Man charged with housing dogs 'in trash'

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County Sheriff's deputies got more than they bargained for recently when serving a warrant for probation violation on a Lawrenceville man.

The suspect, Jesse Dwayne Bowens, 35, allegedly ran from deputies, neglected to answer his front door and tried to hide in the laundry room of his Alcovy Oaks Drive home Wednesday. When deputies entered the residence, they discovered more than the hiding man, according to officials.

Bowens was arrested for the probation violation, obstruction of law enforcement officers and also cited for animal neglect, after officers found two dogs living in a rancid basement, police said.

Gwinnett County Animal Control officers impounded a 2-year-old male shitzu and a bullmastiff mix from Bowens' home. Officers found the animals in a feces-dotted basement, where "trash was so thick you could not see very much of (the) floor," an officer wrote in a report.

Officers found a treadmill in Bowens' living room, where he walked the larger dog "because he could not walk or control (it) outside," the report said.

Bowens remained in the Gwinnett County Jail without bond Monday.

The suspect's attorney, Christopher McClurg, said his client will appear before a Magistrate Court judge for a probable cause hearing later this week.

McClurg had yet to meet with his client Monday and could not speak in his defense. He was unsure exactly why deputies were serving the warrant on Bowens.

Cpl. David Schiralli, Gwinnett police spokesman, said the dogs will be held at the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter until a judge rules whether Bowens is fit to care for them or not.

"It all depends on the condition of the animals and the living conditions," Schiralli said. "If the owner does not get them back, they'll go up for adoption or be given to a rescue home."