A Cobb County Animal Control officer allegedly left a dog in his truck all day leading to the animal’s death, and then lied about the incident and claimed the animal had been hit by a car, according to police.
Meanwhile, a Kennesaw family spent weeks searching for the dog with no answers. And the dog’s owner said if not for her persistence, the family may have never gotten the truth.
“I’m still so sick to my stomach about it,” Holly Roth told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He would’ve gotten away with it if I hadn’t been prying.”
The 17-month-old Basset Hound and English Bulldog mix, or Bully Basset, had been a gift for Roth’s daughter after elementary school graduation. The dog was named after movie star Brad Pitt, and the Roth family even wondered if the pup could be a star himself with his uniqueness, Roth said.
But when Brad Pitt ran away one July morning, the family launched an extensive search, driving around the area, calling the dog. Roth and her daughter created and posted fliers with Brad Pitt’s picture, and Roth reported the missing dog to Animal Control. Animal Control employees told Roth repeatedly no dog matching Brad Pitt’s description had been there.
A phone call from a neighbor gave the family hope. A man said he had seen Brad Pitt being loaded into an Animal Control van. But initially, Animal Control officer Matthew Cory Dodson told his supervisors he had picked up the dog, but said the dog was dead from being hit by a car, according to his arrest warrant.
Roth didn’t buy it and said she continued to press for answers.
“Things are not adding up here,” Roth said. “I’m just not believing it.”
When investigators again questioned Dodson, he confessed to what happened to Brad Pitt, Roth said.
Dodson put the dog in a compartment of his county truck around 9:40 a.m. July 18 after picking him up in the Kennesaw area, his arrest warrant states. Dodson then finished his work day without bringing the dog back to the shelter.
“Failing to do so in a timely manner resulted in said dog’s death, likely from a heat related illness,” Dodson’s warrant states.
Dodson then allegedly tried to conceal the dog’s death by indicating on shelter documents that the dog was found dead after being hit by a car, according to police.
Dodson of Kennesaw was charged with cruelty to animals and obstruction, both misdemeanors, jail records showed. He was arrested Thursday afternoon and released from jail on his own recognizance about an hour later, booking records showed.
Roth said she’d like to see changes in Animal Control that would prevent a similar situation from happening to another family.
“I understand that people make decisions in life, but they have to pay the consequences as well,” Roth said. “I’m not getting my dog back.”
A Cobb police spokesman said Dodson has resigned from his position with Animal Control.