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133 animals rescued from Dawson home
James Melvin Brown
James Melvin Brown

A total of 133 animals were rescued from a Dawson County home where four people were arrested on Dec. 17, according to Dawson County Humane Society Director Jason Hutcherson. 

The menagerie included over 90 ducks, chickens and doves as well as a cockatoo, rabbits and dogs. Most of the animals except for the dogs are being sent to rescue organizations in surrounding counties for housing. 

Dawsonville resident James Melvin Brown, 76, was arrested on Dec. 17 and charged with animal cruelty and having a disorderly house. 

Dawson County Sheriff’s Office deputies noted pet urine, fecal matter and blood on the home’s indoor surfaces, according to two warrants. The ducks and chickens were being housed in a substandard outdoor structure lacking running water, with sewage runoff flowing from the home toward the poultry birds. 

For context, Hutcherson added that this is the first animal recovery of its kind in his several years with the nonprofit. 

“I talked to some of the long-timers [with the nonprofit], and nobody can remember anything of this magnitude,” Hutcherson said. 

While there aren’t any specific donations needed in light of the recent rescue intake, the director said their housing facility is generally in need of more cleaning supplies. 

Brown has been released. Ellen Elizabeth Latka, 57; Billy Ray Mills, 60, and Brian Keith John Petty, 52, have not been released on bond for their drug-specific offenses. 


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