Pleasant Grove police seize dogs; owner faces animal cruelty charges

PLEASANT GROVE, Ala. (WIAT) — Three dogs have been seized and one could not be saved after Pleasant Grove police responded to an animal cruelty call. Their owner is now facing felony animal cruelty charges. A word of warning these pictures may be disturbing.

Police in Pleasant Grove say that a tip from a neighbor about dogs being left out in the cold lead to a very disturbing discovery by responding officers and now felony charges against their owner.

Photos taken by Pleasant Grove police officers show dogs exposed to the wind and cold nothing to shelter them but a chain-link fence.  According to the Pleasant Grove Police Department the day of the call temperatures dropped down to the single digits.

Investigators say the dogs were without food or water and looked as though they had not been fed for some time.

“In the process of looking at the dogs they discovered that the dogs were severely malnourished. One dog was actually dead, and the other dogs were eating, feeding on that dog for their source of food,” said Corporal Zachary Cammack.

Police signed a felony warrant against the owner of the dogs, Erick Fitzpatrick of Pleasant Grove, for aggravated cruelty to animals, according to investigators. Officers say he appeared surprised when police arrived.

“You need to properly have shelter for them in a place that’s going to keep them warm, that’s going to keep them safe, especially during the conditions that these animals were found in,“ said Cammack. “If you’re going to have dogs you need to take care of them on a regular basis, not on an every once in a while basis.”

WIAT 42’s efforts to contact Fitzpatrick for comment were unsuccessful. The surviving dogs are now in the custody of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Animal Control staff.

Fitzpatrick turned himself in and was booked into the Jefferson County Jail and released on a $10,000 bond, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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