PELL CITY, Ala. (WIAT) – Last month, 52 dogs were rescued from a home in Pell City, leading to a 73-year-old man being charged with dozens of counts of animal cruelty, law enforcement confirms. court order and documents.
Jerry Goodwin of Pell City was formally charged on Thursday with 49 counts of animal cruelty and two counts of aggravated animal cruelty. Juana Corbin, public information officer with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office, said Goodwin turned himself in to police on Thursday and has since been released.
According to court documents, St. Clair County deputies were called to a home on Cook Springs Road in Pell City on July 2 regarding a neighbor’s report of dozens of abused dogs nearby. The neighbor claimed that Goodwin intentionally withheld food and water from the dogs and that the water in her house had been turned off, preventing her from watering the dogs herself.
Arriving at the property, deputies found most of the dogs were kept in small enclosures or chained up outside in the 91-degree heat. Two dogs were found dead on the property and are believed to have died of neglect. Deputies did not find Goodwin at home.
Due to the number of animals to deal with, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office recruited Pell City Animal Control, Lincoln Animal Control and Moody Animal Control to help.
Stephanie Salvago, public relations director for the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, said she took in the dogs, most of which were small breeds, such as Chihuahuas. Of those, 16 were sent to the Humane Society of Tampa for adoption, the group confirmed. HST said it received some of the dogs from a “hoarding situation” in Alabama, though police did not name it as such.
Law enforcement did not say Goodwin’s whereabouts when the dogs were rescued. Corbin said that in the weeks leading up to his arrest, Goodwin was in hospital due to a “long illness”.
Goodwin has a court date scheduled for August 18.
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