ALTON — Two people turned themselves in Wednesday for a highly publicized animal cruelty case in Alton.
Alton police officers responded May 3 to the 1000 block of Brown Street after receiving a report of an abandoned dog.
The reporting officer said the dog appeared to have mange and be bleeding from open wounds on her body. The living conditions around the dog were also found to be inadequate. Recognizing the dog was in need of medical attention, the responding officer called for assistance from Alton’s Animal Control Officer.
Animal Control took the dog for immediate veterinary care from the scene. Once medical treatment was received, a local animal rescue organization, Hope Animal Rescues, took custody of the dog, named her Malu, and continued to rehabilitate her to good health.
“Community partnerships like that which we have with Hope Animal Rescues is what makes it possible for cases like this to have a happy ending,” Alton Police Chief Jason “Jake” Simmons said. “I am proud of the responding officer’s initiative to get this dog medical attention and the response from Hope Animal Rescues every time we call, without fail.”
A thorough investigation by the Alton Police Department Investigations Division led to the identification of suspects in this incident. The facts of the case were presented to the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office and charges of animal cruelty were later authorized for Arsby J. Blackmon, 32, and Divas A. Taylor, 27, both of Shipman.
Blackmon and Taylor responded Wednesday to Alton Police headquarters and surrendered themselves on these charges to avoid warrants being issued for their arrest.
“In cases like this, proving ownership of a dog can be difficult, but the detectives assigned to this case wouldn’t rest until those responsible for this dog’s suffering were identified,” Simmons said. “Alton police officers prove time and time again that they are the best in the business and I could not be more proud of the results of this case.”
All charges, as well as the statements made herein, are based upon probable cause. The defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
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