A Clarksville man was arrested Wednesday after authorities say he agreed to watch a couple’s pets but failed to do so, ultimately leaving several of them dead.
Police were dispatched to the 3800 block of McKenzie Drive on August 8 where they learned a husband and wife in the military had left their pets in the care of U.S. Army soldier Jonathan Brooks while they attended training.
The couple had four dogs, five cats, two birds and two guinea pigs.
Brooks, a friend of the couple’s for almost 11 years, reportedly agreed to live in the home and take care of the animals while they were gone.
The wife told police Brooks came over before they left and was told everything he needed to do. She also left him a list of instructions and a credit card in case any of the animals needed medical care.
Authorities said while the couple was gone, Brooks even spoke to the wife several times, stating everything was good.
According to the police report, a second friend went to check on the pets on August 8 because Brooks claimed he had to leave the area for a couple of days for a military detail to pick up an AWOL soldier in South Dakota.
When the second friend arrived to the home he found a dog, a bird, and a guinea pig deceased. A second guinea pig was found dead the following day.
Police said preliminary necropsy reports showed some of the pets did not have any contents in their entire digestive tract, meaning they hadn’t eaten for an extended period of time.
Authorities also said the dog was dead for around three or four days.
“They were pet lovers like we are and to know that they left basically their children in somebody else’s hands. It’s saddening that somebody could just let them die like that,” said Donna Odendahl, a neighbor of the couple.
According to the police report, the couple has a total of 13 pets. Two cats and a bird are reportedly missing, while the whereabouts of the other animals are unknown.
Brooks, 30, was booked into the Montgomery County jail on four counts of animal cruelty.
His bond was set at $10,000.