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Sunday July 5th, 2015 8:54AM

Dog expected to recover, owner charged with animal cruelty

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
CUMMING - A woman is out of jail on bond following her arrest in Forsyth County last Wednesday on a charge of animal cruelty related to a Jack Russell mix dog.

Forsyth County Sheriff's Deputy Doug Rainwater said the case started with a 911 call by a concerned citizen who had witnessed the dog.

Rainwater said deputies responded to the call on Porter Lane, seeing the dog from the road, almost choking from the cable around its neck.

According to the incident report, deputies saw the male dog laying on the ground with a large plate of what appeared to be leftover meals and an empty white bowl.

The reports states the dog's ribs were showing and there was no shelter or shade. Authorities said the dog was tethered with a plastic coated cable to a corkscrew in the ground.

Upon closer inspection, deputies noticed the cable was around the dog's neck and embedded into the skin, with the appearance the skin was growing back over it, according to the incident report.

Rainwater said the dog's owner, Melinda Barahona, 48, of Gainesville, arrived at the house telling authorities she was homeless and had not seen the dog in about a week. The incident report states that deputies explained the dog's condition and injury would take longer than a week to occur.

"Because of the seriousness of these injuries to the dog, we decided at that point to arrest her (Barahona) for animal cruelty," Rainwater said.

She made bond the same day, Rainwater said, and awaits trial.

As far as the dog, Rainwater said he's expected to recover.

"The dog underwent surgery to remove part of the collar that was embedded into its skin. As of right now, the dog will make a full recovery," Rainwater said.

He said the dog is eating and will eventually be placed in a home.

There's no word yet on a trial date.

"We are going to ask the judge when this goes to trial, that this lady has no more contact with any animals," Rainwater said.
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