FLINT (WJRT) - (11/1/2017) - A Genesee County couple was arraigned on animal torture or killing charges Wednesday after turning in two severely starved and malnourished dogs.
One of the dogs died after the Humane Society of Genesee County was unable to save it. A third dog in the couple's residence died and was partially eaten by the two dogs.
Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said 36-year-old Jennifer Koos was neglecting her three dogs because of her heroin addiction.
"Any food that she would've bought for them she ran up her arm," he said.
She and her boyfriend, 27-year-old Martell Dykes, are facing up to four years in prison after two of the pit bull mixes were surrendered to the humane society in grave condition. They're charged with one count each of animal killing and torturing.
"They left the dog in the basement, so the other two dogs could feed off the dog. The only thing we have left is the carcass," Pickell said.
He said the only other time the dogs could eat is about once every two weeks when Dykes would throw a piece of pizza into the basement where the dogs were living.
The 2-year-old dog is still alive. She's in the care of the humane society. The agency's director described her as "super sweet" and explained the dog is getting healthier every day.
However, a 6-month-old died after its organs shut down due to severe starvation.
A neighbor who didn't want to be identified said it was evident Koos wasn't fit to be a pet owner.
"She came up to me and she said to me one time. She said, 'You know how you just want -- when you get a pet, you just want them to run away?' And, she said these pets won't go anywhere," the neighbor said. "And I thought, well should you even have a pet if you can't take care of it?"
The neighbor used to see the dogs when they ran into her yard a few times, but she says that was months ago.
"I didn't even know she still had them because you never see any sign of them coming outside, you know, to use the bathroom or I mean I just never saw them," the neighbor added.
Pickell said four years isn't a tough enough penalty for this type of abuse. He's been lobbying in Lansing for stricter sentences when it comes to animal abuse.