MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – A Mobile man was due in court on Wednesday after he was cited for multiple municipal offenses. Animal control officers say they found a dead dog on his property who was tethered by a chain.

That man, Marcus Kyles, didn’t show up.

The incident stems from October 2019 when animal control officers with the city of Mobile responded to a property on Richardson Street and took custody of one dog who was alive who they say showed signs of neglect. That dog was eventually adopted by a local rescue.

A few days after the first dog was taken away, a second, deceased dog was found underneath the house.

The dog found underneath the home was reportedly chained and showed signs of neglect.

Denise Grier, an animal activist in Mobile, said people in the community had been making calls to animal control about the property on Richardson Street for years dating back to 2017, but it wasn’t until 2019 that something was done about it.

 “The fat, all the meat muscles, everything had been used up as he laid there so it was just his hide,” said Grier. “He appears to have crawled under the house, still attached to the chain, and died under the house.”

The home is owned by Kyles. He was issued a citation relating to animal cruelty after the dog was found deceased. He failed to appear for his court hearing on Wednesday where he was set to be arraigned on the charges. The judge is giving him one more chance to appear, and sending officers to serve him the court summons in-person, before issuing a warrant if he fails to appear again.

On a city level, officials have passed an ordinance that went into effect in April that ban the amount of time a dog can be tethered to a leash or chain.

Public Safety Director Lawrence Battiste says it’s up to pet owners to do the right thing.

“It’s a conscious choice, you can be a pet owner or you can not be a pet owner but if you make the conscious choice, you need to accept full responsibility with what goes along with being a pet owner,” said Battiste.

Because of this case and others like it in the city of Mobile, tethering is still legal but there are limitations for how long an animal can be tethered and what kind of leash is used.

Click here to read more about the ordinance.