Second arrest made in Athens animal cruelty case



Catherine Renee Elkins

By Joe Johnson

A second arrest has been made in an animal cruelty case in which a man and woman allegedly abandoned several cats and kittens in squalid conditions at their former apartment in Athens.

Catherine Elkins, Saturday afternoon on warrants charging her with five misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, according to the county jail website.

On Oct. 5, Athens-Clarke County police arrested 33-year-old Chris Adam Valentine on four counts of cruelty to animals.

Chris Adam Valentine

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, Elkins, the leaseholder, and 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 was to later be included in the police case file. 

Valentine was released from jail the day after his arrest on a total bond of $5,000 with a special condition that he cannot possess or care for any animals.

Elkins was released several hours after her Saturday arrest on own-recognizance bonds.

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