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Animal cruelty: Father, son arrested, fined

Special Photo: A Dachshund impounded by the Henry County Animal shelter is blind due to the neglect of the dog, according to shelter officials.

Special Photo: A Dachshund impounded by the Henry County Animal shelter is blind due to the neglect of the dog, according to shelter officials.

A Locust Grove father and son have been given the maximum penalty of $6,000 each, 30 days in jail, and 35 months on probation, for animal cruelty in Henry County, according to county authorities.

Henry County Animal Control officials cited Robert Lee Beckham, and his son, Michael Glenn Beckham, with animal-cruelty violations earlier this month. The Locust Grove Police Department followed the citations by charging Robert Beckham, 55, with six counts of cruelty to animals, and Michael Beckham, 27, with five counts of cruelty to animals.

One of three female dachshund-mix dogs appeared almost dead when she was rescued from 234 Stonewall Lane, in Locust Grove, according to one animal control officer, who only identified himself as Officer Canon.

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Special Photo: A female Dachshund that was impounded by Henry County Animal Control displayed a decayed tooth, noticeable by the brown spots on the tooth. It also has white gums, which indicate anemia, according to animal control officials.

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Special Photo: A dachshund impounded by the Henry County Animal shelter, from 234 Stonewall Lane in Locust Grove, was completely covered with fleas and dried blood.

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Special Photo: A Dachshund impounded by the Henry County Animal Shelter was reportedly found blind, malnourished and covered in fleas and maggots.

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Special Photo: The Locust Grove Police Department charged Robert Beckham, 55, with six counts of cruelty to animals.

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Special Photo: The Locust Grove Police Department charged Michael Beckham, 27, with five counts of cruelty to animals.

He said when he arrived at the Beckham home, he saw what appeared to be a patch of leaves in the yard. “Had the dog never lifted its head, I would have never seen it,” said Cannon. The dog is also blind.

“I have never in my life seen a dog that had so many fleas,” said Gerri Yoder, the director of the Henry County Animal Control Shelter. “She was literally more fleas than dog. She was covered in a layer of black crust, that was probably an inch thick.” Yoder said because fleas eat blood, as she washed the dog, the water turned red from the dried blood.

“She collapsed in the bath tub,” added Yoder. “I had to immediately take her to the veterinary hospital.” The dog was diagnosed as being severely anemic, and her body temperature was low, at 94 degrees.

“We had to put her in a heating pad to get her body temperature up,” said Yoder.

Even though she and her staff bathed the dog, Yoder said, once the veterinarian administered a Capstar, a pill which instantly rids the animal of fleas, other parasites began to fall off the dog.

“It took us six days to get the maggots out of her ears,” said the director.

At a hearing on Sept. 20, Municipal Court of Locust Grove Judge W. Donald Patten, Jr., ordered the immediate arrest of the Beckhams. They remained in the Henry County Jail at press time, Tuesday.

“In my 27 years with animal control, this is one of the largest fines I have seen handed down,” said Vince A. Farah, Henry County Animal Control Supervisor. “They can never own another animal, and they have to pay [the] dogs’ bills to the shelter.”

Officer Cannon said a Boston terrier also was flea-infested and missing half of its hair. He said the dog was thin. He also reported a small Chihuahua was thin and covered in fleas. The dogs, along with a caged rabbit, were impounded.

Comments

evans 3 years, 2 months ago

I am always saddened by people that treat their animals so bad. If they don't want them, take them to the humane society. That would be the most humane thing to do. And Georgia needs tougher laws when it comes to situations like this. These two men most obviously are losers. Instead of a fine, a think a few months in jail would probably be more fitting for them.

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mcdonoughmom 3 years, 2 months ago

Both of them should have their sorry butts treated this way, blind, covered in maggots, fleas, and dried blood! I do NOT feel sorry for anyone, they should lock them up longer than a month!!!! Worthless people like this are PATHETIC!! Animals are our fur children, and they like children depend on us to love & care for them. If a person can't do that, you SHOULDN'T HAVE ANIMALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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evans 3 years, 2 months ago

why are the comments not showing up under this article?

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yodernly 3 years, 2 months ago

In addition to the punishment that Judge Patten served these two cruel people, they should be made to serve community service helping to care for the animals at the animal shelter in Henry County, under supervision of course. The men are disgusting.

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pidderr 3 years, 2 months ago

I am glad they were given the harshest sentence ever given in Henry Country for Animal cruelty. I deeply feel sentencing for animal cruelty needs to be a lot more harsh than it is and hope other counties follow Henry Counties lead. I hope these babies are nurtured back to health, given a good home and a happy future. Please keep us updated.

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nanato3 3 years, 2 months ago

Think about it, 30 days in jail???!!!??? You have GOT to be kidding me. If there were 6 animals involved, that breaks down into FIVE DAYS PER ANIMAL!!! So glad to hear that they are not allowed to ever own another animal. Now who is going to monitor that???

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Avatar89 3 years, 2 months ago

I think there are a few more people to hold accountable in this disgusting situation. I happen to know someone at the animal control as well as live in the same neighbor hood as the two that were arrested. The property were the dogs were being kept was not being lived in. The father recently moved away with his wife. The son did not live there and was not responsible for the animals. The son advised his father to come and get the animals or he would have them picked up by animal control. The son called animal control on 2 seperate occasions. The first time he was told they didnt have anyone to send out and handle it until approx 2 days later. The 2nd time he was told they needed to speak with the property owner to handle it. Is this what we consider quality animal control services? I SURE HOPE NOT... Where is the punishment for the wife of the father?? They were her dogs too. She has not been mentioned in this at all. I'm sure she has a dog at the new place they moved. What will happen to it? Neither her or the father cared about these animals why would they care about that one??

It's unfortunate the son now has to pay for something stupid and in-humane his father and step-mother did. Seems like to me the father and step-mother should be in jail not the father and son.

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detroitvixen2 3 years, 2 months ago

I totally agree with you!! They need to find out where the wife is and check the condition of the animals that she has!!! I know she has animals where she is. They only reported about 3 dogs and a rabbit. What happened to the other dogs they had?

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detroitvixen2 3 years, 2 months ago

I too agree that the wife needs to be held accountable. I know for a fact that she has other dogs living with her. Someone needs to find out where and check on the condition of those animals. The son was trying the best that he could to do what he could do. He repeatedly called the father to come back and take care of his animals.

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Kiko 3 years ago

Sick that they only got 30 days in jail! If that had been done to a human child, they would've gotten YEARS! Why is the Biblical Scripture "dominion over animals" still holding true in the 21st century? Especially with 30% of all fauna endangered and most megafauna endangered as well as a significant amount of flora.

RAISE THE PUNISHMENTS, HENRY COUNTY!!

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