Jury convicts Flint man of animal abuse

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 1:12 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - Anthony Dewayne Polite, 55, has been found guilty of starving a dog to death, as well as torture and cruelty toward other dogs in his care.

He was convicted of one count of cruelty to animals involving 4-10 animals, which is a two-year felony, and two counts of killing/torturing an animal, which is a four-year felony.

According to testimony at the trial, the Genesee County Animal Control Dispatch received a call on Dec.17, 2018, reporting there was a very thin dog in a fenced-in yard at a house on Jamieson Street in Flint. They responded to the scene where they found several large emaciated dogs. Due to the security cameras on the house, Animal Control requested backup from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, the testimony revealed.

Officers entered the property and discovered that six outside dogs, all in different states of emaciation, had no food or water, and did not have much straw for warmth on a very cold day, according to officers. It was also indicated the ground was described as solid mud up over the feet of the dogs, which indicated the dogs had been chained up in that area for some time, the officers reported.

One of the female dogs was found dead. Her body was discovered halfway into a doghouse, according to officers. A necropsy by the county showed she recently gave birth to eight puppies and their location was not determined.

Officers said they attempted to arrest Polite, but he aggressively resisted. He had to be subdued to get him into handcuffs. During the arrest, it was discovered there was a seventh dog locked in a cage located inside the home, the officers reported.

The officers testified the dogs were emaciated, and several of them had sores on their bodies. Two dogs were discovered with tight collars around their necks, one was embedded into the skin and the other showed early signs of embedding, the testimony revealed.

The county veterinarian reported the dog inside the home had a severe ear infection due to having them clipped.

According to officers, Polite said he had been breeding and selling dogs since he was a teenager. He also said he was using the deer carcass located on his property to feed his dogs, officers said.

“This was one of the worst cases of animal cruelty that we have charged,” Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said. “This case should send a strong message to our community that animal cruelty will not be tolerated and we will prosecute and hold accountable those who illegally harm and torture animals.”