GREAT FALLS — Samuel Edd Rodgers has been charged with one felony count of animal cruelty.
Court documents state that a Cascade County Sheriff's deputy was dispatched to a residence near Belt for a report of an abandoned dog. The deputy talked with the person who discovered the dog, who said the dog was found off the road lying down in some brush. The dog appeared to be a pit bull mix and had a deep cut on the left side of his neck, approximately five inches long.
Due to the severity of the cut, a large portion of the dog's muscle was visible and the dog appeared to be "in a lot of pain, visibly shaking during the entirety the deputy's encounter with the dog."
The person reported seeing a black van parked at the location the day before and decided to examine the area. The deputy took the dog to Big Sky Animal Medical Center where it received treatment before being taken to the Great Falls Animal Shelter.
The deputy later learned that the dog belonged to Rodgers by a person who had seen the dog attack another dog and that Rodgers reportedly said he would take the dog to the Great Falls Animal Shelter.
The court documents state that Rodgers was later seen leaving the residence in a black van with the dog. When he returned, Rodgers was seen covered in blood and informed the individual that he had "taken care of the dog." The person showed the deputy a photograph of the dog, confirming it was the same dog.
The deputy was given consent to search the black van by the owner and discovered a small mattress covered in blood splatter.
Court documents state that Rodgers has an "extensive violent criminal history."