Owner of dog found nearly frozen to death pleads not guilty

Owner of dog found nearly frozen to death pleads not guilty (Image 1)
Owner of dog found nearly frozen to death pleads not guilty (Image 1)

The owner of a dog found nearly frozen to death in Joelton in January has pleaded not guilty to charges of animal cruelty.

Thomas Gill was arraigned Wednesday morning in a Davidson County courtroom.

Neighbors rescued Gill’s Labrador Retriever mix, Maggie, who was between 13 and 15 years of age, on January 4 after finding her starved and practically frozen to death in a driveway.

At the time, Gill told animal control officers he neglected Maggie because she had cancer and was going to die anyway.

Gill eventually surrendered ownership of Maggie to Metro Animal Control.

News 2 wanted to get Gill’s side of the story and stopped by his Joelton home hours after his arraignment. He was released from jail in July.

The 57-year-old was not home at the time, but according to animal control officers, Gill told them he neglected Maggie because she had cancer and was going to die anyway.

Animal control officials confirmed with News 2 Maggie had no signs of cancer based on blood work taken from the dog by the shelters veterinarian.

They were able to nurse Maggie back to health, but she was so badly malnourished she required the use of a doggie wheelchair to walk.

News 2 has since learned Maggie was humanely euthanized on June 28. Officials said old age and mistreatment from the alleged abuse caught up with her.

“She was that dog that you wanted to make it from the moment she came into the shelter she touched us all,” said Rebecca Morris of Metro Animal Care and Control.

A gathering was held for Maggie leading up to her final moments to celebrate her life.

“She was an amazing dog. She wanted to live and she got to live the last six months of her life with us here at the shelter,” said Morris.

Gill’s next court date is scheduled for Wednesday, August 27.

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