[Masthead] Mostly Cloudy ~ 80°F  
High: 76°F ~ Low: 55°F
Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Animal cruelty charges filed against couple

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

(Photo)
A large sore on the leg of a dog taken from the John and Sabrina Crowder home.
(Shelbyville Animal Control photo)
The Shelbyville couple who kept 33 animals inside their home -- and 16 outdoors -- has been charged with animal cruelty, officials say.

John and Sabrina Crowder will appear in Shelbyville city court Aug. 13, animal control officer Randy McCullough said Monday.

Sabrina Crowder was being paid by the Shelbyville-Bedford County Humane Association to take care of its facilities, animal control employee Rusty Sartain quoted her as saying.

Health issues

"None of the animals are in good shape," McCullough said. "Some have no hair, many have open sores."

A SBCHA representative told the T-G on Friday the dogs were in good health.

The city made arrangements with a veterinarian Monday to have the dogs checked, McCullough said.

"Many of the inside dogs don't get along with each other, I don't know how they kept them in the same house," the officer said. "They're in separate pens and still trying to get at each other."

(Photo)
A skin rash on a dog taken from the Crowder home.
(Shelbyville Animal Control photo)
Amended number

Officials said Friday 48 dogs and a cat were inside the home, but amended that number Monday to 43 dogs and six cats.

"We were still bringing them in Friday and have since gotten an accurate count," McCullough said.

Ten of the dogs -- nine outside and one inside -- were being kept temporarily for the SBCHA, McCullough said. Those dogs will be returned to the organization for release to the national Rescue Waggin group.

The Crowders owned the remainder of the dogs, along with the cats.

Animals found

The animals were discovered Thursday afternoon when Rutherford County deputies, accompanied by Shelbyville police, were searching for an individual thought to possibly be at the home.

Officers said they left the home within moments without finding the suspect due to conditions inside the home, including the smell and animal feces on the floor.

"William T. Ashford is charged with violation of probation (two counts) and failure to appear," said Lisa Marchesoni, public information officer for the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department. "He is currently in our jail. We went to the house in Shelbyville to look for him."

"When another county is looking for somebody we just accompany them as a courtesy," Shelbyville police officer Mitchell Warren, who filed the initial report, said. "The other agency actually makes the arrest."

Home 'unfit'

Adult Protective Services was called by police due to conditions inside the home, which has been declared by the city codes department unfit for human occpancy until cleaned, but did not take action.

John Crowder has been termed "100 percent disabled" by several involved in the case and a woman who is several months pregnant also lived in the home, Warren's report said.