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, click to enlarge.


26 Responses to “Molino Couple Charged With Animal Cruelty”

  1. robin on October 9th, 2012 12:41 pm

    lets chain the owners up in the back yard and let them suffer….eye for eye

  2. joe on October 7th, 2012 10:59 pm

    so let me get this right….
    Oswald starved the dog from the grassy nole?

  3. dnax on October 7th, 2012 9:18 am

    Sickening! Apparently these two focused all of their time, attention and resources on their plants. Smh! I truly hope justice is served in this case.

  4. this is sick on October 6th, 2012 8:57 pm

    this makes my stomach trun , maybe he should have sold some of the marijauna he was growing and buy them poor dogs some food ,It sounds like a cage is where these people belong!

  5. countywide on October 6th, 2012 7:51 am

    I feel sorry that anyone could treat any animail like that. Please people, if you can’t take care of an animal call SOMEONE!!! Every day we see this on the news and cry, but we wont report them. Then we say “of course they couldn’t do that”. Everyone and anyone can call CODE ENFORCEMENT if you suspect any kind of abuse.

  6. Denise on October 6th, 2012 7:24 am

    I dont like animal cruelty but what come to mind when I read this is, you can’t abuse an animal without being charged but you are allowed to abuse your child and most times nothing is done. Maybe the laws should protect children the same way it does animals. im an animal lover but I love my kids to. Just my thought this morning. This thought is coming from someone who has had foster children and watched many times nothing happens to parents who abuse children.

  7. someguy on October 6th, 2012 5:39 am

    ““He’s a good guy…” Yeah right! He’s groing drugs in his backyard! You people are delusional!”

    Because the weed made him neglect his dogs…. were all those cases of horse neglect a little farther north because of the non-existent pot plants they had growing?

    Get real! The pot had nothing to do with why these people were neglecting their animals. “ohhh, they were too stoned to deal with their pets!” Nah, people like that don’t just do that to other living creatures because they have a few illegal PLANTS growing in their yard… chances are, they would do that type of stuff anyway. It’s a complete disregard for animal life, not a constant drive to get high which fueled this case of animal neglect.

  8. so sad.. on October 6th, 2012 12:23 am

    @ oh my…..i know for a fact that all but the pregnant dog was put down. They did not try to save them. Even the healthy pit bull was put down.

  9. Tracy white Kentucky on October 5th, 2012 11:38 pm

    I am a pit owner my self and this makes me so mad to read this about these dogs , if you have ever owned a pitty you know what amazing animals they truley are IF they are raised right , and for the Idiots that treated the animals like this well let’s just say you will find your place in He** one day .. Just makes me sick

  10. erica on October 5th, 2012 8:59 pm

    I cry every time i see one of these animal abuse stories. It is beyond me how someone can enjoy eating a meal knowing these poor helpless animals are starving literally to death!!!!!!!!!!!!! if i won the lottery i would open the largest animal shelter in the world. i am soooo sickened by this. the laws need to be a lot tougher!! Abuse of anyone is horrible but animals, children and elderly who are helpless is really terrible. These 2 should be chained up and starved!!

  11. Oh my on October 5th, 2012 7:46 pm

    To: so sad How do you know that?

  12. Abuse an Animal, Go to Jail on October 5th, 2012 6:12 pm

    @ so sad ~ do you know if the shelter attempted to save the 2 dying dogs before euthanizing them?

  13. so sad on October 5th, 2012 4:56 pm

    All of the animals but the Yorkies were put down.

  14. Joani on October 5th, 2012 2:24 pm

    To Marcus…all those defenders of this man seem to be missing.

  15. Abuse an Animal, Go to Jail on October 5th, 2012 11:25 am

    @ ANIMAL LOVER ~ There is NO law prohibiting *Pit Bulls* from Being Adopted in FL, except for in Miami. Sadly, Escambia Co. Animal Services does NOT adopt out *Pit Bulls*, Rottweilers, Chows, Dobermans, Akitas, Mastiffs, Bulldogs etc. but there is NO law on the books prohibiting them from being adopted out. Folks, contact your commissioner and ask why these breeds (or mixes of) are not adopted out at the shelter. Dogs should be judged as individuals and temperament tested as such at the shelter to determine if they’re adoptable. Do not condemn a breed or mix there of. We have BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) in Escambia Co. though there is no law on the books that supports discrimination. Breed bans have proved time and time again to be ineffective and end up costing taxpayers more $$. Not to mention the emotional toll it takes on family members who have to give up their beloved 4 legged family members because of BSL.

  16. Marcus on October 5th, 2012 10:44 am

    Wow, now all those people who defended this man and his treatment of animals must now feel like an idoit. Don’t back someone up and open your mouth unless you know the FACTS.

    “He’s a good guy…” Yeah right! He’s groing drugs in his backyard! You people are delusional!

    If you ignorant people didn’t know, DRUGS ARE BAD. This guy and girl are point proven. So much for weed being harmless?

    So much for all those liberal, pot smoking hippes commenting on here. Where are you at now?

  17. Joani on October 5th, 2012 10:03 am

    And now we have the rest of the story. Nice follow-up.

    Many passed judgement on the deputies in order to defend the man that supposedly took such good care of his dogs.

  18. ANIMAL LOVER on October 5th, 2012 9:56 am


  19. NWFLA Linda on October 5th, 2012 9:21 am

    Maybe scrutiny should be paid to pets owned by those who defended these two as folks who took good care of their dogs. If the story above reflects “good care” in the minds of those defenders, how do they care for their own animals? There is NO defense for this sort of neglect and abuse. Starvation, heavy chains, flea infestation. They turned if not a callous eye, then a blind eye, to the pain and suffering of living creatures they surely witnessed when tending their “crop”. Inexcusable.

  20. damn shame on October 5th, 2012 9:19 am

    They should be chained up, not fed with bugs crawling all over them. Now for their stupidity these dogs will be put to sleep good job!!! Makes me sick, Freaking Ridiculous

  21. Abuse an Animal; Go to Jail on October 5th, 2012 5:56 am

    Thank you for covering this story, William. I read the arrest report and was horrified. For any human being to allow an animal to endure prolonged suffering and agony is unconscionable. Kudos to all agencies involved and for the FELONY charges against the Oswalds. I’m grateful the State Attorney’s Office will be prosecuting these crimes.

    I believe that one of the dogs was past the point of saving and had to be euthanized at the shelter. Can you find out their status for us ?

  22. fred on October 5th, 2012 5:42 am

    Even if we can’t adopt yet, we could maybe contribute to their medical care and rehab so they could be adopted?

  23. Jane on October 5th, 2012 5:13 am

    Go to the animal shelter….there are plenty of “pups” there who will never grow up unless someone adopts them.

  24. dad on October 5th, 2012 4:57 am

    How can a person sit inside their home while their dog lies near death from starvation right outside. Some people are just beyond sorry and lack compassion of any kind.

  25. Dolores Bauer on October 5th, 2012 4:31 am

    Funny how things turn out. Just a few weeks ago people thought the Sheriff’s office in the wrong and this man innocent….
    There are way too many people doing the same thing.

  26. worried pet lover on October 5th, 2012 2:45 am

    This is so sad. Who would I contact about possibly adopting one of these pups?

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