Two Cedartown residents are facing multiple animal cruelty charges after a search by police revealed dozens of dogs living inside their home.
William Roberson and Heather Trautwein are facing criminal charges after police say nearly 50 dogs – all in various states of ill health – were discovered inside the home at 520 7th Street in Cedartown.
According to Cedartown Police Chief Jamie Newsome, on Jan. 23, a concerned citizen contacted Polk County Animal Control after noticing several dogs that looked to be in poor health in the yard at the 7th Street address. An officer with Polk County Animal Control visited the residence to inquire about the animals, and at that time, the homeowners agreed to release 17 dogs into the care of a dog rescue group.
On Jan. 26, Chief Newsome said his department was notified and apprised of the situation through a citizen complaint. “After consulting with Polk County Animal Control, we felt it was necessary to adopt the case so that we could prosecute with criminal charges as opposed to leaving it as a county animal ordinance violation,” Newsome said.
Once notified of the situation, Cedartown Police moved the case along quickly, obtaining a warrant, searching the home, and pressing charges all before the end of the day on January 26. “Our department believed that, with the totality of the circumstances, this case should be heard beyond the magistrate court and Polk County Animal Control agreed.”
Newsome said that he, along with Captain Craig Payton, personally searched the residence and found an additional 29 dogs in deplorable conditions stemming from an obvious lack of care. The residence has been temporarily deemed “unlivable” and the overall condition of the home is being investigated for violations of city ordinance.
Newsome said that all of the dogs were released into the care of rescue groups and are currently being cared for and treated. Once treatment is complete, the dogs will be available for adoption.