Alabama Deputies: 124 Starving Dogs Freed From Home Covered in Filth

February 16, 2022Noelle Wiehe
malnourished dogs

On Jan. 24, 2022, authorities in Walker County, Alabama, raided a home filled with what they say were malnourished dogs. Walker County Sheriff’s Office photo.

Nearly a month after Walker County Sheriff’s deputies say they raided a home covered in dog feces in the Alabama hamlet of Nauvoo, they keep discovering more dogs — 124 and counting.

“They’re still trapping dogs at that residence,” said the sheriff’s spokesperson, Deputy T.J. Armstrong.

On Jan. 24, dozens of deputies, Walker County Humane Society volunteers, and Saragossa Volunteer Fire Department personnel descended on a Maddox Road house so filled with feces that its residents Michael Devane Poole, 61, and Orville “Brian” Nailer, 63 — had abandoned it to the dogs and were sleeping in a Ford pickup and a Jeep, Armstrong said.

“If you had seen the inside of this house, they almost literally were in over their heads,” Armstrong added.

malnourished dogs
On Jan. 24, 2022, authorities in Walker County, Alabama, raided a home filled with what they say were malnourished dogs. Walker County Sheriff’s Office photo.

Authorities charged each man with 28 counts of second-degree cruelty to canines, according to court records.  Although they had been held on $15,000 bonds each, both bailed out, pending preliminary hearings that haven’t been scheduled.

Phone numbers linked to their Nauvoo residence have been disconnected and the defendants didn’t reply to email messages from Coffee or Die Magazine seeking comment. Their attorneys also didn’t respond to Coffee or Die.

Armstrong suspects Poole and Nailer are well-meaning folks who became overwhelmed by a pet population that “grew by quite a bit” since he visited the property a year ago to probe complaints from neighbors that unleashed dogs were rummaging through trash cans.

Following a new round of complaints in January by neighbors concerned about deteriorating conditions on the property, the sheriff’s office sent Sgt. Kevin Emberg to investigate. He estimated 70 dogs were sleeping in the yard and up to 40 lived in the home, with the rest sleeping in the vehicles with the two residents.

malnourished dogs
On Jan. 24, 2022, authorities in Walker County, Alabama, raided a home filled with what they say were malnourished dogs. Walker County Sheriff’s Office photo.

When deputies armed with a search warrant arrived, Poole had nine dogs in the vehicle with him, and 11 dogs had accompanied Nailer to a nearby laundromat, Armstrong said.

Armstrong believes the men had rescued several strays, but they failed to spay or neuter the pets and puppies kept arriving. Armstrong said deputies found at least three nursing female dogs on Jan. 24.

He said both men cooperated with authorities and surrendered the animals. 

Greater Birmingham Humane Society spokesperson Stephanie Salvago said her nonprofit has transferred pets confiscated during the raid to shelter partners nationwide.

“Of the ones that stayed local, most have been adopted or are in foster care,” she said.

Read Next: With Winter Storm Bearing Down, Sheriff’s Raid Saves Abandoned Animals

Noelle Wiehe
Noelle Wiehe

Noelle is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die through a fellowship from Military Veterans in Journalism. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and interned with the US Army Cadet Command. Noelle also worked as a civilian journalist covering several units, including the 75th Ranger Regiment on Fort Benning, before she joined the military as a public affairs specialist.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

Ouija Board aircraft carrier
Low-Tech ‘Ouija Boards’ Have Helped Aircraft Carriers Operate for Decades

Since the 1920s, a low-tech tabletop replica of an aircraft carrier’s flight deck has been an essential tool in coordinating air operations.

Army vs. Navy mascot
The Navy Goat vs. the Army Mule: Mascot Origin Stories

For nearly as long as the Army-Navy football rivalry, the academies’ hoofed mascots have stared each other down from the sidelines. Here are their stories.

ukraine long-range weapon
Zelenskyy Says Ukraine Has Developed a Long-Range Weapon, a Day After Strike Deep Inside Russia

Zelenskyy said on his Telegram channel the weapon was produced by Ukraine’s Ministry of Strategic Industries but gave no other details.

7 of the Best Movie Ambush Scenes of All Time

Ambushes make for great action scenes. Here are seven of the best to ever grace the big screen.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, with his daughter, center right, reportedly named Ju Ae, review the honor guard during their visit to the navy headquarter in North Korea
North Korea Launches Missile Toward Sea After US Flies Bomber During Drills

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the launch occurred Wednesday but gave no further details, such as how far the missile flew.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved