A Bevent man has pleaded not guilty to animal neglect charges after deputies say he didn't give his dogs food or water for three days. Thirty-five-year-old Stephen Marty entered the plea in Marathon County Court Thursday.
Court documents say deputies went to Marty's home on May 26th to find three dogs chained outside with empty food and water bowls.
Marty told officers he'd been out of town and didn't have anyone to watch them. And although he was gone for three days, Marty told police he'd planned on returning in just two.
Sidney Brubacher, an Assistant District Attorney in Marathon County, said animal abuse cases are more common now because more people are reporting the crime.
"I think in the past somebody would've said well that's unfortunate, I don't know what to do about it, and left to go," said Brubacher, "But now people know where to go, who to call and stuff like that."
For now, a neighbor is looking after the dogs and will have to report their health status to the ADA on a weekly basis.
Marty is being charged on three counts, one for each dog. Thursday, he was released on a $500 bond. Marty is due back in court July 30.
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