Canine switcheroo lands man in jail on animal cruelty, theft charges

Canine switcheroo lands man in jail on animal cruelty, theft charges
Theft by receiving, cruelty to animals-felony (10/10) (Source: Greene Co. Sheriff's Office)

GREENE COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - A man faces an animal cruelty charge after Greene County sheriff’s deputies say he chained a dog to a tree.

On Thursday, Oct. 10, Lt. Scott Pillow and another deputy went to 43-year-old Michael P. West’s home on Greene County Road 338 to seize a dog that had bitten a child three days earlier.

When they arrived, they found a dog chained to a tree with no food or water.

Pillow stated in a probable cause affidavit that the animal had wrapped itself around the tree several times, leaving very little space between it and the tree.

While investigating, the deputies realized the dog was not the animal the sheriff’s office had been directed to seize.

Instead, Pillow said West was trying to “elude the seizure of his canine” despite agreeing to a court order relinquishing ownership.

“Had West succeeded in his attempted ruse, the canine tied to the tree would have been euthanized,” Pillow stated.

The head would have been removed by a veterinarian and submitted for rabies testing.

The detective added that the child who had been bitten would have been at risk of contracting rabies and doctors would have been given false information about the dog’s actual condition.

While at the scene, Pillow stated they located a stolen 2008 U-Haul car-hauling trailer parked behind the residence.

When West drove up, Pillow stated he was driving a stolen Ford F-250 pickup truck.

After reviewing the affidavit, Greene County District Judge Dan Stidham found probable cause to charge West with cruelty to animals and two counts of theft by receiving. He set West’s bond at $10,000 cash-only.

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