Local man charged with animal cruelty
A Meridian man is facing felony animal cruelty charges after malnourished dogs were allegedly found on his property.
On Oct. 28, a Stephens County deputy was dispatched to a residence in the area of Wisdom and Deveraux Road for an animal welfare check.
According to the affidavit, the deputy found several young malnourished dogs. There were 11 puppies and four adult dogs found alive on the property.
Two children arrived from school at the residence and told deputies that Matthew Brett Stephens, 32, lived at the residence.
A deputy reached Stephens by phone and Stephens told the deputy he had contacted the humane society and he was supposed to take them there in early November. Stephens allegedly told the officers that he was not going to be home that day.
A Stephens County Humane Society was reached by telephone. The board member confirmed they had been in contact with Stephens about the dogs. She said she told Stephens they did not have the room to house the puppies, but that the humane society would vaccinate, medicate and give the puppies some food. She said she had not seen or heard from Stephens since talking to him on the phone.
Two employees from the humane society were dispatched to the residence to get the puppies and give them the help they needed.
Stephens was later arrested on animal cruelty charges.
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