Dacula couple charged with cruelty to animals

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

DACULA -- A Dacula couple has been charged with cruelty to animals after officials said they found three malnourished dogs inside a home with "urine and feces spread throughout."

After following up on a lead regarding a possible neglect situation, animal control officers alerted Gwinnett County police to the home at 971 Harbins Road. Animal control officers had confiscated three animals from the home, finding reason to believe there was significant neglect.

A gray pitbull, medical reports found, was "emaciated and dehydrated and had fleas," as well as possible intestinal parasites and a fever. It was some 40 pounds underweight.

A confiscated chihuahua, officials said, had hookworms, ticks and fleas. A third dog, believed to be a lab-pitbull mix, had ticks, fleas, hookworms and whipworms.

Photos of the home reportedly showed a "dirty interior" with "urine and feces spread throughout," as well as a dog crate with "dirty water and excrement in it."

Last week, police officers visited James Archer, a resident of the home, at the Gwinnett County Jail, where he was being held on separate charges. According to police reports, Archer, 61, told officers that "he was watching the brown dog for a friend, and was nursing the gray pitbull back to health after finding it in a Dumpster approximately three weeks ago."

Archer told police that he and his ex-wife, Caren Archer, live at the residence, but "Caren often stays with friends" in DeKalb County, and "he sleeps there ... three to four nights a week."

Both suspects have been charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals. According to jail records, James Archer was arrested Monday. Caren Archer had not been booked as of Monday evening.