Man charged with starving dog to death

Ishmael Rashem Kennedy (Image courtesy Durham County Sheriff's Office)

December 15, 2012 6:24:14 AM PST
Sheriff's deputies have arrested and charged a Durham man with felony cruelty to animals after discovering in November that the man starved one of his dogs to death.

The investigation began Nov. 12 when deputies responded to 514 Cecil St after a neighbor called to report that two dogs were tied to a fence and one of them appeared to be dead.

When deputies arrived, they confirmed that one dog was dead and the other was in poor health and emaciated. Deputies also found a third dog confined in a small kennel with no food or water that appeared to be very underweight.

The owner of the dogs, 32-year-old Ishmael Rashem Kennedy, told deputies he had been trying to nurse the dogs back to health.

Deputies seized the dead dog and sent it to a local veterinary hospital for a necropsy. Kennedy also received an order from deputies to take the other two dogs to a veterinarian for an examination and vaccinations.

When deputies returned four days later to follow up with Kennedy, they learned he had allegedly turned the dogs over to a relative and had not sought care for the dogs as ordered. Deputies then issued Kennedy multiple citations for failing to vaccinate his dogs and ensure they received proper veterinary care.

Deputies received the necropsy report two weeks later, and the results confirmed that the dog died as a result of starvation. Officials then took a warrant out for Kennedy's arrest.

Kennedy was released from the Durham County Jail Friday after posting a $13,000 bond.

The dogs' current whereabouts are unknown.

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