[UPDATE] Tallahassee Man Arrested for Animal Cruelty

By: WCTV Staff, Julie Montanaro Email
By: WCTV Staff, Julie Montanaro Email

UPDATED 10.5.2010 6:35pm by Julie Montanaro

A man accused of neglecting four pitbulls, one of which died, is now in deeper trouble.

36 year old Jimmy Williams initially faced four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, but Tuesday, prosecutors upgraded one of the charges to a felony instead.

Williams is accused of chaining four pit bulls in his backyard with little or no access to food and water. One of the dogs was found dead in its dog house, another close to hanging itself with its chain looped on the fence.

This morning a judge set Williams' bond at $5000.

We should note that Williams no longer lives at the Pepper Drive home and the fraternity members who live there now say they have no association with Williams and do not want this to reflect badly on their organization.
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Updated at 12:27 PM 10/05/10

A dog is found dead at a Tallahassee man's home and now the man is behind bars for animal cruelty.

Some of the details in this story are graphic. Eyewitness News has the story.

36 year old Jimmy Williams is behind bars, charged with animal cruelty. Several months ago, animal control officers say they received an anonymous tip about a dog chained to a fence and was in danger of choking itself at 1633 Pepper Drive in Tallahassee.

"When officers responded they found 4 dogs. Three were living, one was deceased. The manner in which they were kept constituted violations of state statutes related to animal cruelty." Lieutenant Jeff Doyle with Tallahassee Animal Control said.

Neighbor Travis Close says he's not surprised that the arrest took place because he had his suspicions.

"I've been concerned just because I've heard the dogs." "I've seen the dogs in other house chained up obviously not being fed right."

Officers say all dogs where chained at various points around the backyard. This probable cause affidavit outlines how they found them. Dog 1 had access to food but no water. Dog 2 was found dead inside a dog house. Dogs 3 and 4 had little or no access to food or water.
Animal control investigators say responding to neglect calls has become all too common. They say in the past ten months 212 cases have been ruled as animal cruelty.

Williams is scheduled to appear before a judge Tuesday morning (Oct. 5)

Officials say they have no reason to believe the suspect is involved in dog fighting. Williams's four charges are all for animal cruelty. He had his first appearance in court this morning and bond was set at five thousand dollars.

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Updated by: La'Tasha Givens at 10:15 PM 10/04/10

Tallahassee resident 36 year old Jimmy Williams is behind bars charged with animal cruelty. Back in January, animal control officers say they received an anonymous tip about a dog chained to a fence and was in danger of chocking itself at 1633 Pepper Drive.

Lieutenant Jeff Doyle with Tallahassee Animal Control says, "When officers responded to the call, they found 4 dogs. Three were living, one was deceased. The manner in which they were kept constituted in violations of state statutes related to animal cruelty."

Neighbor Travis Close says he's not surprised the arrest took place because he had his suspicions. "I've been concerned because I've heard the dogs barking a lot. I've seen dogs all around the neighborhood chained up obviously not being fed properly."

Officers say all dogs where chained at various places around the backyard. The probable cause affidavit outlines how they found them. Dog 1 had access to food but no water. Dog 2 was found dead inside a dog house on the side of the family home. Dogs 3 and 4 had little or no access to food or water.

Animal control investigators say responding to neglect calls has become all too common. They say in the past ten months 212 cases have been ruled as animal cruelty.

"You have to meet the needs of your animals. The minimal standards of care includes parasite control, heart worm preventative and flee control," says, Doyle.

"If you can't devote enough attention to your pet then maybe you shouldn't have a pet or maybe you should give your pet to an animal shelter," says, Close.

Williams is scheduled to appear before a judge Tuesday morning. Officials say they have no reason to believe the suspect is involved in dog fighting. Williams's four charges are all for animal cruelty.

When asked why it took so long to arrest Williams, animal control officials say they responded to the call but it later became a criminal investigation and the Tallahassee Police Department began working on the case.
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UPDATED 10.4.2010 3:50pm by Julie Montanaro

Arrest papers for Jimmy L. Williams say a Tallahassee Police Officer and a Tallahassee-Leon Animal Service Center Officer met at a home at 1633 Pepper Drive back on January 13, 2010 to investigate a report of animal abuse.

Arrest papers say an anonymous caller said a dog was caught on a fence and hanging. According to arrest papers, the officers say the dog had walked through a hole in a wooden fence and then jumped over the fence, creating a loop with its chain. The service center officer said if the dog had jumped the fence one more time, it would have hung itself. Arrest papers say the blue brindle pit bull had a crate and access to food, but no water.

Three other dogs were found on the properly too, according to arrest papers.

A female pit bull was found dead inside a dog house. It had no food and a nearby water bowl was frozen solid, arrest paper say. According to arrest papers, a necropsy later revealed the dog was 14 pounds underweight, had no food or fluid in its stomach and had both heartworms and internal parasites.

Arrest papers say another female pit bull was chained in the backyard. She had access to a doghouse but had no access to food or water. The animal service center officer says the dog appeared thin, but in good condition.

A male pitbull was chained in the yard too. He had access to a doghouse, but no access to food and could not reach a nearby bowl of water, arrest papers say.

Arrest papers say Jimmy Williams admitted to owning all four dogs and said they had not seen a vet in two years. He signed the dogs over to the animal shelter, arrest papers say.

The arrest affidavit was signed on September 23rd.
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Court records show 36 year old Jimmy L. Williams is in the Leon County Jail accused of four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

Williams is set for his first appearance tomorrow.

WCTV will have more information later on.


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