More dogs found in an­i­mal cru­elty case

Ad­di­tional sus­pects are taken in for ques­tion­ing as the num­ber of dogs found is now up to 105.

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Myrick Polk County Stan­dard Jour­nal Ed­i­tor KMyrick@RN-T.com

A sec­ond group of dogs was found in Polk County on Tuesday as dogs from a first larger group were all find­ing homes at sur­round­ing area res­cues and shel­ters.

Polk County Po­lice Chief Kenny Dodd said a search war­rant was suc­cess­fully con­ducted at 650 Puck­ett Road on Tuesday, and 35 more dogs were found fol­low­ing a day when po­lice de­scribed the first find the “worst case of an­i­mal cru­elty” ever seen lo­cally.

Dodd said “we did take some into custody” but no charges have yet been filed as in­ter­views were still on­go­ing as of press time.

As they did on the pre­vi­ous night, Polk County po­lice officers stayed with the dogs found Tuesday un­til res­cue or­ga­ni­za­tions could be brought in to find them shel­ter space, since the Polk County An­i­mal Con­trol fa­cil­ity can’t take them all at one time.

Some 39 of the 70 dogs have been taken in by a num­ber of res­cue groups af­ter their dis­cov­ery on the ba­sis of a tip on Monday, ac­cord­ing to Dodd. His hopes were that res­cue groups would be able to take in all the dogs be­fore the end of the day as of his last up­date. Po­lice stayed with the dogs un­til they could be taken in, and by late Tuesday af­ter­noon all of the dogs found Monday had at least tem­po­rary homes un­til adop­tion ef­forts can be un­der­taken. Dodd said he was still work­ing on a full list of agen­cies that had thus far pro­vided help in plac­ing the dogs.

The same plan is be­ing worked out for the dogs found at Puck­ett Road, with the hopes that ad­di­tional res­cue groups will be found to find homes for the dogs, mainly pit­bull-based or bull­dog-based breeds.

It brings the to­tal to 105 dogs found in two days, and came with one ar­rest on Monday of Deve­cio Ra- nard Row- land, 32, of a Jones Ave nue ad­dress in Rock­mart. He was of­fi­cially charged later in the day with 70 counts of mis­de­meanor cru­elty to an­i­mals.

He re­mained in jail to­day with­out bond, wait­ing for a Su­pe­rior Court hear­ing on the mat­ter.

Dis­trict At­tor­ney Jack Brown­ing said he would be op­pos­ing any bond in the case, cit­ing a pre­vi­ous charge against Row­land in the case. He added his of­fice has already been in­volved in the case as well.

“On this case, our of­fice

This is one of 35 more dogs found by Polk County po­lice on Tuesday fol­low­ing the execution of a search war­rant.

was con­tacted by Polk County Po­lice Depart­ment to come to the crime scene as the in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan, to pro­vide pros­e­cu­tion as­sis­tance and sup­port to law en­force­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tors to en­sure that, this time, jus­tice is done for th­ese poor de­fense­less dogs and the case against Mr. Row­land a solid one,” Brown­ing said.

Row­land was pre­vi­ously charged with pos­ses­sion of mar­i­juana and a con­trolled sub­stance, dog fight­ing and cru­elty to an­i­mals in a 2010 case that was set to go to trial af­ter oth­ers had plead guilty to charges they faced in re­la­tion with it.

In 2010 po­lice raided the Cash­town Road ad­dress. It was a re­sult of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion prompted by a tip in Fe­bru­ary to an At­lanta pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tion firm, Norred and As­so­ciates, who brought their ev­i­dence at the time to the Polk County Po­lice Depart­ment.

Brown­ing said the pre­vi­ous case against Row­land was set to make it to court in 2012 af­ter he took of­fice, but when a key wit­ness in the case died they lost much of the ev­i­dence they planned to present at trial via tes­ti­mony.

Con­trib­uted by Polk PD

Af­ter ex­e­cut­ing a search war­rant Tuesday, Polk County po­lice found 35 more dogs at a Puck­ett Road ad­dress.

Con­trib­uted by Polk PD Chief Kenny Dodd

Deve­cio Ra­nard Row­land

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