2017-11-09 / News

Couple charged with animal torture, killing

810-452-2645 * tterry@mihomepaper.com

Coco, who was one of three dogs living in a home in which they went for weeks without food or water, is gaining weight and at the Humane Society of Genesee County, in Burton. Coco, who was one of three dogs living in a home in which they went for weeks without food or water, is gaining weight and at the Humane Society of Genesee County, in Burton. BURTON — A Flint man and woman have recently been arraigned with involvement in a case of animal cruelty. Two of the animals being mistreated were taken to the Humane Society of Genesee County, in Burton.

“The charge is animal torture/killing,” and Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell.

“Both Jennifer Koos and Martell Dyke are in jail in lieu of a bond.” Pickell added. “The charge is a four-year maximum felony.”

Pickell said one dog in the suspects’ home died in the basement.

“The suspects left the dead body there so the other dogs could feed off it, so they didn’t have to feed them,” Pickell said.

Police found the dead dog’s callous in the basement, which Pickell said was nothing but bone.

Another dog had to be put euthanized because of multiple system failure, caused by the severe malnutrition. According to Ruth Cantor, the director of the Humane Society of Genesee County, who said they never want to euthanize a dog, this dog was suffering.

“The suspects didn’t deserve to have dogs,” Pickell said. “They didn’t give them any care. They couldn’t take care of themselves, no less a dog. All their money was going to feed a heroin habit.”

The dogs were being kept in a home on the 5000 block of Alpha Way. The basement of the home was covered in urine, feces and trash. The dogs would go for weeks without food or water.

Cantor said chances are, if the Humane Society had not gotten the third dog when they did, she wouldn’t have survived. That dog is expected to make it.

“Her name is Coco,” Cantor said. “We don’t know her age. We think she’s about a year or so. She looks like a pit mix. She was in very poor condition. But, we’ve had her about a week, and she’s gained weight.”

Coco is being fed small meals multiple times a day so she can regain her strength.

“You don’t want to offer free feeding while her system is adjusting,” Cantor said. “Giving her too much food all at once could be damaging to her health because her system isn’t used to the proper nutrition. We want to make sure she doesn’t get sick and that she gets all the nutrients from the food.”

Cantor said Coco is super-sweet.

“There couldn’t be a nicer dog,” she said. “That’s what you’ll see with a lot of these animals that have been abused or neglected. They rebound very quickly and are very forgiving. They don’t hold it against humans.”

Cantor said there have been several calls from individuals wanting to adopt Coco, although when she will be available for adoption is unknown.

“Not everyone who wants Coco will get her,” she said. “Only one person is going to get to adopt Coco. But, we have a lot of animals that need a good home. Every animal we have has been spayed or neutered, microchipped and get heartworm preventative.”

The Humane Society of Genesee County has a cruelty investigator who can investigate in cases in which a person feels an animal may be being neglected. Education is offered if the owner just doesn’t know better, and in more severe cases the Humane Society can get law enforcement involved. People can call the organization anonymously to prevent fear of repercussion.

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