NEBRASKA -- A Fort Calhoun man has been cited for felony animal cruelty after one of two dogs left out in subzero temperatures was found dead on his property.
Jason Donald Franke, 42, is charged with animal cruelty / neglect resulting in serious injury or death. It is a Class IV felony. He is scheduled to appear in Washington County Court on March 1.
Washington County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a report of animal neglect on Jan. 5 at 9228 County Road 28.
“The deputy that arrived found one dog deceased and another dog running around the yard,” Sgt. Brian Beckman said.
The dog that died was described as a large dog with short, gray hair.
A concerned citizen that knew of the dogs had not seen the owner in some time, Sgt. Brian Beckman said. That person attempted to feed the dogs, but the larger dog appeared to “act sickly,” according to an affidavit for a search warrant.
Temperatures on Jan. 4 and 5 were in the single digits with windchill factors below zero, according to Weather Underground.
“That was one of the coldest nights we've had,” Beckman said.
Deputies did not find any food, water or shelter for the dogs on the property. One outbuilding had a hole in it, which the smaller dog could access to get out of the cold, Beckman said. The hole was not large enough for the other dog.
The deceased canine was transported to Rohrig Animal Hospital in Arlington for a necropsy.
According to the affidavit, the dog appeared to possibly be malnourished. The rib and hip bones were “predominantly visible.”
“We believe that there was some neglect because of our findings and the findings of Rohrig,” Beckman said.
Franke still has possession of the smaller dog.
Nebraska Department of Correctional Services
DCS ID: 500808 -- JASON D. FRANKE
Date of Birth: 05/21/1975
Charge: Felony - ATTEMPTED DELIVERY OF MARIJUANA.
County of Commitment: JOHNSON
Release Date: 04/04/2005
Reason for Release: WEC RLSE-SUCCESSFUL
Douglas County Sheriff Open Warrants
Last Name: FRANKE
First Name: JASON
Middle Name: D
Address: 226 NORTH COMMERCIAL SEYMOUR
Eye Color: BROWN
Charge: FAILLURE TO APPEAR-PASSING BAD CHECK BOND $4000-00 SURETY OR 10% CASH
(Pilot Tribune & Enterprise - Jan 20, 2017)