Dead dog on Vinton lawn leads to man's arrest

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VINTON (WSLS 10) - Police arrested a Vinton man and charged him with felony animal cruelty after they found a dead German Shepherd on his front lawn.

On Monday, April 25, at 4:28 p.m., Vinton police officers responded to a home in the 600 block of South Maple Street, for a wellbeing check as family members reported having difficulty contacting 45-year-old Gary Edward Thompson, who lived at the home, and were concerned for his health and safety.

On April 26, the dog was transported to the Lynchburg Regional Animal Health Laboratory to confirm the manner and cause of death, although an examination of the dog at the scene indicated it did not likely die of natural causes.

Thompson was subsequently arrested, charged and transported by officers of the Vinton Police Department to the Roanoke County–Salem Jail and later transferred to Western Virginia Regional Jail where he is still in custody.