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Fayetteville Couple Arrested On Animal Cruelty Charges

Last updated on Tuesday, July 30, 2013

(FAYETTEVILLE) - A Fayetteville couple turned themselves in at the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department Monday morning when they learned warrants had been issued for their arrests.

According to Chief Deputy Mike Branham both 31-year-old Matthew and 29-year-old Kortni were wanted on warrants for animal cruelty.

According to Branham, the county's Animal Control officer Tyler Earl was called to The Sowders' home in the 4800 block of State Road 158 on July 1 because the couple had left their dog ties up behind their home.

When Earl arrived he found that no one was living at the home and that the area was unkempt. He found the dog behind the house tied up with a leash.

The dog was malnourished and did not have food and only had access to rain water. Earl left a note on the couples' door for them to contact him.

When Earl did not hear from the Sowders he returned on July 3rd and found the dog still tied in the back yard with no food or water.

Earl had to tranquilize the dog and he then took it to the White River Humane Society.

The Sowders told Earl that they had planned to take the dog with them when they moved, but just had not done it yet.

Officer Earl sent the information about the dog's condition to the Prosecutor's office for review and the warrants were issued for the couple's arrest.

The dog, a rotti-mix, was returned to the Sowders on July 9th.

Manager Summer Gillespie says the dog had put on a few pounds and the owners were told the dog could only be released to them if they were taking to their place of residence.

The couple has since bonded out of jail.

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