HAYTI, MO (KFVS) - A Hayti man was found guilty of animal neglect and sentenced to 90 days in jail and fined $500 in Hayti Municipal Court Thursday, June 19 after being accused of starving an ill pit bull almost to death.
He was ordered to pay the $500 immediately and was given a suspended execution of sentence in front of Hayti Municipal Judge Calvin Ragland.
Brian Garner was charged with animal neglect after CHS-PAWS animal cruelty investigators responded to a complaint of starving dog on W. Lee in Hayti.
Karol Wilcox called Hayti Animal Control officers and responded to the complaint and found a male 2-year-old pit bull that weighed about 30 pounds and was covered in sores with a possible burned and injured leg.
“Hayti Police were called when Wilcox saw the dog’s condition and Hayti Officer Justin Cummings responded to the scene,” CHS-PAWS Manager Erma Page said. “They talked to the persons on the property who indicated the dog belonged to Garner.”
According to reports, the dog was chained in a back corner of the yard, not visible in a pile of weeds. The dog was covered in sores and had what appeared to be a burn injury to a swollen back leg.
“If an observant utility worker had not come forward, the dog would have died within a matter of days," Page said. "The owner of the property surrendered the animal to Hayti Animal Control, who in turn surrendered it to us.”
The pit bull, named Skeletor, and called “Skelly” by shelter workers was vetted. He weighed 30 pounds on May 2nd on intake and gained eight pounds in three days. He was taken to the veterinarian and it was determined that the puncture wounds were most likely caused by another dog and went untreated. Skelly was more than half of the weight that he should have been and dehydrated.
“We do not tolerate animal neglect in Hayti,” Hayti Chief of Police Paul Sheckell said. “Our officers do everything they can when they see a situation. We want to send a message that we will prosecute animal abuse when it is called to our attention.”
Today Skelly has more than doubled his weight and is still in the shelter. According to Page Skelly is improving every day and healing. “He had to have some pretty heavy antibiotics and care, but he is a totally different dog now,” she said, “He is two, but acts like a puppy because this is probably the real first care he has ever had.”
“We really want to thank the Hayti Animal Control officers, the Hayti Police Department, Officer Cummings, Chief Sheckell, City Prosecutor Lawrence Dorroh, and Judge Ragland,” Page said. “Skelly deserved some justice and now he has it. We certainly want to thank the gentleman who came in and told us about him. These people truly saved Skelly’s life.”
Skelly is looking for a rehab placement before moving into a more regular life. You can donate to Skelly’s care or the care of the other animals in the shelter by mailing a check to P.O. Box 525, Hayti, MO 63851 or through Paypal on the website at
The shelter is located at 204 S. 4th in Hayti.