Man charged in animal cruelty case - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Man charged in animal cruelty case

By Kevin Wheeler - bio | email | Twitter

COVINGTON COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Covington County Sheriff's Department has charged Robert James Smith, 37, with 12 counts of animal cruelty.

Sheriff Ben Ford said Smith turned himself in to the department Wednesday evening.

Ford said his department has not seen an animal cruelty case like this. At least a dozen animals were abandoned and left to die on property off of Butler's Sub Drive.

"It's horrific," said Sheriff Ford. Somebody mistreated the animals and you know we're put on this earth to be caretakers of God's creatures and it's just and they just left them here to die and abandoned them here."

Sheriff Ford believes the remains are of cats and dogs, but he is not sure how long the animals have been dead. The land off was being rented by Smith.

Verna Dusek, who lives on the same road, said she did not know much about Smith. She did know enough to say this:

"They are trash, they look dirty and nasty, and I have only seen them twice," said Dusek.

Mildred Butler, who also lives on Butler's Sub Drive, said she never saw or heard any animals.

"I pass by going to town everyday or wherever I go and I have never seen anyone there at the little trailer, so I didn't know there were any dogs or anything even associated with it," said Butler.

Both Dusek and Butler have dogs of their own. They said they were shocked to hear about the animals.

"It hurts me, it really does," said Dusek. "It brings tears to my eyes that someone would do that to animals."

 Butler Agreed. "There is no call for anybody to treat a poor animal like that."

Sheriff Ford said Smith will have his initial court appearance Thursday.

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