Animal welfare check at Walker County home leads to couple being arrested, nearly 200 animals rescued

According to a Walker County Press Release and a Walker County Sheriff’s Office incident report, On Wednesday, September 13th, 2023, at 9:25 AM, Deputy Jones was requested by Walker County County Animal Control officers for assistance with serving an inspection warrant at 454 LaFayette Road in Chickamauga. According to the Walker County Press Release, the inspection warrant was obtained following multiple complaints of a foul odor, animals running at large, and other ordinance-level violations were found. Deputy Jones reported that during the initial investigation, both Patty Bryant, 57, of 454 Old LaFayette Road, Chickamauga, and Jerry Bryant, 72, of 454 Old LaFayette Road, Chickamauga, refused to comply with commands and obstructing the deputies, leading to them both being arrested. Commissioner Shannon Whitfield stated Jerry Bryant presented a weapon while exiting the residence. Deputies had to draw their weapons. Fortunately, no one had to fire any shots,” he said. During the search, Walker County Animal Control Officers, along with Walker County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, found the remains of two animals and several dogs in need of immediate emergency veterinary care. Officers observed animals in small crates in very unsanitary conditions and smelled a strong scent of ammonia from the house. Walker County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and investigators then issued a search warrant for the house. Once inside the house, Walker County Animal Control Officers located 78 dogs crammed inside the 13-hundred-square-foot home, along with the remains of additional animals. The overwhelming odor and conditions inside the home led to officers having to use hazmat suits and oxygen tanks. Walker County Fire Rescue assisted AC Officers with air packs and set up fans to ventilate the house. Representatives from the Humane Education Society of Hamilton County, McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, and Bradley County SPCA also assisted. According to the Walker County Press Release, the final count on Thursday, September 14th, 177 dogs, pigs, rabbits, chickens, goats, etc. had been removed from the property, including over 100 dogs. The remains of over 15 animals were also found, including several dogs. The Bryant’s were charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty charges, numerous counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, and obstruction of a law enforcement officer charges. According to the Walker County Jail, on Friday, September 15th, 2023, they were released on an OR bond. Codes Enforcement officers have also condemned the house, advising it was not a livable structure. According to online records, Bryant was operating a dog training business. Online records also show she was not licensed as required by the state of Georgia. All of the animals were taken to the Walker County Animal Shelter. A number of the animals recovered from the property are owned by other individuals. The shelter will be closed until Monday, September 18th, to allow staff time to contact their owners and work to move animals at the shelter not associated with this case to nearby shelters and rescues. If you are a rescue or owner of a dog that you believe was possibly involved in the Bryant case, please email [email protected].

Walker County Animal Shelter reported that donations are greatly needed and appreciated to assist them in caring for the animals they received from a the case. Their Amazon Wishlist is listed below. They advised if you are local, you can drop items off at the gate.

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