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Man pleads not guilty in cruelty case

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Sept. 7 trial has been set for a Dacula man accused of neglecting dogs and running a puppy mill.

Tyrone "Ty" Morsello appeared briefly in front of Recorder's Court Judge Patricia Muise on Thursday, pleading not guilty to 67 counts of animal cruelty.

His attorney, Bill Cromwell, said he made a motion for discovery to see the county's evidence.

"We're going to have our own vet look at the dogs," Cromwell said.

Both Cromwell and Morsello declined to comment further.

Dr. Melinda Merck, a veterinarian who went to the home at 2411 Harbins Road with animal control officers, said the county's laws on animal care are stricter than the state guidelines that control breeders.

"They are very clearly defined; there is no ambiguity," she said of the laws. "There was no food and water with several of (the dogs), and extremely unsanitary."

Several of the dogs required emergency veterinarian care, and all are now being cared for by various animal hospitals and rescue organizations.