DeJuan Jarrod Walton, 30, and Geraldine Juanita Walton, 48, of Mineral Street each faced seven counts of animal cruelty after local animal control officers seized a number of dogs from their residence in April.
In Circuit Court on Friday, they were convicted of four misdemeanor offenses each, with the rest of the charges dismissed.
GERALDINE GETS PROBATION FOR HER CRIMES AGAINST ANIMALS. DEJUAN GETS 3 MONTHS IN THE COUNTY JAIL - BUT WITH "GOOD BEHAVIOR" HE'LL LIKELY ONLY HAVE TO SERVE 30 DAYS FOR HIS CRIMES AGAINST ANIMALS.
OH, AND THEY SAID HE COULD SERVE HIS TIME ON WEEKENDS SO IT DOESN'T INTERFERE WITH HIS LIFE. HOW NICE.
During the Friday hearing in Halifax, Animal Control Officer Allison Dunn offered testimony on the condition of the dogs and their grim environment after investigating the South Boston property. Officer Dunn recalled “a very foul smell” that only got worse upon closer examination of the dogs and their kennel.
The seven dogs were found in an enclosed pen, all without food or water, with several of them tightly chained to the ground and showing physical signs of neglect.
According to Officer Dunn, the dog that was found dead had already begun to decompose. She also recalled seeing vultures circling the property.
A veterinarian that examined the deceased dog after the April 21 incident testified the animal had been dead for nearly five days.
Officer Dunn stated she had, on several occasions, spoken to the Waltons on proper animal care over the past year, asking them to take measures to keep the dogs warm in winter and cool in the summer.
During the offense date, Dunn recalled Geraldine Walton quickly throwing dog food on the ground upon realizing the law was going to become involved.
“I told her there was no need for her to feed them now, because I’m seizing these dogs,” Dunn said.
After the dogs were seized, Dunn drove the deceased animal to an examination lab in Lynchburg, and the six remaining dogs received treatment for recovery.
Both defendants will serve up to four years’ probation with the convictions.
(The News Record - December 12, 2016)