Man charged with 70 counts of animal cruelty - CBS46 News

Man charged with 70 counts of animal cruelty

Posted: Updated:
Devecio Rowland (Polk County Sheriff's Office) Devecio Rowland (Polk County Sheriff's Office)
Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

A Polk County man has been charged with animal cruelty after police found as many as 70 dogs tied up in the woods with limited access to food and water.

Polk County Police Chief Kenneth Dodd called it one of the worst animal cruelty cases he's ever seen.

On Monday, the police department posted a live video on Facebook as Dodd walked through the woods showing the various dogs discovered on the property on Cashtown Road in the town of Aragon. As of 1:20 p.m. Tuesday, the video had been viewed more than 1.1 million times.

“You can see, these dogs are not vicious," the chief said in the video "They just want to be loved.”

It was clear the dogs were starving for attention, and they were thirsty. Some were malnourished.

An anonymous tip led police to the home. 

Police arrested Devecio Rowland, 32, charging him with animal cruelty. Several more charges are pending.

This is not Rowland's first animal cruelty arrest. CBS46 News has learned he was arrested seven years ago after a private investigator videotaped 33 chained dogs on the same property. The investigator turned over that video to police.

Polk County's district attorney Jack Browning told CBS46, he was unable to prosecute Rowland in the 2010 case. He said as the trial approached, the investigator who recorded that video died, leaving prosecutors with no way to prove chain of custody of the video evidence, making it useless.

“I feel like he’ll be prosecuted successfully this time," said the police chief.

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