Owner in jail after second chance to care for dog ends in the animal's death

Published: Sep. 9, 2015 at 9:11 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2015 at 9:41 PM CDT
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Pippa. (Source: Cheaha Regional Humane Society)
Pippa. (Source: Cheaha Regional Humane Society)

CALHOUN COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - A Calhoun County man is sentenced to jail, after a second chance with a dog in an animal cruelty case ended in the dog's death.

Pippa, a German shepherd, and her litter of puppies were seized and turned over to the Cheaha Regional Humane Society (CRHS) in Calhoun County, after Pippa appeared to be overly skinny and very malnourished.

The dog's owner, Jerel Greathouse, then petitioned Calhoun County District Judge Chris McIntyre to get Pippa back. McIntyre gr anted the request, provided Greathouse kept her fed and kept up her medical care and heartworm care.

Testimony indicates when she was brought to CRHS, Pippa had ribs showing and a case of heartworms, and on the Purina nourishment case, ranked "2" on a scale of 1-9 (one being unhealthily skinny and 9 being obese). Testimony also indicated she gained 10 pounds during her time at CRHS.

But Pippa eventually died. Testimony questioned whether Greathouse kept up her heartworm medicine and pointed out, through receipts, that Greathouse waited nearly a month before taking the dog to a vet like he had been ordered.

Greathouse presented a receipt of his own, showing he bought 35 pounds of dog food at Walmart just after retaking custody of Pippa in June.

McIntyre sentenced Greathouse to 180 days in jail and ordered him to serve 10 of those days in the Calhoun County Jail, and the rest under probation. McIntyre also ordered him to pay court costs and restitution.

"I think it's important to send a message. It's been a long time, that cases like this don't get prosecuted fully," said Calhoun County Assistant District Attorney Randy Moeller after Wednesday's hearing. "This sends a message that our county will not stand for cruelty in any measure to animals."

McIntyre set Greathouse's appeal bond at $1,000 cash and ordered deputies to take Greathouse into custody immediately.

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