Friday, July 20, 2012
An arrest has been made in connection with the recent dog killings that occurred in the International Paper Company canal on Brick Chimney Road.
The Sheriff’s Office announced today that 47-year-old Bobby Joe McConnell, of 1005 Pyatt Street, has been charged with the killing of two dogs and the attempted killing of another. He is officially charged with 3 counts of Ill Treatment of Animals.
His bond has been set at $15,000.
McConnell is accused of trying to kill a black lab by taping her mouth and legs and tossing her into the canal on July 2. Fortunately, people fishing in the canal heard her in the water and called for help.
The lab was rescued and is continuing to recover at the Saint Frances Animal Center where she has been named Dara.
On July 5, two other dogs were found dead in the canal. They had been taped in the same manner.
Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carrie Cuthbertson sand the investigation began immediately after Dara was found by following up on tips received from concerned citizens which lead to the interviews of several witnesses.
“Investigators began looking into McConnell for being responsible for the deaths and attempted death after witnesses told investigators he made statements to them about how he was going to dispose of the dogs,” Cuthbertson said.
As the investigation continued, investigators interviewed witnesses who provided substantial information of McConnell making statements that he took the dogs off. In addition, investigators learned Dara belonged to his daughter, one of the deceased dogs belonged to his mother-in-law and it is unknown at this time who owned the third deceased dog.
“Not only did witnesses provide information about statements made by McConnell, some also provided information which allowed investigators to establish a time line of McConnell’s whereabouts and actions just prior to the July 2nd discovery of Dara and after the discovery of the two deceased dogs,” said Cuthbertson. “All of this information combined with additional evidence compiled by investigators led to the arrest of McConnell.”
Sheriff Lane Cribb said he feels the immediate release of information through the media helped lead to the arrest.
“I would like to thank everyone who assisted during this investigation which allowed my investigators to conduct a thorough investigation and bring justice for three helpless and harmless dogs,” he said.
Wendy Goude, director or the Saint Frances Humane Society, said she has been emotionally overwhelmed since the ordeal began and was glad to hear an arrest was made.
“I am so glad the Sheriff’s Office came through. I had faith in them all along,” she said.
When asked about McConnell, Goude said if he is responsible, she hopes he receives the maximum sentence under the law.
Goude said McConnell is facing up to 15 years in prison.
As for Dara, Goude said she is doing “wonderful” and the head wound she received by being hit with a blunt object is almost healed.
This case is still currently under investigation as sheriff’s investigators continue to compile evidence against McConnell,” Cuthbertson said.