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Animal cruelty case moved
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A court date extension has been filed for two men charged with animal cruelty. They will not appear in court until April.

This announcement came from David McKee, director of planning and development, on March 25. McKees department oversees animal control.

The two men, Tyler Jones of Dawsonville and Jim White of Dallas, Ga., were issued three citations of animal cruelty on March 12, due to complaints going back to March 5.

The countys animal control department took several calls that Tuesday about three emaciated horses, located at the corner of Amicalola Church Road and Hubbard Road. One of the calls came from the state Department of Agriculture, McKee said.

McKee said that by the time animal control arrived on the scene on March 5, two of the horses had already been removed, while the third horse had died. His department could not determine the horses cause of death, because it had been removed from the scene.

We have witnesses that did (see the horse), and we have statements from them, McKee confirmed. The other two horses have since been removed to a 100-acre location off Kelley Bridge Road, where McKee said they are thriving and putting on weight.

Following the March 5 reports, McKees office launched an investigation into the allegations.

We finalized our investigation on March 12 and issued citations to Tyler Jones and Jim White, McKee said. The citations were for violating the county ordinance 10-27 (3), which reads, in part, as follows:

No person shall, by act, omission or neglect, cause unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death to any animal.

(3) Whoever confines an animal and fails to supply sufficient quantities of wholesome food and water, or keeps any animal in any enclosure without wholesome exercise and change of air, or abandons any animal to die, shall be deemed in violation of this article.

A court date originally was scheduled for March 27, but with the extension, the two men will not go to court until April. We have requested a continuance, McKee said, the main reason being that we were a little confused as to the process that our Magistrate Court would do.

McKee said his office had originally understood that if a consent agreement was reached before the court date, the two men would not need to appear in court. However, he said that it has come to his attention that even if a consent agreement is reached, they will still need to appear in court.

Both parties have verbally agreed to a consent, McKee said. Because a judge has not signed off on the agreement, it is currently not public record.

Jones, of Dawsonville, was previously the manager of the transfer station. He was placed on administrative leave from March 11 through March 13. When he returned on March 14, he turned in his resignation, according to County Manager Cindy Campbell.

Campbell said that the county is looking for a replacement for Jones. I know there were some rumors about management issues, and there were, she said. They were just little things. There was a complaint that it was messy around the transfer station. Just various issues and complaints like that.