GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) (11/00/2017) - A man and woman are facing felony charges after surrendering two severely starved and malnourished dogs to the Humane Society of Genesee County.
A third dog living in the home died of starvation and was partially eaten by the other two dogs, according to Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell.
The Genesee County Sheriff's Office opened an animal cruelty investigation after the dogs, which had bones clearly visible under their skin, were dropped off. Pickell said police discovered the dogs were living in the basement of a residence filled with urine, feces and trash.
Jennifer Koos, a woman living in the home, told police she has been struggling with a heroin addiction and admitted that the dogs would sometimes go weeks between feedings, Pickell said. Her live-in boyfriend, Martell Dyke, told police he threw pizza into the basement for the dogs once in a while.
Koos told police she was aware that the third dog had died and the other two dogs were beginning to eat it. But she indicated her drug addiction kept her from dealing with the situation.
Based on reports from sheriff deputies, the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office charged both Koos and Dyke with one count each of felony animal killing or torturing.
They were in court for arraignment on Wednesday, where both pleaded not guilty. If convicted, both face up to four years in prison.
"My hope is this case will be a warning to others, that our county takes animal cruelty issues seriously, and will take action against those who abuse these pets," Pickell said in a Facebook post.
The conditions of the two surviving dogs were not known Wednesday.