A man and woman are facing animal cruelty charges following the discovery of parasite-infested and deceased dogs in a home on Dudley Street in Texarkana, Ark., last month.
Magan Terry, 29, and Brandon Woody, 38, are accused of leaving dogs locked up in a home in the 2400 block of Dudley for days at a time, according to a search warrant affidavit.
The house became the focus of an investigation by Texarkana Animal Control officers after staff at the Arkansas City Maintenance Shed, located in the 2600 block of Dudley, reported a dog on the city property which was covered in fleas. When Animal Control officers went to the city property, they found a male white pit bull with black spots which was severely infested.
“The dog appeared to have a body condition score of 2 on a 1 to 9 Purina body condition scale with a 9 being obese,” the affidavit states. “The dog appeared to be completely covered with fleas to the point that its back appeared to be black and the fleas appeared to move in waves across its body.”
Officers went down the street in an attempt to find the dog’s owner. When they reached Terry’s home, they were struck by the odor of decomposition and noticed the front door of the home was standing open. A rotting raccoon carcass was discovered in the home’s driveway.
When officers stepped on the porch, they were immediately covered in fleas. Concern that an animal or person could be inside the home and in need of help led the officers to step inside.
“I observed an unopened bag of dog food on theleft side of the porch and could see what appeared to be dog feces approximately three to four inches deep covering the floor on the inside of the residence. The smell of ammonia was very prominent and irritated my eyes causing a burning sensation,” the affidavit states. “I was familiar with this residence as I have receievd a large amount of calls for service to remove dead animals from nearby the residence as well as issues of animal neglect against the residents.”
As officers walked, they were unable to take a step without stepping on feces and urine spots covered several areas of the floor. In one bedroom, officers noted suspected drug paraphernalia. In a second bedroom, officers found what appeared to be a child’s living space with stuffed animals neatly arranged on shelving that encircled the room.
While they were unable to find additional carcasses, the smell of decomposition led officers to believe there were more dead animals in the area than just the racoon.
After returning to the Animal Care and Adoption Center, officers were approached by Terry and Woody, who were asking about the flea-covered pit bull. The couple at first claimed they had left the dog in the house for four days and that someone must have broken into the house because the dog was out.
“She also said that she had entered her home about seven days prior and found her dog deceased in the floor with an electric cord in his mouth,” the affidavit states.
“She stated that she felt she could not bury the dog on her property because of rocks being about two inches deep in all of the dirt surrounding her home,” the affidavit states. “She then stated she was going to wait until the dog decomposed and get it out and bury it then.”
Terry and Woody allegedly claimed that dog was their favorite because they had owned it the longest. Terry and Woody allegedly gave explanations for the animal neglect which led officers to believe they were being untruthful. The couple allegedly admitted there were other dogs in the house and the favorite dog’s carcass was outside and gave animal control staff permission to dispose of the dead animals.
When officers went to remove the carcasses from the house they had to leave and acquire personal protection equipment because of the stench, the affidavit states. The favorite dog was found outside wrapped in a tarp and placed in a “Rubbermaid-like” tub sealed with black electrical tape.
“Ms. Terry was issued a citation for ordinance violation of offensive odors and both subjects were advised that cruelty to animal charges would be pursued for the neglect and unwholesome conditions.”
Terry and Woody have been charged with two counts each of aggravated cruelty to animals. Woody was given a citation and released because of a medical condition. Terry is currently free on a $25,000 bond.