You know how sometimes you read a story and find yourself getting madder and madder with every new detail? This is one of those.
Charles Bell allegedly put his large black dog in a metal wire crate outside in the direct sun with no water last month in Florence, SC. An air conditioning repairman was working at a home nearby and saw the dog suffering in the heat. He knocked on the door to ask if the dog could be moved to the shade but got the door slammed in his face. He was called back to the area for work two days later and the dog was still there so he called animal control. When authorities arrived at the home, the dog was dead.
There is a photo of the dead dog here but if you don’t wish to look, I’ll tell you the reason I’m sharing it is because the photo shows that there is a regular outdoor dog kennel with food and water bowls inside right next to the crate. It would appear that the owners had means to contain the dog humanely right in their own yard but chose not to do so.
In addition to the statement from the air conditioning repairman, two other witnesses signed sworn statements verifying the abuse this dog suffered.
Animal Control officers appeared before a Florence city Judge to get an arrest warrant for Bell. The judge denied the arrest warrant, but did issue a courtesy summons. Bell was served with the courtesy summons July 6.
Had an arrest warrant been issued, Bell would have been taken immediately into custody. Instead, the courtesy summons informed him of the charges he faces and the date on which he is scheduled to appear in court.
A courtesy summons. Well, isn’t that nice?
Mr. Bell is scheduled to enter a courtesy plea in courtesy court on July 23. If convicted, he could receive a $500 courtesy fine or up to 30 days in courtesy jail.
Kudos to Florence AC for taking this matter seriously. Too bad they got a judge who apparently considers it a courtesy to hold someone like Mr. Bell accountable.