Jawon Douglas, of Washington, DC, was arrested Wednesday by the Metropolitan Police Department and charged with three counts of cruelty to animals following an investigation by Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) humane law enforcement officers.
On May 17, HRA’s Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) department received a call about underage puppies being sold on the internet. After meeting with Douglas, representatives from DC Health issued a notice, advising Douglas that he was in violation of DC laws prohibiting the sale of puppies less than six weeks of age. A settlement was reached between Douglas and DC Health, stipulating that Douglas must inform DC Health of death, illness, or any other issues with the mother or puppies.
On June 5, HRA officers delivered the settlement paperwork to Douglas and observed the mother and puppies were living in unsanitary conditions. Douglas was advised that he must clean up the home, as the medical conditions of the puppies were consistent with unsanitary conditions. On June 19, Douglas contacted HRA to report the death of one of the puppies. HRA officers arrived to collect the puppy and discovered the area remained unsanitary, including urine soaked bedding. They advised Douglas to seek veterinary care for the remaining dogs.
On June 21, a necropsy revealed that the deceased puppy died from an infection in the bloodstream originating from a skin infection most commonly contracted from poor hygiene, including urine scalding and fecal debris. HRA officers returned to Douglas’s home and observed that conditions remain unchanged.
A search warrant was executed by HRA officers and Metropolitan Police Officers on June 22, and nine dogs were seized. The dogs were transported to an emergency veterinarian, who determined all nine of the dogs (an adult dog and eight puppies) had varying degrees of pyoderma (skin infection), urine scalding, dehydration, and poor body condition. The veterinarian attributed the pyoderma and urine scalding to poor sanitation and living environment.
The dogs were transferred to HRA’s Medical Center, where they were cared for and have since fully recovered.
Douglas was arrested at his home. Following the arrest, Douglas will be arraigned, given a status hearing date and released. He was also given an order to stay away from animals.
The dog and puppies are currently under the care of the Humane Rescue Alliance.
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