A 24-year-old man arrested and accused of killing and dismembering about five dogs at a Reno motel, was arraigned Monday, according to the Reno Justice Court.
Jason Brown has been accused of five felony counts of willful torture of an animal and one count of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.
Brown's next hearing is scheduled for Monday at 1:30 p.m. His bail was set at $60,000 total, adding in both charges, Justice Court officials said.
Earlier this month, Reno police received a call from a manager of Super 8 Motel, 5851 South Virginia St., reporting suspicious activities in the room where Jason Brown was staying.
Upon arrival, police found about five dogs that had been dismembered. They also found drugs and drug paraphernalia such as hypodermic needles, according to a police report.
Four heads were also found inside a small refrigerator, along with several knives and scissors.
At least two of the dogs, the site notes, were obtained “from a woman trying to find a new home for the pets,” according to the Reno Gazette-Journal,
“We recognize that this is a community that cares deeply for our animals,” said Bob Harmon, of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. “So this is a hard story for everyone, and it’s a difficult investigation, and we’re going to continue investigating until this goes to court.”
Brown was arraigned on Monday in Reno Justice Court. His current total bail is set at $60,000, which includes the second charge for possession. According to the RG-J, his next hearing is set for Monday at 1:30 p.m.
Brown was staying at a Super 8 Motel room in south Reno at 5851 South Virginia St., where the dismembered dogs were found at about 3:30 pm on Tuesday, July 8, the Huffington Post reports.
He had reportedly checked in June 27, and paid rental for a room until July 8. He did not allow the cleaning staff to enter his room throughout his stay, the police report said.
A maid had knocked on the door to check on him several days later, but no one answered. She unlocked the door to clean the room and found a gruesome scene--bloodstains, dog body parts, drugs and related paraphernalia, including hypodermic needles, according to the Inquisitor.
The maid immediately called the manager, who found a decapitated brown dog in the bathtub of the room and called Reno police.
While the manager waited for police to arrive, Brown returned to the room and quickly fled, according to the police report.
Police said they also found four dog heads inside a small refrigerator, “along with several bloody knives and scissors.”
A woman who knew Brown's family told police she had several phone conversation with Brown, where he stated that he's had ‘urges of rage,’ RG-J states.
According to the police report, Brown had told the woman late last month that he had killed a friend's dog and that killing dogs was "good for now."
Kevin Schiller, Assistant Manager and department head of Washoe County Regional Animal Services, said, “We haven’t had any cases like this before…This is probably the second major case we’ve had dealing with animal abuse.”
2011 LAW ALLOWS FELONY CHARGES FOR ANIMAL TORTURE
Nevada passed “Cooney’s Law” in 2011, allowing police to charge a prior Craigslist dog killer with felony counts. Before that, the maximum that could be charged was a misdemeanor. The heartless manner in which Cooney was killed in 2010 shocked residents statewide into action.
Cooney had been adopted by Raymond Rios of Reno, who sliced her stomach with a box cutter in a local motel and watched as the dog died from shock and blood loss.
Animal control officer, Kathleen Denning, worked to propose into legislation Senate Bill 223, according to the Huffington Post.
Under that law, it specifies that, if a person willfully and maliciously tortures, mains or mutilates a dog, cat or any pet, "that person can be charged with a felony crime on the first offense."
"We firmly believe, in this case, that we can charge him with felony charges,” Harmon said of the case against Jason Brown.
ANIMAL CONTROL WARNS ABOUT DANGERS OF ‘CRAIGSLIST ADS’ AND ‘’PET FLIPPERS’
In a June 6, 2013, report on WILX.com, Ingham County Animal Control warns about the dangers of giving away any pet without carefully screening the potential adopter. They advise pet owners to personally check out the location where they plan to keep the animal and verify their identity and the contact information they provide.
"People give away all kinds of things for free on Craigslist, but your pet should not be one of them," Ingham County Animal Control told WILX.com.