Charges pending in animal cruelty case

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By Josh Shepherd, News writer

A person who abandoned their pet dog at a Pearl Street residence may be facing animal cruelty charges after the dog was examined by veterinarians on Monday afternoon.

Harrison County Animal Control Officer Allen Fryman, accompanied by his assistant, Erin Gaunce, responded to an animal removal call at 306 W. Pearl St. on Monday morning.

According to Fryman, the removal request had arisen from a domestic dispute at the residence. As a precaution, animal control contacted the Cynthiana Police Department to request an officer meet them in case there were complications between the home owner and the owner of the dog, Fryman said. 

Marcus Gross, the dog’s owner, was reported by his former girlfriend to have left the residence permanently the previous day and, in the process, had abandoned the dog.

The dog, according to officers, belonged exclusively to Gross. He was the only person who provided care and feeding to the Pit Bull Terrier. When he left, his girlfriend, who owns the house, said that she did not want to take over ownership of the dog.

When control officers arrived at the residence accompanied by Det. Allen Judy, they found the dog, a black and white Pit Bull mix, tightly tied to a fence in the backyard with nylon blue baler twine being used as a leash.

The baler twine was wound so tightly around the dog’s neck, Fryman said, that it had created a serious abrasion beneath the animal’s fur.

“There were places where I had to cut the twine away from the skin to get it off,” Fryman said.

Officers released the dog from its leash and transported it to Harrison County Veterinary Clinic where Dr. Christina Wells treated its injuries.

Judging from the injury around the dog’s neck, Wells said that the twine would have had to be digging into the dog’s neck for months. She noted places where the dog’s skin had tried to grow over the twine.

The dog, whom officers and vet personnel began calling “Cutie,” also showed signs of severe hunger and malnourishment. 

Under the circumstances, Fryman said it was surprising that the dog  offered no resistance to any of its handlers. The dog remained docile, even friendly, with everyone involved in its care.

 Judy filed a complaint with the Harrison County attorney’s office requesting animal cruelty charges be levied against Gross pursuant to his alleged mistreatment of the dog.