 5:25 PM
OGDEN -- Five dogs have escaped what was reportedly a home of abuse and neglect thanks to the efforts of Ogden Animal Services officers.
The dogs were seized by use of a search warrant in May after officers received tips and evidence of multiple animals being abused in a home on the 200 block of 7th Street.
Video evidence was acquired showing a man viciously beating two dogs that were the focus of Animal Services’ investigation, according to a press release.
In the footage, the man is seen punching, slapping, kicking and stomping on the two dogs, a 4-month-old puppy and 2-year-old female, both pit bull mixes. At one point in the video, the puppy is seen being suspended off the ground by its neck and beaten. The dogs were kept on short leashes without shelter, food or water.
Animal Services Supervisor Lt. Mark Acker said they contacted the suspect, who was not home at the time of the search warrant, before retrieving the dogs. The suspect ceased contact and has not yet been located for questioning.
Five dogs were retrieved from the home, however police officers who were assisting with serving the search warrant saw a marijuana plant and drug paraphernalia inside a backyard shed within plain view, Ogden Lt. Kevin Cottrell said. A second search warrant for drugs was filed and officers found more plants and a firearm inside the shed.
Police declined to identify the suspect pending an open investigation. The suspect could be facing multiple felony drug and animal cruelty charges.
The dogs were transferred to the Weber County Animal Shelter for recovery. Two of the dogs found in the home belonged to different owners and were not found to have been abused, so were released to their respective owners.
The two dogs found abused both had severe injuries to their bodies and faces. The puppy was severely dehydrated and underweight.
The dogs have recovered and are up for adoption from the animal shelter.
Shelter volunteers say the two are happy, gentle and very adoptable. The male, brindle pup is in good health, however the female still has scars on her face and is visibly frightened of men, most likely due to her male abuser.
A third female pit bull mix was seized and is up for adoption, but did not appear to have suffered any abuse.
This is the first time since Animal Services was moved from Ogden City Services to under Ogden Police that a search warrant has been used in an animal cruelty case, and even before then they were rarely used, Acker said.
Although rarely used, Acker said he hopes that this case demonstrates the commitment his officers have toward solving problems and helping Ogden’s furry citizens.
Cottrell said the case was a successful cooperation between Animal Services and Police in pinpointing a suspected animal abuser and criminal.
Anyone interested in adopting the three recovered dogs can contact the Weber County Animal Shelter at (801) 399-8244 and ask about the “search warrant” dogs.
Contact reporter Andreas Rivera at 801-625-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Andreas.
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