A woman has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals after she allowed one of her dogs to starve to death.
On March 31, police assisted a McKamey Animal Center officer on an investigation. The report said McKamey received a tip that said two dogs had just passed away, but that their puppies were living inside a house at Hansley Drive with “feces everywhere and the puppies have parvo that is going untreated.”
Police then met with the dog’s owner Danielle Downey, 34. Police said there was another person present as well. Police said Ms. Downey did not want police go into the house because it “was a mess” but police told her the complaint necessitated that they go inside. Police said she told them there was another dead dog inside, and as soon as she opened the door they could smell it.
Police said Ms. Downey told them the dog had last been alive about a week prior. They said the room was covered in feces and urine, and crates in the room were also filthy. Ms. Downey told police her ex-husband was the one who harmed the dogs, and that the deceased dog was the mother to the puppies. Those puppies had died around eight weeks old, and the mother stopped letting then nurse at four weeks old and that the mother stopped eating.
Ms. Downey told police she did not have the money to take the dog or puppies to the vet. Police told Ms. Downey and another woman they needed to allow a professional to complete a necropsy, and the results of that procedure would determine what citations would be issued. Police said both Ms. Downey and the other party were upset by this, and that Ms. Downey told an officer to leave when he put the dog’s body in a bag.
When neither woman would give the officer their driver’s license information, Chattanooga Police were called in, and Ms. Downey’s boyfriend also showed up. Police said he told them the dog passed away a few days ago, and blamed its death on her ex-husband. Police said he told them several dogs were buried behind the residence, and there were nine puppies in total. Ms. Downey said she gave a couple away to friends, but did not know if the dogs were still alive or not.
CPS also arrived and began to remove children from the property. When the necropsy was performed on the dog, they found the cause of death was starvation.