Ringgold couple arrested for animal cruelty after emaciated dog found tied to shed in Catoosa County

According to a Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office incident report, On August 27, 2023, at approximately 8:11 PM, Deputy Mikayla Lowe responded to 161 Sherry Drive in Ringgold in reference to an animal cruelty complaint. The complainant advised the owner’s had a dog tied up in their back yard with no food or water. According to the report, “The grass was over grown throughout the yard, approximately knee height, and trash was strewn throughout the yard. Deputy Lowe could see the dog tied up to the shed in the backyard, but the dog was too far away to get a good visual on its physical condition. The complainant stated the inside of the residence was also extremely filthy with objects stacked from floor to ceiling, and they have three small juveniles living there.” Deputy Lowe was eventually able to make contact with Kenneth Edchison Ward, 51, of Ringgold, who pull into his residence at 161 Sherry Drive. Kenneth advised they have been gone all day, but the dog is fed twice a day. When Kenneth approached the dog, Deputy Lowe observed the dog quickly tuck its tail between its hind legs, sit down and coward its head in fear while shaking. Deputy Lowe observed the dog to have no water and no food. The dog was extremely malnourished and emaciated with its rib cage and spine very visible. The dog was given a can of dog food out of the shed, which the dog immediately began eating quickly. According to the report, “Mr. Ward went to the front door of the residence to go inside. Deputy Lowe attempted to follow behind to get a visual of the condition of inside the residence due to the claims of it being filthy; however, Mr. Ward barely opened the front door, maneuvered around it then quickly closed it behind him. Deputy Lowe waited in the front yard and had Dispatch run Mr. Ward’s information through NCIC/GCIC. Dispatch advised Mr. Ward returned through NCIC/GCIC through Georgia with a suspended license for failure to appear since July 25, 2023. Deputy Lowe asked if the dog had any medical problems, to which Mr. Ward stated no she just stays very skinny.” Kenneth and his wife Kimberly Michelle Ward, 45, of Ringgold, also a responsible party over the dog, were both placed under arrested. Catoosa County Animal Control Officer Farmer arrived on scene shortly after to assist. Officer Farmer advised the dog should weigh approximately 50 pounds, and advised Deputy Lowe the dog weighed 15.2 pounds when weighed at the animal shelter. According to the report, “Due to the condition of the yard, the neglect of the dog, and the allegations of the living conditions inside the residence, Deputy Lowe will be doing a DFCS referral.” Both Kenneth and Kimberly were booked into the Catoosa County Jail, charged with animal cruelty. Kenneth was additionally charged with driving while suspended.

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