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APD: No cruelty evidence to hold dogs from owner

ALBANY, Ga. -- Concluding an investigation into animal cruelty Albany Police Department officers cite a man for inhumane treatment, unsanitary conditions and inoculation violations, a police press release stated.

Meanwhile in an unrelated incident, a dead pit bull turned up shoved in a cardboard box on the 1500 block of North Madison Street Wednesday, a police report stated.

"The investigation revealed that there was not enough substantial evidence, according to the Georgia animal cruelty statute to indicate cruelty," Phyllis Banks, police spokeswoman said.

With the lack of evidence the police decided that the 21 dogs seized Monday from Carey Culbert at 714 West Second Avenue can be returned to him, Banks said.

The dogs were being held in the Albany Humane Society shelter. The shelter's executive director could not be reached Thursday for comment on if and when she will release the dogs to Culbert.

The dead pit bull found near a dumpster is a code violation, Banks said. Animal control officers examined the dead dog and found no signs it was involved in fights, she added.

"The dog didn't look like it had any marks," Banks said. "It did look malnourished."

Banks was unable to say if Colbert's dogs were part of a dog fighting ring that had pit bulls confiscated in a raid Saturday.

A joint effort by the Dougherty County Police, the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and federal agencies led to the arrest of 14 people in connection with dog fighting Saturday. The case remains under investigation.

More than 100 dogs were seized, two of which had to be put down. The rest have been housed in the overburdened Humane Shelter.

The shelter at 1705 West Oakridge Drive is bursting at the seams with animals and can use donations of pet food and volunteers. Its number is: (229) 888-7387.