Petersburg firefighter charged with animal cruelty

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

CHARLES CITY, VA (WWBT) – Charles City County Police have filed 52 counts of animal cruelty charges against 60-year-old Ronald Hartman. Animal control officer, Franklin Bates says he saw several types of dogs being mistreated at Hartman's Roxbury Road home.

"It doesn't surprise me," said former neighbor, Tiffany Hinchey. "Cause he's got so many dogs there's no way people, or somebody, could take care of all of them properly."

Authorities say they think Hartman, a firefighter for the Petersburg Fire Department, was selling the animals without a kennel license. Several signs alert visitors of dogs on the premises. Neighbors we spoke with aren't surprised with the charges.

"I lived here for 8 years and I could hear the dogs bark all the time," said Hinchey. "A lot of times they sounded like they were being beaten on because they were crying out and sometimes they would just bark all night long."

"My uncle bought a dog from him," said neighbor, Thomas Tyler. "They always be barking when I'm over here and you hear them fighting."

The Charles County clerk explained that these charges are a class one misdemeanor. Hartman was released on summons and is now back at home for the time being.

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