Rome woman arrested on animal cruelty charges after nearly starving two dogs to death in Floyd County

According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, On February 16th, 2023, at approximately 10:01 AM, Officer Kelsi Wade responded to 70 Daniel Road in reference to possible animal neglect. Officer Wade made contact with Animal Control Officers Atkins and Gibson. Officer Gibson advised that there was a dog on the property that appeared to be a level 1-2 on the Purina Body Scale. Officer Wade reported, “[I] then made contact with the dog “Brittany,” who is a chocolate lab. Brittany’s ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones, and all bony prominences were evident. Brittany showed no signs of discernible body fat and had an obvious loss of muscle mass. When [I] petted Brittany, [I] was able to feel all of her bones, and when [I] touched her stomach area, she pulled away from me. The caller informed me that she had asked Cassie Lynn Cowart, 39, of Rome, multiple times to give her a ride to go buy dog food, but Cassie refused.” Cassie was left in charge of the property, vehicles, and animals and maintaining the home while her boyfriend (Sides JR) was incarcerated in prison. The caller stated that Cassie ran out of dog food a while ago. Cassie stated that the dogs were not hers or her responsibility and belonged to Sides JR. According to the report, “When Sides JR got arrested, Cassie took possession of his property, it was her responsibility to maintain guardianship and have financial responsibility over his property; to include the animals on scene.” Officers also observed a male brindle pit bull who’s ribs were easily palpated and were visible with no palpable fat. According to the report, “The top of his lumbar vertebrae were visible from a distance, and his pelvic bones were becoming prominent. Both dogs showed signs of obvious waist and abdominal tucks.” The dogs showed a vigorous appetite and even attempted to snatch the entire food container out of the officer’s hands. Cassie then surrendered the dogs to animal control. Dr. Nepps (On scene veterinarian at PAWS) deemed the female dog at a level 2 on the Purina body scale. Cassie was booked into the Floyd County Jail and charged with a felony count of aggravated cruelty to animals and a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.

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