Tip leads to cruelty charges

COVINGTON — The Newton County Sheriff's Office arrested a man on two counts of animal abuse after a deputy found one dog dead and a second in a dying condition in his backyard Saturday night.

Tivar Thalmus Harrell, 27, of 55 Beaverdam Lane was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals following the discovery.

According to NCSO spokesman Cpl. Anthony Washington, an anonymous call came in to 911, reporting that the dogs were being abused.

Washington said a deputy was dispatched to the residence and spoke with the suspect's girlfriend, who said she knew the dogs were in the backyard and that one of them was sick. She said her boyfriend was responsible for them.

"The deputy asked permission to check on the dogs and she gave permission. He entered the backyard and upon approaching the area there was a strong, foul odor emitting in the air," Washington said. "One dog was chained to a tree with a large, heavy chain around his neck. There was no food, water or shelter and he stated the dog was in very poor health and very thin."

Washington said one dog was dead and it appeared to the deputy that it had been dead for several days.

Newton County Animal Control was contacted and took the second dog away, but according to Director Teri-Key Hooson, that dog's health had deteriorated to the point that it had to be put down.

Hooson said the dogs involved were mixed breed, young adults and described the sick dog as "very, very thin."

She said the county ordinance on caring for dogs requires that, "They always have to have shelter and water present. Food doesn't necessarily have to be present. And, if it's a real hot day, the shelter has to be in some kind of shade."

In other crime news, a 53-year-old woman was arrested and charged with furnishing alcohol to minors after the mother of one of the three underaged teens involved in the incident reported it to the NCSO.

Julia Powell of 260 Rosewood Circle was arrested Saturday night around 11:30 p.m. The teens — Joshua Thompson, 17, of 15 Christian Woods Lane, Conyers; Chelsea Jones, 18, and Savannah Powell, 18, both of 260 Rosewood Circle — were each charged with underage consumption of alcohol.

According to Washington, the mother of Thompson told the NCSO that she tried to reach her son on his cell phone, but failed to contact him. She then went to the Rosewood Circle address and found him, two young girls and the woman drinking alcohol in the backyard.

"She said they had a brief argument and she called 911," Washington said. "Deputies arrived and noticed Mrs. Powell was intoxicated along with several others."

Washington said the alcohol involved was 80 proof.

All four individuals involved in the incident were arrested and transported to the Newton County Detention Center.