Written by: E. George
Published September 8, 2023 @ 9:20 AM ET
GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – A 35-year-old homeless woman from Blue Ridge was arrested on August 2, 2023, for animal abuse after authorities discovered a plethora of neglected, malnourished, and deceased pets at a Stover Creek Cove residence in Ellijay on June 2, 2023. A witness had reported to the Gilmer County Animal Control an abandoned crate of puppies on the home’s front lawn.
An animal control officer responded to the location and found a myriad of suffering animals. As he approached, he saw several deceased kittens inside and outside a crate that contained no food or water.
He “found numerous other animals in unsanitary living conditions as well as others being malnourished.” He located the crate detailed in the complaint and saw that it had been relocated from the front yard to the back.
A deputy from the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office met with the animal control officer at the property to investigate. The deputy immediately noticed that “the area around the outside of the residence had an overwhelming smell of decay.”
They knocked on the front door, but no one answered. On the front porch, they saw a crate “with a guinea pig inside in the process of dying.”
There was another crate “which had kittens inside that were still living, however standing on top of two or three others that were deceased.” They heard barking and sounds of other animals inside the building.
In the backyard, they saw “a large crate housing approximately five to six dogs and a couple of cats” and a smaller crate with four to five dogs inside. The side of the residence contained a fenced-in area with “seven to eight dogs running free, which appeared to be in various states of malnourishment. Both crates and the fenced-in area did not have any food or fresh water.”
They knocked on the back door, but again, no one answered. The deputy looked through a window and “saw dogs and cats inside of the residence along with garbage and feces covering the entire floor to the extent that the actual floor itself was not visible.”
After a deeper investigation was conducted, officers arrested Margaret Amanda Dean and charged her with two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and 13 counts of animal cruelty. This case is pending in court.
[Please note: The following is a direct transcription from the official initial incident report. The Georgia Gazette does not fix any spelling or grammatical errors that may exist. Any changes or redactions made by our staff are placed inside brackets. Some errors may exist. All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The topics discussed may be sensitive to some readers. Discretion is advised.]
On June 12, 2023, I, Deputy Weaver, was dispatched to place a call to the Gilmer County Animal Control Officer, Daniel Laukka, in reference to an animal cruelty case. I called and spoke to Laukka who stated that at the end of the day last Friday, June 2, 2023, the animal shelter had received a call, in reference to puppies being left in a crate in the front yard of [700 BLOCK] Stover Creek Cove.
Laukka stated that when he went to investigate the complaint this date, he at first did not see the crate, however as he approached the property noticed several dead kittens inside and outside of a crate that did not have food or fresh water. Laukka said that as he was walking around the property, he found numerous other animals in unsanitary living conditions as well as others being malnourished. He later found the crate that the initial complaint had been made about, in the back yard of the house to where it had been pulled from the front. I advised Laukka that I would meet him at the residence.
Upon my arrival I met with Laukka and approached the residence. As I approached the residence, I saw the kittens that Laukka had told me about and the area around the outside of the residence had an overwhelming smell of decay. I attempted to make contact with any occupants inside the house by knocking on the front door and when I did so I noticed that there was a crate on the front porch with a guinea pig inside in the process of dying. There was also a crate which had kittens inside that were still living however standing on top of two or three others that were deceased.
I then knocked on the door to see if there was anyone home, however no one came to the door. When I knocked on the door, I could hear barking and the sound of other animals inside the residence. When I went to the back of the house, I noticed a large crate housing approximately five to six dogs and a couple of cats. There was also a smaller crate with four to five dogs inside of it and on the side of the residence was a fenced in area which contained approximately seven to eight dogs running free which appeared to be in various states of malnourishment. Both crates and the fenced in area did not have any food or fresh water.
I then went to the back door and knocked on it with the same result of no one coming to the door but could hear animals inside. I looked through a window to see if I could see anyone inside of the residence and saw dogs and cats inside of the residence along with garbage and feces covering the entire floor to the extent that the actual floor itself was not visible. I then contacted the on-call Detective Dan Farnham and advised him of this incident.
[End of Narrative]