‘Blood was seeping from the freezer’: Woman arrested after 14 dogs found dead in home


Margaret Nevils was arrested in Columbia County, Georgia, after deputies found 14 dead dogs in her home, including some in the freezer and refrigerator, on Jan. 4, 2014 (Columbia County Sheriff’s Office)

A welfare check on a woman led to the discovery of 14 dead dogs in a feces-covered home, including some found the freezer and refrigerator.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia received a phone call from a woman who said she hadn’t seen her neighbor, Margaret Nevils, at her Grovetown home since October 2023, an incident report obtained by Law&Crime says.

Deputies went to the home and looked into a window with the blinds partially pulled up and saw the floor was covered with feces. An emaciated pit bull ran up to the window. A deputy knocked on the door and rang the doorbell but no one came to the door. The deputy went around back and looked through a window into the kitchen which showed the floor was covered with feces there as well. The dogs had apparently chewed holes through the walls in the kitchen and garage.

Nevils’ phone went straight to voicemail when deputies called, the affidavit said. Cops forced their way into the back door. After an animal services officer captured the pit bull, deputies went inside. What they found was stomach-churning: Three dogs were found dead in the bedroom, three were in the refrigerator and one was in the freezer. There were also seven dead puppies throughout the house. All the dogs were in various states of decomposition.

The deputy saw a side-by-side refrigerator-freezer and “noticed that blood was seeping from the freezer section of the refrigerator,” the affidavit said.

“I opened the freezer door and saw a black trash bag with an animal foot sticking out,” the deputy wrote.

There were also multiple empty dog cages. The home’s furniture was shredded.

Major Steve Morris told Law&Crime that detectives located Nevils, 41, at her workplace. According to Morris, Nevils told investigators she was running an adoption and dog rescue service but became overwhelmed and decided to leave the dogs behind.

Deputies arrested Nevils on an animal cruelty charge and took her to the Columbia County Jail where she has since posted a $5,000 bond.

Morris said the surviving pit bull is with animal care officials and is expected to make a full recovery.

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