Man pleads guilty to starving dogs in animal cruelty case

Published 10:27 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2019


NATCHEZ — A Natchez man was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $2,500 after pleading guilty to intentionally starving to death three dogs on his property.

Kelvin King, 45, pleaded guilty to aggravated cruelty to a dog or cat in Adams County Justice Court Tuesday with Judge Eileen Maher presiding.

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King was arrested on March 20 when deputies found the decomposed remains of three dogs on his property on Meadow Ridge Road.

Photographs of the three dogs in varying states of decomposition and a picture of another dog that was still living were admitted as evidence in court Tuesday.

Looking at the pictures, Maher expressed her displeasure with what she saw.

“They were left to starve; left to freeze,” Maher said as she showed the images to King.

Maher said the freezing temperatures likely prolonged the amount of time it took for the dogs to die.

Looking at King, Maher held up one picture of the one dog that survived and showed it to King.

“Here is one brave little pup that somehow got out of this hellhole you created,” Maher said.

King said to the judge he was not staying on the property and thought the dogs were being taken care of.

When asked if he ever went to the property to check on the dogs, King said he only checked on them by phone.

Maher said six-months in jail and a $2,500 fine is the maximum sentence that is allowed by law for the first offence of aggravated cruelty to a dog or cat. The charge is a misdemeanor.

Mississippi’s law does not allow for separate charges for each animal harmed.

A person convicted of a second offense or subsequent offense within a period of five years is guilty of a felony and can be fined up to $5,000 and imprisoned from one to five years.

“I am going to jail?” King said to Maher after sentencing.

“You know what, they are going to feed you, they will give you water, and they are not going to freeze you,” Maher said.