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Two Jackson Co. residents arrested after animal control found emaciated dogs

Two Jackson County residents have been charged with animal cruelty after the sheriff’s office received an anonymous phone call about an underweight dog.

Posted: Oct 25, 2018 3:44 PM
Updated: Nov 1, 2018 1:35 PM

UPDATE: The doberman has gained three pounds in a week. The smaller dog has gained four pounds and is now being fostered out, instead of being kept at the shelter.

Both are recovering well, and the veterinarian says they’re looking healthy.


A comparison of the doberman when they found him and six days later.

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Two Jackson County residents have been charged with animal cruelty after the sheriff’s office received an anonymous phone call about an underweight dog. Joseph Fisher and Helena Moses were arrested for animal cruelty.

Tony Wilbanks, a Jackson County Animal Control officer, found two emaciated dogs at a home on County Road 831 in Bryant. 

“When I saw the dog, I couldn’t tell what breed it was, because it was so underfed and malnourished. Like I said, it was to the point of a walking skeleton,” said Wilbanks.

Employees at the Scottsboro-Jackson County Animal Shelter are constantly feeding and doing all they can to help the dogs get back to normal.

“I could actually put my fingers together and touch fingers around the dog’s midsection,” Wilbanks said.

Wilbanks says it’s one of the worst cases of animal cruelty he’s ever seen and that when he took the dogs to the vet, the vet agreed.

“Should weigh around 70 pounds, give or take, and this dog we put on the scale weighed 37 pounds,” Wilbanks said.

After this incident, Wilbanks says he has a message for anyone who may be struggling to feed their pets.

“Never let it get to this extreme. There’s no reason why it should get to this extreme. There’s shelters out there that would take these dogs in. There’s no-kill shelters that would actually take these dogs in, if that’s what they’re afraid of, being euthanized,” Wilbanks said.

Officials say the two dogs could be available for adoption, depending on what happens in court. The doberman is currently being fostered out, as it has to be fed constantly throughout the day until it’s back to normal weight.

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