For Immediate Release
September 17, 2019
PROSECUTOR CHARGES TWO WOMEN WITH ANIMAL CRUELTY
MOUNT CLEMENS, MI — Charges of animal abuse and neglect have been brought against a mother and daughter responsible for the maltreatment of a dog in Macomb County. Prosecuting Attorney Eric Smith has charged Deja Dodd with Animal Cruelty and False Report of a Misdemeanor, both 93-day misdemeanors. Her mother, Victoria Johnson, has been charged with Animal Killing/Torturing – 3rd Degree, a 4-year felony.
Police and prosecutors allege that Defendant Deja Dodd, of Eastpointe, contacted Eastpointe Animal Control Wednesday, September 4, reporting that she found a stray dog along Gratiot Avenue. When Animal Control arrived at Dodd’s mother’s residence, they found a male, grey, mixed-breed dog, clearly suffering from neglect and cruelty. The dog was emaciated, covered in fleas, and unable to walk to the Animal Control vehicle without assistance. Due to the dog’s deprived condition he was scored a (1) out of (10) on the Purina Body Scoring Chart.
Upon further investigation, it was determined that the dog had not been found on Gratiot Avenue as Dodd originally reported, but had been at Defendant Victoria Johnson’s residence for a period of a couple months.
Eastpointe Police and Animal Control then returned to the residence to perform a welfare check. The home smelt strongly of urine and feces, with dog urine present on the floor in multiple locations and dog feces on the walls. No food or water dishes were present. The backyard was over-grown with weeds and littered with garbage. While a bowl of food was present, there was no water. Additionally, a room was found behind a garage wall containing a dog crate, piles of feces, and no food or water.
“This is an appalling case of animal cruelty and neglect,” said Prosecutor Smith. “The circumstances this dog was forced to endure are utterly inexcusable. This poor animal was emaciated, covered fleas, and suffering from a severe spinal deformity likely due to neglect.”
“In the eyes of this office, this neglectful treatment amounts to torture: denying this animal food and forcing him to live in these deplorable conditions.” Smith continued, “This case is being vertically prosecuted by a member of our P.A.W.S. Unit. This Assistant Prosecutor has received specialized training in the prosecution of cases of animal abuse and neglect.”
Defendant Victoria Johnson was arraigned this past Friday in 38th District Court – Eastpointe, in front of Judge Gerds, III. She was given $10,000 personal bond and the condition that she have no contact with animals. Defendant Deja Dodd was arraigned yesterday also in 38th District Court, in front of Judge Gerds, III, and given $10,000 bond.