ATLANTA - A man says he went to jail for trying to save a neighborhood dog chained up in the summer heat.
Steve Bailey said his photos prove he was only trying to help a dog in need – a white pit bull named Zeus -- who Bailey said was chained to a tree on a hot day in July with no food or water in sight.
“There were buckets back there, but they were broken and wouldn’t hold water,” Bailey said.
Bailey then unchained the dog and took it to his home. He said he called animal control, but the police showed up instead and arrested him for theft by taking.
“I never intended to remove someone’s property. I was trying to assist an animal in distress,” Bailey said.
The dog’s owner, Deanna Fulton, told Channel 2’s Liz Artz a different story.
She said Bailey, who lives several blocks away, came to her house, broke the fence and stole her dog to sell. She said the dogs are well cared for.
“We feed them three times a day. They have water all day,” Fulton said.
Fulton said she only chains the dogs outside when she makes a quick trip down the street. She said an officer told her it’s illegal to chain a dog to a tree for any amount of time in Atlanta.
Bailey’s attorney said he thinks his client has a strong case.
“He was trying to do what any citizen would do to take care of the dog,” attorney Gerald Griggs said.
Fulton said there were multiple witnesses who saw Bailey take her dog. Atlanta police said they stand by the arrest because Bailey broke the law and had no right to go on Fulton’s property.