Aug 11, 2010

Neglected Pit Bulls

The badly damaged ear of Duke, one of five pit bull terriers taken from the manufactured home of Darrell Keith Cathey, 24, of 218 Blackfoot Trail in the Regency Mobile Home Park, stands outside of the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center Friday, Aug. 6, 2010 in Iowa City. Cathey is in jail on 13 charges, including eight charges of animal neglect. According to the official report, the conditions inside the trailer were deplorable with blood, feces and urine. (Brian Ray/The gazette)

An Iowa City man has been charged with animal neglect after Johnson County sheriff’s deputies say they found five pit bulls with no food or water inside a trailer with blood, feces and urine.

“I’ve never heard or seen it myself where they were this bad,” said Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek.

Darrell Keith Cathey, 24, of 218 Blackfoot Trail, is in jail on 13 charges, including eight charges of animal neglect, three of which are for serious animal neglect.

Deputies were dispatched to the trailer Monday for a welfare check after receiving a tip about several dogs living inside that were reported to be left in their kennels for extended periods of time, according to Detective Doug Gwinn.

Cathey told deputies by telephone that he was in Chicago and was on his way back to the trailer.

Officials say they found five pit bulls with no food or water, and that Cathey had made no arrangements for the dogs’ care while he was away.

“I think there were some fresh wounds on the animals,” Sheriff Pulkrabek said. “Some blood.”

Johnson County deputies called in Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Services to assist with the five dogs found inside the mobile home.

“I saw two dogs confined in a crate within a front room and another dog that was loose,” said Misha Goodman, director of Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Services. “All of the dogs appeared to have injuries of various types.”

Goodman said those injuries include “lots of puncture wounds, lots of rips and tears, mostly of the head areas.”

“The puncture wounds are from other animals,” Goodman said. “Thee are rips and tears and punctures that would be generally from other dogs, like biting, ripping, [and] tearing.”

Goodman said a dog could sustain similar injuries by getting his head stuck in a machine, though the puncture wounds on the dogs indicate “teeth wounds.”

The dogs also have a significant amount of scratches and scars all over their bodies.

“Some will need major surgery,” Goodman said. “Some of their wounds will heal, through they will continue to have scaring.”

Goodman believes some of the dogs have suffered injuries that they will never fully recover from. One dog, Duce, has swollen paws due to multiple puncture wounds. Goodman fears he may have muscle and tendon damage. Another dog, Duke, had one of his ears severely damaged. Officials say Duke was hospitalized for two days.

Goodman said all of the dogs are receiving antibiotics.

The Sheriff’s Department is investigating this incident, though they are not confirming suspicions of dog fighting.

“If someone came to us and said, ‘Well, I know for a fact the person’s been dog fighting,” then we’d be looking into it,” Sheriff Pulkrabek said. “Right now, it’s just a matter of animal neglect.”

Goodman said Iowa City Animal Services has dealt with another complaint involving Cathey.

“At that time, the complaint was that the owner was breeding dogs and possibly fighting dogs,” she said.

Goodman said their investigation did not find any evidence of dog fighting, but Cathey admitted he was breeding dogs.

Cathey was charged Thursday. He was in the Johnson County Jail Friday morning on a $6,000 cash bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16 at 2 p.m. at the Johnson County Courthouse.


  1. it breaks my heart to see people abuse and neglect ANY animal, even a pit bull.

    look at these pit puppies. they are so emaciated they look like whippets!

  2. Oh wow that is so sad.
    I have a theory... Undesirable people are normally what is attracted to this breed, with the exception of probably 2% of owners. As long as Pit Bulls are allowed to go unchecked as they are now, despicable humans will continue to do this to them. There will always be abused Pit Bulls, because look at the majority of owners, pure scum of the earth.

  3. Either these animals were being fought or they were fighting between themselves. Either way, why are using valuable tax dollars to patch them up and most likely try to adopt them out?

  4. Yes, you know they will try to adopt them out... If they were fighting before, they will fight in their new home.


    it is stunning how pit nutters fight any kind of legislation of their wiggle butts. if this was my breed choice, i would be all law makers to protect from idiots.


For truthful information about Pit Bull dogs, go to these other sites --