In the community of Vincent, Ohio, the owner of a severely emaciated dog that had been left chained to a tree, received a two-week jail sentence on Thursday as he stood in front of Judge Mark Kerenyi at the Washington County Common Pleas Court. John Clark Nelson III, 43, pleaded guilty to companion animal cruelty, a fifth-degree felony on April 14.
According to the Marietta Times, the starving dog had chewed his chain trying to get free, and while struggling had cracked his molars causing painful open nerves along the animal’s gum line. When discovered in December 2016, the dog had no food or water. When examined by a veterinarian, the black Labrador retriever and pit bull mix was also found to be severely dehydrated, 15-pounds underweight and infected with worms, fleas and skin infections.
Nelson surrendered the dog who has since been adopted. Nelson could have received a six-month sentence in the county jail, however according to Washington County Prosecutor Kevin Rings, the dog has since been adopted and didn’t suffer any permanent harm. In addition, Nelson had no prior criminal record.
“That’s disgusting, it’s absolutely disgusting,” stated Washington County Dog Warden Kelly McGilton, after Nelson’s sentencing. “This is where we fail as a society. There need to be laws prohibiting those who commit animal cruelty from ever owning any more animals, and I hate that he only got two weeks in jail; that’s not enough. Send a message to these people that we’re not messing around.”
In addition to the 15 days in the Washington County Jail, he will receive one day’s credit for time served. Nelson will also be on probation for two years and has been ordered to pay approximately $500 in restitution for the dog’s veterinarian bills and care.
According to McGilton, the dog will still need additional dental surgery. On the brighter side, he is described as “happy and healthy” now.
(Photos of chained dog via the Washington County Dog Warden)
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