Rome man arrested on aggravated animal cruelty charges in Floyd County

According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, On March 15th, 2023, Officer Kelsi Wade was notified of possible Cruelty to Animals incident at 141 Malone Drive. The director of Animal Control contacted FCPD in regards to a dog that was brought to West Rome Animal Clinic in desperate need of veterinarian care. The owner of the dog brought the small black and white dog to the Vet with a severe eye infection but quickly left, leaving the dog behind. Officer Atkins from Animal Control met with the dog owner, identified as Joel Hubert Vinson, 71, of Rome, at Redmond Hospital. Officer Wade reported, “[I] recognized from a previous Animal complaint from January 7th, 2023. On January 7th, 2023, Officer Carranza responded to 141 Malone. On Officer Carranza’s body camera footage, there was one dog that was severely emaciated and appeared to be sick, lying under a chair. Keelan Freeman with Animal Control then took custody of that dog. Joel stated that he has been in the hospital since Sunday, although he was seen at the vet office on March 14th, 2023, demanding that Vet put the dog to sleep due to its condition. Joel informed us that he took the dog home before coming to Redmond Medical Center.” Officers then observed the dog in question. The dog’s right eye was extremely crusted over and appeared to be hanging out of the eye’s socket. The dog had extreme overbites with teeth that appeared to have been broken and was very skinny. The dog’s Body Scale was approximately a 1-2 on the Purina Body scale. Sky then placed the dog in Animal Control’s vehicle. According to the report, “Once inside of the residence, there was dog urine covering the floor and smears of dog feces throughout the house. Joel’s roommate stated that he had never seen Joel purchase dog food, and both dog food containers were completely empty. He also stated that one of the dogs had died from starvation, and Joel “threw the dog on the top of the trash.” While in the back yard, officers located what appeared to be a deceased dog’s skeleton. There was black and white fur still attached to the bones and pieces of flesh. He stated that Joel attempted to burn the dog. According to the report, “The bones did not appear to have been severely burned, indicating it could have been a different dog, or the current dogs were starved to the point of pulling the deceased dog from the burn pit to consume it. Animal Control then took eight dogs in terrible condition from the property. The officer obtained a search warrant for the property and located a dog’s skull. Officers observed several to-go food containers that appeared to have been chewed on by a dog searching for food. Joel was booked into the Floyd County Jail on March 27th, charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals x5.

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