Report: 13 dogs taken from urine-soaked Cobb animal foster home

Mugshot of David Edwards
Mugshot of David Edwards

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

The smell of urine overwhelmed a Kennesaw police officer walking into 3969 Lullwater Main.

The cop’s eyes, throat and lungs all burned while walking along the wooden floors buckled by moisture and by the dog feces lying next to bedding soaked with urine. Wetness seeped out of the second floor onto the walls of the downstairs area.

The officer also wrote in the report that window sills, drywall and furniture were chewed up, likely by the dogs. Bare electrical wires were seen throughout the home.

Police removed the 13 dogs, including one from a foster group, living at the house on May 11, and arrested the homeowner David William Edwards on Thursday. He was charged with two  counts of animal cruelty for each dog.

Edwards paid his bond of $8,470 the following day. His next scheduled court appearance was not listed online.

The investigation into Edwards’ living conditions started with a neighbor calling police March 29 because of the dogs’ barking.

Of the 13 dogs taken to the county animal shelter, 10 were pitbulls, one was a briard and one a boxer, according to police.

To retrieve the dogs, officers donned masks and protective clothing before entering the home.

In kennels, the standard maximum allowable level of ammonia, which is found in animal urine, is 2 parts per million. Police reported measuring ammonia levels in the house at between 17 and 48 ppm.

The county appraised the Kennesaw house, with its four bedrooms and two bathrooms, to have a value of nearly $157,000 earlier this year.

City building staff evaluated the home, which was deemed “unsafe” and and posted a sign on the front door alerting people not to enter.

"I do not believe this happened overnight," said Michele Lopez, who owns Rescue Refuge, a nonprofit dog rescue group.

She said Edwards has fostered eight or nine dogs for her during the last six months, mostly younger dogs who would quickly get adopted.

Lopez said she told him he’s fostered dogs for other organizations in the past.

One of Lopez’s foster dogs, Sun, was one of the 13  that police took from the house, she said. Another two had just been in the home as foster animals.

Lopez said she inspected the home in October 2016 to see if it was fit for her foster dogs. She deemed it acceptable.

“I can’t say it was like going to the perfume counter at Macy’s,” she said.

A required six-month follow-up inspection in April was pushed back but didn’t happen because of the investigation, she said.

Lopez said Edwards told her that his personal dogs would stay upstairs and not interact with the foster animals, which she thought was a good idea.

“Hindsight, I wish I’d gone upstairs, but I had no reason to go upstairs,” she said.

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