GERMAN BRIDGE — A man who says he was only trying to help a sick and emaciated stray great dane has been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals.
Duane Conley, 45, who lives at German Bridge Campgrounds, was arrested around 10:30 a.m., Friday, by Sheriff John K Blackburn, after animal control officer Paul Marsillett filed a charge of second-degree cruelty to animals against him.
The plight of the dog, affectionately dubbed “Moo” by animal shelter staff, came to light this week, after Marsillett found him chained up Tuesday at Conley’s residence. The dog, covered in mange and sickly thin, was taken first to the Floyd County Animal Shelter and later to a veterinary clinic for treatment. Though normally a great dane his age would weigh about 100 pounds, Moo weighed only 48.
No charges were filed at the time, after Conley told Marsillett that he didn’t own the dog, but had found it wandering around the campground in that condition. But authorities changed their minds, when it was revealed later in the week that Conley had been caring for the dog since at least June 19.
At the time of his arrest, he maintained his innocence to Blackburn, saying he had been trying to nurse the animal back to health by feeding it and giving it medicine.
“He said he was only trying to help,” Blackburn said.
Conley was lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center.