NEW THIS MORNING
From the department’s Facebook page: “Polk County PD serves another search warrant at 650 Pucket Road in Cedartown. 35 more dogs were located at this address belonging to the suspect Devecio Rowland. These dogs are also in bad condition and being abused.”
Numerous Facebook Live videos are being posted by the police department this afternoon in hopes of people recognizing lost, missing or stolen dogs. Our advice is to start with the feed below and work through the postings. The original post featuring the police chief has been viewed almost 2.5 million times. See latest video here.
From WGAA 1340 AM: Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd says Devecio Ranard Rowland, 32, a former resident at the 569 Cashtown Road address where the dogs were found, has been charged with 70 felony counts of animal cruelty. “It’s the worst case of animal cruelty we’ve ever seen,” Dodd said. Rowland previously was arrested in 2010 on similar charges, along with three other individuals in an alleged dog fighting ring. At that time, 33 dogs were found on the property. District Attorney Jack Browning told WGAA Radio that his office dismissed the 2010 cruelty case because the “necessary and material witness who brought forth the evidence had died.” This morning, Rowland remains in the Polk County Jail.
WGAA also reports that the community has stepped up to care for the dogs. Residents have brought dog food to the Cashtown Road location as well as to the police department and animal control. The Polk County Fire Department has been using its brush trucks to bring water to the dogs, since water had been disconnected from the abandoned home nearby. Rowland’s former residence and surrounding property had fallen into foreclosure, and it appears the animals had been left there.
How to help the dogs from the police department: “If you would like to donate food for the dogs, please contact Polk County Animal Control at 770-749-8908. ”
Also: Chief Dodd’s Facebook Live post of him walking dog to dog on the property has been viewed more than 800,000 times and shared almost 19,000 times. For more
The Polk County Police Department, at this hour, has officers “on scene of one of the worst cruelty to animal cases we have ever seen. Somewhere around 60 to 70 dogs.” The agency has posted additional pictures and a video on its Facebook page. We will have updates as they become available. Please note: The dogs are in rough shape. And the Facebook comments aren’t much better.
Below is the narrative from a video posted by the police department as Chief Kenny Dodd walks the property in Aragaon. You’ll find the Facebook Live video on the department’s page:
We put the water in there; there wasn’t any food, either.
Approximately 60 to 70 dogs here… hard to count, there’s so many of them.
You can see these dogs aren’t vicious; they just want to be loved.
Most of these dogs appear to be some type of bulldog or mixed breed.
The chain (holding each dog) is around six feet long… tied to a tree.
Look around the wood area; these dogs are everywhere.
Some have barrels… at least have shelter.
As you walk down the hill, more dogs are tied to the trees.
This is one of them that is extremely malnourished.
You’ve noticed none of these dogs have tried to bite me yet.
There’s been more dogs than this here.
Also, here’s an update from WGAA 1350 AM in Cedartown:
Police Chief Kenny Dodd said officers were on the scene at 569 Cashtown Road near Aragon… Police have a person of interest in custody at this time and currently are charging him with numerous counts of animal cruelty and are in the process of executing a search warrant. This isn’t the first time this location has been subject to allegations of animal cruelty. Dodd said that police were at the same property in 2010, where they arrested Devecio Ranard Rowland of the same Cashtown Road address and another individual on 33 counts of animal cruelty and dog fighting. At that time, the dogs were reported to be in good condition. The charges were later dismissed by the District Attorney’s office, according to Dodd. He also said the property, including a now vacant house, is currently under foreclosure. Click for the expanded story.