Cobb County

Investigators say Cobb County is seeing an increase in animal cruelty cases

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Animal cruelty cases are increasing in Cobb County this year.

Stephen Hammond, Director of Cobb County Animal Services, said investigators are responding to more incidents than usual.

“Last year we worked 57 animal cruelty cases with 17 arrests, this year so far we’ve worked 16 cases with two arrests and we have nine arrests pending,” Hammond told Channel 2 Cobb County Bureau Chief Michele Newell that the most common cases were abandonment cases.

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“We do see a lot of starvation cases and abandonments. We attribute those to people that are either ignorant of the resources that we have or they just don’t know what to do,” Hammond said.

Hammond said there’s no rhyme or reason for some of the cases.

“We had three dogs that were poisoned. Looks like it was purposeful and all three died,” Hammond told Channel 2 Action News.


In another case, Hammond said someone left their dog in a cage and threw it in the river.

“These are heartbreaking cases. It’s very alarming because it shows a trend or a change in society. It may be today it’s animal cruelty, tomorrow it could be child mistreatment, elder abuse. If we are seeing a trend in this we can see a trend in other crimes,” Hammond said.

He said his team is on track to double the number of cruelty cases this year, compared to last year.

“With the cases increasing it’s only going to get worse. But we are dependent upon the manpower of the police department to have another investigator. Part of our budget request we have asked for a second investigator,” Hammond explained.

Hammond said most of the animals in cruelty cases do survive.

“It does impact the shelter because those animals come here and we have to nurse them back to health. So that increases our numbers in the shelter and right now we are seeing [a] record number of animals that come into the shelter,” Hammond said.

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Michele Newell

Michele Newell, WSB-TV

Michele Newell has been part of the WSB-TV family since November 2021. Before moving to Atlanta, Michele worked at TV news stations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio and Steubenville, Ohio.

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