Rock Hill man charged with animal cruelty

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comFebruary 25, 2013 

— A Rock Hill man was charged with animal cruelty on Sunday after police found several of his pit bulls living in small cages and out of the reach of their food and water.

Police were called to a Midvale Avenue home at about 8 a.m. when a neighbor said she was unable to leave her house because a pit bull stood at her front door, according to a Rock Hill Police report. The woman, who police reported was “visibly afraid” of the dog, told officers that it lived at a nearby home and often gets loose and runs to her house.

Police went to where the dogs live and found on the back porch a white pit bull in a cage too small for it to turn around in, the report states. They also encountered a free-roaming gray pit bull, and noticed its small cage nearby. One side of the cage was folded downward, the report states, which police believe allowed the dog to escape.

That’s when the dogs’ owner, Antonea Cole, opened the door, saying that one of the dogs broke the cage and they continue to get out, the report states. When an officer told Cole he was in violation of a citywide animal ordinance, Cole began arguing and shouting profanities at officers, saying he should receive a warning.

Instead, he was arrested and taken to jail, the report states, charged with cruelty to animals and violation of the leash law. The dogs were left in the custody of another man who lives at the house.

The report says police also saw an empty combination food/water bowl in the back yard outside of the dogs’ reach. They did find bags of dog food inside the house.

Cole was released on a $990 bond Sunday.

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