WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WJBF) - "If you're going to have a dog or a horse or anything of that matter, you need to take care of it," said Steve Schloss.
Martha Falaro is now convicted of seven counts of animal cruelty.
Schloss lives down the road from Falaro. He said, "We didn't even know about it. Nobody had ever said anything to us or told us about it for anything else and it came as a surprise when you told us about it really"
Falaro's animal cruelty conviction stems from a welfare check by police in November 2018. When two Burke County Sheriff's Office sergeants arrived at the 400 block of Rackley Road, they found nine dogs, in a house, in "horrible conditions."
"I'm not one of these people that's a PETA fan or anything like that because I hunt. I have no problem with eating meat but when it comes to taking care of your animals, yeah people should take that more seriously," explained Schloss.
Burke County does not have an animal shelter.
Schloss said, "The one they're working on right now is pretty comprehensive so it should do a lot of good."
The good news is Burke County has hired an Animal Control Director, Chad Parrish. He's training at the police academy to become a certified Burke County Sheriff's deputy.
The Commission has also approved funding for a new animal control shelter.
"If people don't take care of animals which are dependent on them how are they with people? You have to wonder how they treat other people and what goes on inside, what they think. People that have that kind of cruelty, it can lead to all kinds of other stuff," said Schloss.
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