Neighbor reacts to animal cruelty on the block

CSRA News

An Augusta woman sits in jail tonight on charges of animal cruelty.  The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office charged 38-year-old Stephanie Bowles after finding several dogs inside her home both dead and alive with no food.

Neighbors, who chose not to go on cameara, said as many as 27 dogs lived in the home at one point in time.  Before the arrest they could hear those dogs and smell them even down the block.

One of those neighbors said she was aware that something was going on nearby.

“I’m glad she’s been arrested and I hope she goes to jail for a very long time,” she said. 

She’s concealing her identity, but one neighbor on Alden Drive in Augusta has a lot to say about the sheriff’s office charging the woman across the street, 38-year-old Stephanie Bowles, with two felony counts of animal cruelty. 

“She’s got a lot of dogs over there and she’s trying to say she’s a trainer.  I know better.  She don’t train dogs.  She yells and screams at them,” the neighbor exclaimed.

A case report states that a deputy went to the house in the 12-hundred block of Alden Drive Sunday after a neighbor complained of animal cruelty.  And that’s exactly what authorities allege they found.  A total of 18 dogs were discovered inside the home.  Six were dead.  Some of them were breathing, but not moving and none of them had food and there was very little water. A neighbor told the deputy that Bowles was running a rescue shelter.  The sheriff’s office, which is still investigating the case, did not provide a name. 

Nancy Kay with Southern Souls Rescue tells NewsChannel 6 any rescue or trainer in the state of Georgia must have approval from the Department of Agriculture.

“You have to be licensed by the state,” Kay said. 

While we did not go inside the home, we only found two cages in the backyard but Kay said that’s not recommended. 

“You cannot have a bunch of dogs in one home. You just can’t do it,” she said.  “The reason I frown upon it is because what if my house caught on fire.  How am I going to get that many dogs out at one time?”

Augusta Animal Services took in the dogs that were alive inside the home that had a strong odor of urine and feces and no power. 

The neighbor recalled, “I’m always hearing those dogs barking.  She’s over there screaming shut up. She don’t animals.  She don’t deserve animals.”
NewsChannel 6 will continue to follow this story. 

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