Molino Couple Charged With Animal Cruelty
October 5, 2012
A Molino couple is facing multiple animal cruelty charges for chaining their malnourished pit bulls in their own filth.
The arrests came about week after a pit bull was shot and killed after charging at a deputy, and after marijuana plants were found in the backyard of the couple’s home, according to Sheriff’s Office reports.
Amanda Leah Oswald, 34, and John Rowland Oswald, 30, were each charged with two felony counts of causing cruel death, pain and suffering to animals and two felony counts of unlawful confinement and abandonment of animals.
Escambia County deputies responded to a complaint about an aggressive put bull on September 21 at a residence in on Highway 29 near Cotton Lake Road. The dog was loose in the victim’s yard and had attacked and killed her dog. Deputies kept the pit bull contained in the yard and notified Escambia County Animal Control. But before animal control arrived, the pit bull attempted to attack two officers who then utilized a shotgun to stop the dog, according to Melissa Rawson, spokesperson for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.
When deputies attempted to contact the owner of the dog at a nearby home on Highway 29 across from the Camp Of the Pines, deputies and animal control located two other pit bulls in the backyard of the home.
“I first observed a very skinny brown pit bill dog tied to a large chain barking at me,” one deputy wrote in his report. “I then observed a very skinny black pit bull dog lying on its side, and it appeared to be dead…I observed the black dog lift its head and look at me though due to the dog being so skinny from lack of food, the dog could not stand up.”
Both dogs were “malnourished to the point of starvation”, according to an arrest report, with access to “old nasty water” and no food. Both dogs were tied to heavy chains and were surrounded by flies.
“I then observed the black pit bull who was still lying on his side struggle and make several attempts to stand to his feet. “Once on his feet, his legs were wobbly and looked like he was going to fall over,” the deputy said.
The deputy said in his report that he first though the black dog was covered in ants crawling all over it, but it was actually a “massive amount” of fleas. The dog also reportedly had an eye infection.
The two pit bulls were seized by animal control. Amanda Oswald also voluntarily surrendered a pit bull and three Yorkie dogs from inside the residence to Escambia County Animal Control.
John Oswald was also charged with one felony count of producing marijuana. During the animal cruelty investigation, deputies reported the discovery of located four marijuana plants up to five feet tall and one plant growing in a bucket in the home’s backyard.
Oswald met with a narcotics investigator and admitted that the marijuana plants belonged to him, an arrest report states. “He admitted to having a pill problem prior to being involved in marijuana and that he had started growing marijuana for personal use,” the investigator wrote in his report.
Escambia County Code Enforcement also responded to the home and opened a separate investigation for various code violations, Rawson said.
Pictured above inset and below: Marijuana plants located in the backyard of a Molino home. Photos courtesy Escambia County Sheriff’s Office for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.