Butler Co. Officials: 'Worst Case of Animal Cruelty in County Ever'


By Catalina Trivino





An Alabama News Network Exclusive on what's being called the worst case of animal cruelty ever uncovered in Butler County. A man is under arrest accused of leaving a dog starving and dehydrated in his back yard.


A pitbull, who was about half his normal weight, was here at the Butler County Animal Shelter, just hours ago fighting for his life. Veterinarians say he was completely emaciated, so unhealthy he had to be put down less than an hour after he was seen. 

Butler County deputies say he's a pitbull without a name and found in a pen... possibly going without water or food for weeks, even months. At the time, he was still alive.

"The canine was in the pen there and the dog stood up and took a couple of steps and just fell over. He got closer to the pen and saw the condition of the dog," Said Butler County Sheriff, Kenny Harden.

Deputies then brought the dog to Doctor Tina Hayes, a veterinarian with Clay Hill Animal Clinic. We asked Hayes if this was one of the worst cases she's ever seen.

"It is the worst," Said Hayes. She says the Pitbull should've weighed about 40 lbs. She speculates it weighed about 20 lbs. She says the dog was so weak, she examined it on the animal control truck.

"His nails were overgrown. That gives you an idea that there hasn't been a lot of walking around in pretty poor conditions," Said Hayes.


They're conditions Harden says were found at Michael Bell's home. Now, he's been charged with cruelty to animals.

Dr. Hayes says she scales animals' health between a one and a ten -- ten being severely obese...

"[And] one being very emaciated and thin and no muscle mass -- and this dog was a one," Said Hayes.

He was so unhealthy, she says he had no hope for survival, which meant he had to be put down.

"Skin wrapped on top bone because all of the muscle mass is gone. When there is not appropitate nutrition, the body starts breaking down fat first and then start breaking down muscle after that," Said Hayes.

Hayes, Butler County deputies and animal control officers say this was the worst case of animal cruelty they've ever seen.

Veterinarians say he was a puppy between six months and a year old.

If you know of animal cruelty, you're asked to call your local law enforcement agency.

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Netanya Nathan said on Saturday, Oct 12 at 11:37 AM

I hope to g. that the vet, or SOMEONE showed this dog kindness and love before they decided to kill him. Why couldn't you let him have a few days, knowing someone cared about him??? Will be following this tragic case. This dog was failed by all human beings in this county and state.

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Cindy said on Saturday, Oct 12 at 12:02 PM

Apparently, that vet had never heard of Patrick. With time and care, that dog might have been saved.

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KIm said on Sunday, Oct 13 at 7:44 AM

He could have been fed small amounts of food and have been given at least a chance. If he died/then at least he died with a full stomach. I don't believe he had to be put down just because he wasn't "Normal" This story saddens me, not only because of the abuse, but also the humanity in man to give it a chance at life.

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