NEBRASKA -- A North Platte woman was cited with six counts of animal cruelty after dead dogs were found in a garbage can on Tuesday.
City Sanitation Department workers reported that there were dog carcasses in a dumpster in the alley behind a residence in the 1300 block of North Franklin Avenue.
An animal control officer investigated and found two dead dogs: a red pit bull cross with a pink collar and a chocolate cocker spaniel with a green collar.
“Both dogs had severely matted hair, sores and were severely malnourished,” said Investigator John Deal, of the North Platte Police Department.
Neighbors told police they believed the dogs belonged to a woman who lives at the residence. Witnesses also said that she had more than four dogs.
According to city ordinance, it’s unlawful for a person to keep more than four dogs or cats, or any combination, for longer than 90 days, unless the residence is a licensed commercial animal establishment or the individual is approved for a permit allowing them to keep more than four animals.
An officer was also called to the residence on Sunday, after a report that a dog had jumped the backyard fence. The dog’s leash got caught on the fence and the dog was hanging from the fence.
When the officer arrived, the dog had broken free and was unharmed. The woman was contacted about the complaint.
City ordinance requires that owners provide adequate care, control, food, health care, shelter and water to their animals.
In an interview last month, Deal said officers are often called to homes where dogs have been left in back yards. During those calls, officers check to see if the dog has food, water and proper shelter.
The officer checking on the dog didn’t seen any signs that indicated abuse, so no further action was taken, Deal said.
After the carcasses were discovered, officers obtained a search warrant for the home and found four kennels, three with dogs inside. One dog had escaped a kennel and was roaming free.
“The kennels were unkempt, did not contain food or water, and several had large amounts of feces in them,” Deal said.
The dogs had matted hair and appeared to be malnourished. Officers reported that the home smelled strongly of animal urine and feces.
All four of the animals were seized and taken to the vet for care, Deal said.
The woman was cited with six counts of animal cruelty, a Class I misdemeanor.
Deal said officials are seeking information about the ownership and treatment of the dead dogs. Anyone with information can call the police department or the animal control division at 308-535-6789.
(The Grand Island Independent - Jan 6, 2017)