NEWPORT—The Cocke County Sheriff’s Office has released information regarding animal cruelty investigations in which two people were cited and a total of 10 dogs and one pig were removed from properties.
In August, Cocke County Sheriff’s Deputy Jessica Butler met with Gwen Costner, who wanted to report missing animals. According to the report, Costner advised there were approximately 20 dogs missing from her neighbor’s house on Glendale Road in Bybee.
Deputy Butler reported she also received another complaint from the Friends Animal Shelter that a puppy was brought in that had been shot. The shelter thought the puppy came from the same Glendale Road address.
The next day, Animal Control Officer Rodney Hazelwood conducted a welfare check at 3753 Glendale Road. Deputy Hazelwood met with Rhonda and William Jenkins, who gave verbal consent to check on the animals.
During the investigation Deputy Hazelwood observed a pig on the property that was locked in a kennel without any clean water and could not walk around due to the poor conditions of the kennel.
As Deputy Hazelwood continued to search the property, he found one puppy that had an infection in its eyes and it appeared to have mange. Four more dogs were located that did not have food or water, and four other dogs were tied to one chain.
Deputy Hazelwood reported that Rhonda Jenkins claimed ownership of the dogs. However, she could not provide proof of any vet visits or vaccination records.
Seven dogs and one pig were removed from the property and Jenkins was cited for cruelty of animals.
Greene cited, one dog rescued:
Deputies were dispatched to 850 Fairview Street after a complaint was made that someone had abandoned a Great Dane on September 3.
Sgt. Joey Owings located the dog and noticed it did not have food or water.
According to the report, Sgt. Owings learned the person staying at the residence was Jeromy Greene, 23. Deputies attempted to contact Greene several times but were unable to.
The dog was then removed from the home and taken to the Friends Animal Shelter.
Greene was eventually cited for cruelty of animals on Monday, September 7.
The next day, Deputy Hazelwood went to 821 Mantooth Hills Road concerning two dogs left in a camper.
Deputy Hazelwood learned the owner of the dogs, identified as Chad Benson, was incarcerated and no one else was present on the property.
A neighbor advised Deputy Hazelwood that the dogs were very aggressive.
During the investigation, Deputy Hazelwood reported the dogs charged at him twice resulting in Deputy Hazelwood pepper spraying the dogs and removing them from the property.
The dogs were taken to the Friends Animal Shelter where the Director advised that the dogs were too “vicious” to release.
Benson was advised of the situation but never retrieved the dogs.
According to the report, after holding the dogs for several days, the animals were taken to Sevier County Humane Society where they were both euthanized.