VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -The preliminary hearing for two Virginia Beach dog owners charged with animal cruelty was continued in court Thursday morning.
Stephine Machelle Stallworth, 41, and Justin Malik Jones, 22, were both charged with two counts of misdemeanor Animal Cruelty and two counts of felony Animal Cruelty after four dogs in their care were found suffering from such poor conditions that two had to be euthanized.
Virginia Beach Animal Control says a Sheriff’s deputy was flagged down in September by a citizen asking for help regarding a sickly dog.
An Animal Control Officer responded to a home in the 5800 block of Pickering Street and found an emaciated, brown female boxer-type dog that appeared to be suffering from malnourishment and skin problems. The owner ultimately relinquished ownership to Virginia Beach Animal Control and a veterinarian evaluated the dog.
Around 4:30 p.m. the same day, Animal Control Officers were called to a vacant home in the 5800 block of Pickering Street after a deceased dog was found by a maintenance crew.
The officer found an emaciated, female mix-breed dog that was thought to be dead, but was still barely breathing. The dog was rushed to a local Emergency Veterinary Clinic where she was evaluated. However, due to her condition, she had to be humanely euthanized.
Animal Control Officers were able to locate the owner of the dog as the same owner of the dog from the first case earlier in the day. Officers also located a second owner and two additional dogs, which were both relinquished to Animal Control.
One of the dogs was evaluated by a veterinarian that evening and had to be humanely euthanized due to her condition.
The other dog was evaluated later and put in the care of Animal Control.
Both Stallworth and Jones are expected back in court in January.