Alexander City Man Allegedly Starves Seven Collies to Death, Flees State
It's one of the worst cases of animal cruelty Alexander Police officers can remember. At least seven show dog collies are dead, after police say the man who was supposed to be taking care of them starved them to death. Now he's on the run.
According to police, Nicholas Patterson moved to the area several months ago. He brought with him a U-Haul full of collies he had apparently bought out-of-state. Police say he admitted to leaving the collies in the truck for two weeks while he cleared out a place for them. Neighbors say they saw the dogs go up to two weeks with nothing but rice to eat.
In early June, police went to Patterson's home, where they seized ten dogs. They acted on the tip of the renter of the U-Haul, who told police the truck had been returned full of dog feces. When they arrived at the home, they found the bodies of six dead collies in the backyard.
Police took custody of the rest of the collies, but one died shortly after. Police say she was starved, plagued by internal parasites, and had a severe maggot infestation near her tail. Police say Patterson admitted to disposing the bodies of the six other collies in Clay County.
The collies are recuperating at Lake Martin Humane Society. Director Mia Chandler says they are slowly gaining weight, but it will be a long process to get them back to full health.
Alexander City Police say they are looking for Patterson, who they believe may have fled to Nebraska. He is charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty, including one felony.