Man charged with cruelty for not feeding his dog for 4 days

An investigation into a report of a starving dog led to the arrest of a Jackson County man Monday afternoon, police report.

Ethan Shane Barker, 22, of Vallonia faces a charge of domestic violence animal cruelty after his arrest by Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Officer Jeff Walters.

Barker’s arrest stems from an investigation conducted by county Animal Control Officer Mark Deaton. That investigation began after the sheriff’s department received a report of a malnourished bulldog at 1:52 p.m. July 26 in the 2400 block of South Poplar Street in Vallonia.

Deaton took photos of the dog and then took it to a local veterinarian for evaluation and treatment.

That veterinarian told police the dog was nearly starved to death and had not eaten food in at least four days, Walters said.

“It just had a clump of grass in its stomach,” Walters said.

When questioned by police, Barker said he had been feeding the dog twice a day, Walters said.

Barker also had dog food, and there was food in the dog’s bowl, he said.

Walters said Tuesday morning the veterinarian was taking care of the dog at this time, but it had been released to one of Barker’s relatives.

Barker was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 3:46 p.m. Monday and was released two minutes later after posting a $705 bond.

The domestic violence animal cruelty charge is a Level 6 felony, punishable by six months to two and a half years in jail if convicted.