A Fort Stewart soldier has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty in connection with an abandoned, starving dog found locked in a Hinesville home Wednesday.
Hinesville Police Department and Liberty County Animal Control officers rescued the dog after receiving an anonymous tip. The 39-pound boxer-bulldog mix should weigh about 70 pounds, according to the veterinarian who examined her. Jonathan Richard Karl Jenson said he left the residence three weeks ago and knew the animal was in there. Jenson was arrested Friday when he turned himself in to HPD Detective Jeff Davis.
A scan of the animal’s microchip revealed her name is Juicy, and her rescuers believed she’s endured months of neglect and had been abandoned for at least four weeks. Animal Control Officer Richard Edwards said open bags of food were strewn around the residence, but the only water the dog had access to was from the toilet.
Edwards said Juicy was adopted last year from a Savannah shelter by a couple who had a newborn.
The dog proved too rambunctious to be around the infant, so the couple reportedly gave the dog to Jenson.
“Gary Bell and I arrived around 10:30 to a home on Latham Court and knocked on the door several times to see if anybody was home. No one answered the door, but we could hear a dog barking inside and, at one point, she came to the window, and what we saw was an emaciated dog,” Edwards said.
Edwards called the Hinesville Police Department, and Officer Kevin Zieran was dispatched. According to the incident report filed by Zieran, responders knocked on the door several times, but got no answer. They went to a rear door and saw animal excrement strewn throughout the visible portion of the house.
Zieran located the rental company that managed the property, and the rental-property representative arrived and let the officers into the residence.
According to Zieran’s report, officers swept the residence in search of a deceased person, but found only the dog.
Zieran obtained the name of the person who rented the home and made contact with him. Witnesses told Edwards no one had been seen at the residence in three months, and mail stacked up in the mailbox was dated as far back as November.
Juicy will be returned to the Savannah shelter she was adopted from, where she will be nursed back to health, according to Edwards.