SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A Hinesville man faces felony charges in Ludowici after police find his dog nearly dead from neglect.
Ludowici Police say they've been investigating this since the week of Christmas, but just two days ago it went from a misdemeanor case to a felony warrant.
The dog looked sick and starving when police got a complaint about his condition. They found him chained to a tree in this lot on Pear Street.
A neighbor said the dog belonged to her grandson.
"We got the owner on the phone and he said he couldn't take care of the dog and didn't mind animal control taking possession of the dog," Ludowici Police Chief Frank McClelland Jr.
A vet and animal control found even more health problems than they first thought and police got misdemeanor animal cruelty charges against the owner, Allen Golden of Hinesville. But then the dog's condition forced them to amputate his tail.
"At that time, when he lost a body part, it went from a misdemeanor charge to a felony charge," Chief McClelland said.
A group called "Guardians of Rescue" took possession of the dog to nurse him back to health and find him a home.
Chief McClelland says his officers are looking into other animal abuse and neglect reports as well.
"This is not 10 or 15 years ago. If you chain up a dog or shut him up, you need to take care of it," Chief McClelland said. "I do take it seriously because if you take the responsibility of owning an animal, and once you pin up an animal or chain up an animal, you've taken away their ability to take care of themselves."
Police say Golden was already free on bond from unrelated charges in Liberty County.
Anyone with information about this case or Golden's whereabouts should get in touch with police.