Rock Falls man arrested after dog found dead in cage

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Joseph R. Nelson, 37, of Rock Falls was arrested Friday, March 28, on a charge of aggravated cruelty to an animal.

If he is convicted, Nelson could spend one to three years behind bars, according to

News 8 found this isn't the first time Nelson has been in trouble in Whiteside County.

Nelson has served time in prison for two counts of burglary, destroying evidence and for writing bad checks. Those are just a few of the crimes for which Nelson has been convicted.

Related:  Man leaves dog in cage to die

Police were called on Tuesday, March 25, to the 1000 block of Lincoln Street for a report of a dead dog found at Nelson's previous home. Nelson was previously renting the home, but neighbors say he had moved out more than a week before police were called.

Animal Control, animal control officers were at Nelson's home days before the animal was found.  They investigated after Nelson's ex-wife stated, "Joe was moving out and his dog, Tank was locked in the basement," according to a statement from Whiteside County Animal Control.

Animal Control officers searched the outside of the home, left a note on the door and never heard back from Nelson.

Days later, Larry Smith said he found the dead dog as he was cleaning out the home.

"That dog had been there for quit sometime. He didn't have any food or water. It's such a shame," Smith said.

Nelson was held in the Whiteside County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.

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  • Dog lover

    Please make sure this man is never allowed to own another animal again!! If you don’t want your animal anymore please take it to a shelter. This is heartbreaking. Absolutley awful

  • Teresa

    I agree with both comments totally. No food or water,exercise, human contact what so ever and no bathroom priviledges. He would NOT so much even own a pet rat or rattle snake. You deserve every thing and more.

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