Underlining the dangers of selling your dog without inspecting the living quarters of the buyer, Washoe County Sheriff's Office arrested a 24-year-old man for alleged cruelty to animals that included the decapitation of five dogs. Two of the dogs were obtained through a Craigslist ad.
According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, Jason Shilo Brown was staying at the Super 8 Motel room in south Reno, 5851 South Virginia St. He had checked in on June 27 and paid for his stay up to July 8, 2014.
The Washoe County Sheriff's office news release reported that "shortly after 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the manager of a local motel notified law enforcement that evidence of suspicious activity had been discovered by one of the motel’s staff in one of the rooms. Responding officers found the remains of several animals, along with drugs and drug paraphernalia in the room. The occupant of the room was not on scene."
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and Washoe County Regional Animal Services launched a joint investigation and Brown was located on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, and charged with five felony counts of Willful Torture of an Animal and one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance (methamphetamine). He is currently being held in the Washoe County Detention Facility. His bail has been set at $55,000.
Brown will be facing felony charges even if it is his first offense because of Cooney's Law that was passed in 2011. The law is named after a dog named Cooney. Her owner, Raymond Rios of Reno, sliced open her stomach at a motel and then waited and watched as the dog died from blood loss. Because Rios was a first-time offender, he was only charged with a misdemeanor.
This is an ongoing joint investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division at (775) 328-3320 or Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900.