Former breeder charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty

A former champion dog breeder is charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty after his dogs were found emaciated and neglected at his Cherokee County home.

Nineteen dogs and a cat were removed from Rud Tietjen’s Ball Ground home Wednesday after the animals were found living among dog carcasses, bones, rancid meat and feces, according to Alexa Huston with the Cherokee County Marshal’s Office. Tietjen was arrested following the search of his Creighton Road property.

Five of the dogs were purebred Great Pyrenees and the remainder were Sheltie dogs, Huston said. Tietjen’s animals participated in dog shows more than a decade ago, she said.

Investigators were called to Tietjen’s home Wednesday after a neighbor complained of terrible smells and barking coming from the property, Huston said. The marshal’s office executed a search warrant at the home, accompanied by animal shelter staff, a veterinarian and other inspectors.

Tietjen was booked into the Cherokee County jail and later released after posting $1,000 bond, according to the sheriff’s office.