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Athens man charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty for allegedly abandoning cats in squalor

Chris Adam Valentine

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man was arrested this week on multiple animal cruelty charges for allegedly abandoning cats and kittens in unsanitary conditions at his former apartment.

According to an Athens-Clarke County police report, officers responded on Sept. 3 to an unoccupied apartment on Scandia Circle on an Animal Services Department employee’s report of finding two adult cats and four kittens that were living in “extremely unsanitary conditions.”

“The animals had no access to clean water and “appeared to be eating trash," and “the floors of the residence were covered with trash and animal feces/urine,” the report noted.

The property owner provided the identities of two tenants who she knew by name, the leaseholder, Catherine Elkins, 33, and 33-year-old Chris Adam Valentine, according to the police report.

She also told police that two other adults and several children had resided in the apartment, but she did not know their names.

The former tenants returned their keys to the property owner on Aug. 13, some three weeks before the Animal Services employee notified police.

The kittens were impounded on Sept. 3, but the adult cats were not immediately captured because they ran into a hole in an apartment wall, the police report noted.

The kittens were taken to a veterinarian, who gave an initial report that they were underweight and anemic. A complete report on the kittens’ health, once completed, was to be included in the police case file.

The investigating officer stated in her report thst she would be preparing and presenting warrants charging Elkins and Valentine each with multiple counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals.

Valentine was arrested Monday and booked into the county jail on four counts of animal cruelty. He was released Tuesday on a total bond of $5,000 with a special condition that he cannot possess or care for any animals.

Elkins had not been arrested as of Friday afternoon.

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