Widow of North Georgia dog trainer wanted on animal cruelty charges

The wife of a northwest Georgia man who killed himself after being arrested on animal cruelty charges is now facing charges of her own, authorities said Wednesday.

Dalton police have a warrant for the arrest of Morgan Kinder, 26, in a case related to her late husband, spokesman Bruce Frazier said Wednesday.

The charges are related to an investigation that began earlier this month, when authorities found dozens of animals in “deplorable conditions” in a home in the 800 block of Mattie Street.

Stephen Kinder, 42, operated a dog training business in Cleveland, Tenn., but housed many of the animals in his Dalton home, AJC.com previously reported.

A woman who sent her Great Dane to Kinder’s business said the dog returned 30 pounds lighter, was vomiting and had diarrhea. That sparked an animal cruelty investigation in two states.

Stephen Kinder was arrested on four counts of animal cruelty in Tennessee. Dalton police then executed a search warrant at his Whitfield County house and found more than 30 malnourished animals in addition to a dead turtle and several dead snakes.

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No charges were filed against Stephen Kinder in Dalton; he was found in a Cleveland parking lot with a self-inflicted gunshot wound the day he was due to meet with investigators.

Morgan Kinder’s involvement in her husband’s dog training business is unclear.

“Regardless of her involvement, she knew what was going on in the house,” Frazier told AJC.com.

Morgan Kinder is being charged with six counts of aggravated cruelty to animals pertaining to the five dead snakes and a dead lizard that investigators found in the home during the search. She also faces 16 counts of animal cruelty, one for each of the neglected dogs found on the property.