Pet sitter charged with abandonment, cruelty in neglect case

An update on one of the dogs:

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Police are looking for Ashley Marie Davis, a pet sitter accused of abusing two dogs and leaving them to starve to death, including a dog named Lucky. 

Cobb County Animal Control confirmed to 11Alive that they issued arrest warrants for Ashley Marie Davis. She is wanted on two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts of abandonment of domesticated animal.

As of Thursday evening, Davis was not yet in custody.

Davis is a dog sitter and in December 2016, a dog that was left in her care as a foster parent was found emaciated inside a crate that she allegedly left outside in the rain. His name is Lucky and he's deaf.

Photos | ‘Lucky' dog rescued after severe neglect

The person who left Lucky in Davis' care, said she believed the pet sitter may have left her house and moved two weeks before the dog was found, intentionally leaving Lucky behind.

"For it to be one of our own, is devastating because you would never expect that from someone who makes a living taking care of animals. It’s just unreal," said Justine Stinnett, the woman who rescued the dogs.

It all started when an animal rescue organization placed a dog named Lucky, an adult boxer-mix, with a pet sitter to be a foster home, until he could be adopted.

Stinnett, who works with dog rescue organizations, said she handed off Lucky to a Smyrna woman on Nov. 11. According to her, when she dropped him off, he was a healthy 50-lb. dog.

But a month later, she had to save her rescue dog, after finding out that he had missed a vet appointment. She found Lucky, inside a crate, starving. 

After Lucky's story went viral, the director of the Meriwether County Animal Shelter said she contacted Stinnett, concerned about a dog, Simpson, that they had recently adopted to the same woman.

Simpson is a blind American bulldog. Stinnett immediately returned to the house to look.

"We went back to the house and the door was open and there he was. He was stumbling, he can’t see. He’s blind. So mine was deaf. So she left a blind dog and a deaf dog to die in a home with no food, no water. Nothing," Stinnett said.

Detectives said they needed to run extensive medical tests while allowing the dogs to heal before charging Davis.

“We put them on a maintenance schedule," said Steve Hammond, a detective with the Cobb County Police Department. "During this time we are also conducting lab reports, we are also looking through the medical history to make sure there is no reason or excuse for the dog to not gain weight.” 

As Lucky and Simpson returned to normal weight, police carried out search warrants and conducted interviews, including talks with Davis. 

“She voluntarily came in for the interview and answered the questions that we had," Davis said.

Lucky has made a full recovery. He's staying with a foster family, but is looking for a forever home.

Stinnett posted an update about Lucky to Facebook page in April: 

I have the most wonderful news to report!! Not only was Lucky given the green light to be neutered but they have now given him the green light to be ADOPTED! Of course we will be extremely picky about his new family and get updates often. We are so very lucky to have gotten him back and will miss him dearly but we know the right family is out there for him! His neuter appointment is for next Thursday but we are now accepting applications. Please know that Lucky will be rehomed through a licensed rescue and will require a home check as well as a vet check. MANY people inquired about adopting him but his page has since been deleted so I'm hoping this post will be seen by many. Please help me share to get the word out that Lucky is now looking for his furever family!

Jennifer Siegel of Bosley's Place, the organization helping to find Lucky a home, said she was relieved to hear about the arrest for Davis' arrest.

"My reaction is finally," Siegel said. "I hope that we are able to locate her and actually have her serve time and hopefully more."

Police said they found three other dogs in Davis' home, including a severely underweight dog. Those dogs are said to be in good health now, and are being kept at Cobb County Animal Control until the case is resolved. 

Lucky's journey: 

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