27 dogs seized, man arrested
Timmy Jones, of 539 Jones Rd. in Brewton, plead guilty to three counts of felony dog fighting Friday. Cruelty investigator Renee Jones and Humane Officers Janet Beall, Melanie Jett, Jonie Kelley and Pam Sullivan, assisted by the Escambia County Sheriff's Department, the 21st Judicial Drug Task Force, the Alabama Department of Agriculture, and the Santa Rosa County (Fla.) Animal Services Unit seized 27 dogs that were owned by Jones and were being kept at his residence in deplorable conditions.
The 27 dogs, 26 of which were pit bulls, were tethered by stakes and logging chains with no shelter of any sort and were forced to lie in their own excrement mixed with mud and water. The dogs had numerous infected injuries and were being fed a mixture of sparse dog food with spoiled milk that had been stored outdoors in piles of containers until being fed to the dogs. None of the 27 animals had water that was potable. Most had none at all.
Five of the 27, one of which was a hound, were being kept in Jones' backyard. The hound was chained, but the other four pits were being kept in rabbit hutches. One of the dogs died within hours of the seizure.
Four dog bodies in various stages of decomposition were also found and seized. Those bodies, along with the one dog that had died, were taken to the state lab for necropsies. Lab results stated the bodies had "numerous puncture wounds consistent with bite marks, torn off ears and abscesses."
Following the impoundment by the HSEC, the dogs were kept in a secure location, receiving veterinarian care. Although the dogs showed no aggression to any humans handling them at any time, it was imperative that they not be available to physically reach each other, even through chain link kennel fencing. The pit bulls had to be kept with an empty kennel between them.
After a thorough examination and assessment, the Humane Society determined the dogs could not be rehabilitated and were a definite risk to public safety, and all of the pit bulls were euthanized.
Due to Jones' cooperation throughout the seizure and investigation, a plea agreement was met by the Escambia County district attorney and Jones' attorney. Jones pled guilty to 3 counts of Felony Dog Fighting, a Class C felony in which he received a 10-year sentence that was suspended. He will be placed on supervised probation for a period of five years.
He will have to pay $5,000 restitution to HSEC. As a condition to his probation, Jones is not to own or associate with anyone who has pit bulls.