In Defense of Animals, the international animal advocacy that operates Hope Animal Sanctuary in Carroll County, will present evidence of the torturous treatment of four dogs at the Montgomery County Justice Court today, June 11, at 9 a.m.
A Kilmichael man stands charged with starvation of the dogs and failure to provide them with veterinary care to prevent their suffering from heartworm infestation.
In Defense of Animals received a photo and report of an emaciated dog on May 29, 2019. With the cooperation of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department and authorized with a seizure order by Montgomery County Justice Court Judge Larry Bamberg, In Defense of Animals removed four dogs belonging to Robert Harrison in Kilmichael, MS.
The dogs were chained separately in the front and side yard of Harrison’s residence. Each dog was chained in a dust bowl with scattered crushed and broken food and water containers powdered with dust. Only one five-gallon bucket remained intact but with filthy water so depleted that the dog couldn’t possibly drink it. The “shelter” one dog was provided had no roof nor sides. As rescuers removed the dogs, Harrison repeated his defense that there was nothing wrong with his dogs and threatened that he would just get more.
In Defense of Animals rushed the dogs to a veterinarian where the extent of their suffering was documented. Tragically, the severely emaciated dogs were diagnosed to be beyond recovery due to the complications of last stage heartworm infestation suffered by all four of the dogs.
“Only rescuers can know how truly heart-wrenching it is to go to extremes to free animals from deplorable conditions and immeasurable suffering, plan to give them affection, full tummies, and see joy overcome them, only to have to end their suffering,” stated Doll Stanley, of In Defense of Animals. “This is a case I will never fully recover from. As I removed the first dog from the chain that held her captive, I named her Azalia, beautiful southern flower. Then I left the clinic in despair. Animal rescue is about the animals, but there’s no way that you can be human and not suffer when animals cannot survive the hell they were subjected to,” lamented Stanley.
Stanley filed a criminal affidavit charging Robert Harrison under Mississippi § 97-41-16 Maliciously injuring dogs or cats. If Harrison is convicted of aggravated animal cruelty, he faces penalties of a maximum fine of $2,500 and or a six-month maximum jail term. If the prosecuting attorney determines that Harrison is to be tried for simple cruelty, he faces a maximum $1,000 and, or a maximum sixty-day jail term.
Additionally, if convicted, Harrison will be ordered not to have animals or to be in contact with animals for two-years, which is the maximum period justice court judges may impose.
In Defense of Animals has served in Mississippi for 26 years and has worked with many law enforcement and regulatory agencies for the welfare of animals and their guardians. No blow will be so great that our team will not rise to fight to end the suffering of animals we learn to be imperiled, often teaming with fellow like-minded organizations and rescuers.