Father, son sentenced for starving dogs

Updated:

HENRY COUNTY, Ga.,None —

A Henry County judge sentenced a father and son to jail time after animal control officers seized three dogs near death from their property.

A neighbor called officers to the home on Stonewall Lane in Locust Grove in August. According to her police statement, the neighbor saw a dog collapse in the front yard and thought it was dead. When officers arrived, they seized three dogs  --  a dachsund mix, a Boston terrier and a Chihuahua mix  --  from the property, according to Animal Control supervisor Vince Farah. He said conditions were grim.

"Covered in fleas, very poor health, a couple of them barely alive," Farah told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri.

One of the dogs, who shelter employees have named Yummy, is blind.  Photographs show the dog missing almost all of her hair and covered in fleas.

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"She was very weak, very weak. Even when we was giving her a bath, she collapsed in the tub," Farah said.

A judge sentenced 27-year-old Michael Beckham and his 55-year-old father, Robert, to 30 days in mail and $5,000 each for cruelty to animals.

"The son stated that the father moved off and left the dogs and would refuse to come and pick them back up", Farah said.

Family members told Napier Viteri that Beckham could no longer afford to feed his father's dogs, but the elder Beckham refused to send money for food.

"If you can't tend to an animal like you would a normal child, then you have no business with that animal", Farah said.

Officers said both men are prohibited from owning pets in the future.