Animal cruelty charges filed

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 28, 2007

GATESVILLE – It wasn’t a pretty sight.

On Thursday of last week, Gates County Sheriff’s officials and animal control officers investigated a report of cruelty to animals at a location on Hudgins Road near Gatesville. Upon their arrival, the officers discovered those reports were true.

Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb reported the arrest of 18-year-old Joe Outland of 19 Hudgins Lane. Initially, Outland was charged with 10 misdemeanors, two counts each of restraining a dog in an inhumane manner and failing to dispose of a domesticated animal’s dead carcass as well as six counts of cruelty to animals.

Outland was placed under a $10,000 bond which was posted the next day.

In the meantime, a new warrant has been issued for Outland’s arrest, according to Sheriff Webb. The latest charge is a felony n dog fighting. Webb said that charge stems from the equipment, medication and syringes/needles found at the scene, items consistent with dog fighting.

“At the scene we discovered several malnutritioned dogs,” Webb said. “We found no food or water at the area in which the dogs were kept. Additionally, we discovered two deceased dogs, including one that was kept on a heavy metal chain. It wasn’t very pretty to look at.”

Webb said medications, including doses of B-12, a treadmill and heavy springs, used for the dogs to pull against in an effort to make them stronger, were among the items found. Also discovered were items to stitch-up wounds. Webb said all the dogs had cuts and scratches.

“These dogs and the paraphernalia discovered on the property were part of what we believe is a dog fighting operation,” Webb said. “We will continue to investigate this case and any other cases of this nature.”