REPUBLIC, Pa. (KDKA) — Empty dog bowls and heavy steel chains are the lone visual symbols of what neighbors say was a terrible scene of animal cruelty in a backyard in Fayette County.

Police were called to the home of 34-year-old Chris Jordan and Lavada Mickens, of Republic, after one Rottweiler was found apparently starved to death. Standing beside the remains was another Rottweiler, which was underweight and lethargic.

A third dog, a mastiff puppy was tied to a post. There was no food or water in sight.

“I noticed a dog lying on the ground, and you could see the flies and the smell from the dog,” said Holly Yunkin, a neighbor.
According to police, Jordan and Mickens simply ignored the dogs’ well-being, and were nowhere to be found when police showed up.

Police allowed neighbors to take custody of the surviving animals. Yunkin had the mastiff puppy, that is until Jordan showed up at her door.

KDKA’s Ross Guidotti: “What did he say when he came back to get this dog?”

Yunkin: “I had no papers. I couldn’t have it. It was their dog.”

The Rottweiler police rescued still has sap marks on its fur. The man taking care of it told Jordan to get lost when he showed up at his home.

According to neighbors, Mickens claims the dog was poisoned.

“That dog wasn’t poisoned, that dog died of malnutrition,” said Janet Marlene Bittinger, another neighbor.

To make matters worse, as the police were investigating the death of the animals, two of the couple’s children showed up. The 10- and 12-year-old girls were looking for something to eat.

The children told police that their parents told them, if they wanted in the house, they had to climb into a back window instead of giving them a key. Police took the children to their grandparents.

The couple is now facing a list of charges, including endangering the welfare of children, as well as neglect and abuse of animals.

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