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Trainer facing animal cruelty charges found dead by suicide

Several pet owners had filed complaints against the trainer.

A dog trainer facing animal cruelty charges was found dead by suicide in Cleveland, Tennessee, WRCB-TV reports.

Stephen Kinder, the owner of Kinder Care near Cleveland, Tennessee, was found Thursday afternoon.

Kinder was charged with four counts of animal cruelty when a woman said her Great Dane was found "emaciated, malnourished and hadn’t eaten in days" after being enrolled in a four-week obedience class at Kinder Care in December. Four other dog owners had reportedly filed criminal complaints against Kinder. 

In an interview with WRCB, Kinder claimed he was innocent.

“I’m not happy with the condition of the dog as well. The owner did not provide enough food,” Kinder said. “But, I did provide some of our food for him.”

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, click here for immediate help from the Suicide Prevention Network or call (800) 273-8255.

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