When Officer Michael Aguilar first entered a 3200 block Fifth Avenue house, it was to investigate a potential burglary. But the sight of a starving pit bull puppy led him to charge the owner for animal cruelty, according to a Columbus Police report.
Aguilar found the dog chained to a tree in the residence's backyard at about 1 a.m., Thursday. It was 28 degrees outside at the time, and the puppy was left without shelter, food or water.
Aguilar reported that the dog seemed so starved its ribs, back bones and hips were visible. It appeared so desperate for food that it ate its own feces.
After unchaining the dog and leading it into the residence, Aguilar called for assistance and tried to find the dog some food inside the residence. There was none.
Eventually, police were able to find the home owner, 41-year-old James Lawrence. He told police no one lives with him, and claimed ownership of the dog.
Lawrence was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. He was taken to Muscogee County Jail.