Three arrested after breeder abandons sick, dead dogs inside van, house during eviction

Written by: E. George

Published March 7, 2023 @ 9:40 PM ET

Warning: The following report describes violence against animals that may be offensive to some readers.

Monroe County (February 18, 2023) – Witnesses called the authorities when they saw a multitude of sick, emaciated dogs abandoned at a Smith Road residence with no food or water. Upon arrival, neighbors told the Monroe County Sheriff’s officers that Nicole Charon Woodard, who had recently gotten evicted, ran a canine breeding and grooming business next door.

They explained that they had seen her and her mother check in on the dogs approximately three weeks ago but had not seen anyone there in the past two weeks. Concerned about the dogs’ welfare, they added that more dogs could be found inside the house, barn, and school bus.

The officer observed a plethora of severely emaciated dogs on the property. He saw a brown Doberman Pinscher with its ribs outlined by its tight, thin skin and a lethargic black Doberman Pinscher chained to a large plastic container with no food or water nearby. He found two more Dobermans chained to similar containers near the front of the house.

He noted two golden brown bullmastiffs tied to a tree by a bus and a deceased black Doberman under another tree. When he knocked on the front door of the home, he heard several dogs barking and whining inside, but no one answered.

After notifying animal control, he spotted a white Dodge Ram 1500 ProMaster van with a temporary Georgia tag parked on the side of the house. He whistled and immediately heard scratching and barking inside the van, but unsure of how many there were, he decided to wait until animal control arrived to open the door.

He noticed a red barn-style kennel at the rear of the home, and as he approached, a brown Doberman emerged, appearing slightly healthier than the others. Mildly aggressive at first, the dog calmed down and allowed him to continue his search.

Inside the kennel house, he saw one black Doberman and two white dogs in wire kennels with little or no room to move around. The two white dogs had pus seeping from the corners of their eyes and long, shaggy fur matted with feces.

When animal control arrived, they opened the van doors, and two gray Dobermans exited. They immediately ran to a nearby aquarium and drank water for an extended period of time.

The officers entered the house’s unlocked front door and described the scene as “horrific.” The pungent odor of feces, urine, and death felt thick in the air.

They found a wide range of dog breeds in pens, small kennels, and roaming loose. All appeared emaciated and in poor health, and some were deceased. There were several recently-born puppies and one lethargic white shaggy dog with shallow breathing and pus-filled eyes.

The floor consisted of a thick layer of urine and feces, and they saw no ventilation or electricity in the house. They photographed the crime scene, and animal control inventoried and removed the dogs.

On February 22, Woodard, Lisa Joy Stanzek, and Tony Barlow Adside were charged with animal cruelty and aggravated cruelty to animals. This case is currently pending.

Officer’s Narrative:
[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 Saturday, February 18, 2023 at approximately 1510 hours, I, Deputy Jason O’Steen responded to [2300 BLOCK] Smith Road in reference to an animal complaint. I arrived and made contact with [WITNESS #1] and [WITNESS #2]. I also observed a brown in color Doberman Pinscher on the property and noticed it was severly emaciated with it’s rib bones outlined by tight, thin skin. The dog appeared to have not eaten in several days.

[WITNESS #2] began telling me that the dog belonged to their neighbor (Nicole Woodard) who ran a canine breeding and grooming business out of the house next door to the right ([2300 BLOCK] Smith Rd). Mrs. [WITNESS #2] and her husband [WITNESS #1] both stated that they knew Woodard was possibly under eviction and had started seeing her less frequently over the past few weeks then not at all. Mr. [WITNESS #1] said that Woodard’s mother had stopped by to check on the dogs a couple of times over the last 3 or 4 weeks but that they had not seen anyone one the property for the past 2 weeks. Mr. and Mrs. [WITNESS #2] told me that they knew there to be several dogs on the property to include several in the house, barn and school bus and were concerned for the safety of the dogs as they had seen others that were emaciated on the property.

There was no fence or barrier between property lines of [2300 BLOCK] and [2300 BLOCK] so I crossed over to see if I could make contact with a possible owner of the dog. As I rounded the left side of the home into the front yard I observed a black in color Doberman Pinscher fixed by a chain to a large plastic container. The dog had no food or water supply and was severly emaciated as was the other. The dog was also lethargic, having no energy to do anything more than look up at me. From there I saw 2 other Doberman’s fixed by chaines to similar containers to the right side of the front of the home; both severly emaciated.

There was a golden/brown colored Bullmastiff tied to a tree by a school bus and another golden colored Bullmastiff tied off by chain directly to the right side of the home, both severly emaciated. Laying under a tree near the right side of the home was a black in color Doberman that was severly emaciated and deceased. I knocked on the door and immediately was greeted by the sound of several dogs barking and whining but the door went unanswered by any person. At that time I notified dispatch to send animal control and notified Sgt. Sherrell of the situation. Sgt. Sherrell requested the on-call investigator.

I began walking the property to see if there were any other animals in need of help. To the right of the home there was a white in color Ram 1500 Promaster van bearing Georgia temporary tag display [REDACTED]. As I was walking behind it I whistled to see if I could get a response from any animals. Upon whistling, I immediately heard barking and scratching coming from inside the van. The van had no rear cargo windows for ventilation and I could not see inside the rear cargo area. Not knowing how many was inside, I decided to wait for animal control before opening the vehicle.

From there I went to the immediate rear of the home where I observed a red in color barn-style kennel house. When I approached it, a brown in color Doberman came out and was initially mildly aggressive. It appeared to be in better health than the others who were tied off to fixed points. The dog calmed down when I approached it in a friendly manner and allowed me to continue checking the property.

In the kennel house, there were 3 additional dogs in wire kennels with not much room to move about in. 2 of the dogs were white in color and appeared to be a type of Barbet or Spanish Water breed and the third was a black in color Doberman. The two white ones were shaggy hair breeds that require maintenance on their coats which were matted and covered in feces. Their fur was covering their eyes and pus was seeping out of the corner of their eyes. All three were severly emaciated. No other animals were observed outside the property at this time.

[REDACTED] from animal control arrived on scene. I gave a synopsis of what I had discovered then directed him to the van. Upon opening the back door, 2 gray in color Dobermans were found inside. Both severely emaciated with no food or water supply. They were able to push through and exit the vehicle and immediately went to a large fish aquarium near the front porch and started consuming water for an unusual amount of time. I then told [REDACTED] that I had not entered the house yet but we had the exigency to do so. The front door was found to be unlocked. On the other side of the door was horrific. We were immediately hit with pungent odor of feces, urine, and death.

There were numerous dogs of varius breeds inside, some loose, some in pens, and others in small kennels. There were several puppies, some of which were born recently. There were also deceased ones in the house. There was no ventilation nor power in the house and all the windows were closed. The floor was covered thick with feces and urine. All the dogs inside appeared to be in poor health and emaciated. A white shaggy haired dog similar to the two in the outside kennel was extremely lethargic, emaciated and was breathing shallow. It’s eyes were pus filled and covered in matted fur. It was overall unresponsive to our presence.

AC Officer Santillan called for assistance from animal control. Sgt. Sherrell arrived on scene along with Inv. Hawkins who took over the investigation and coordination efforts. Inv. Hawkins photographed and logged the crime scene. All efforts were made with animal control to inventory and remove the animals. No contact was made with any suspects as of this report.

[End of Narrative]