In March, five dogs were rescued from bitter cold temperatures and being inhumanely tied up without adequate shelter, protection, or food in the yard of a woman in Kane.
On Tuesday, April 17th, charges were officially filed in Greene County against the woman, 39 year old Joyce May. State’s Attorney Caleb Briscoe has filed four counts of violation of owner’s duties.
Aimee Dilks is May’s neighbor and the initial savior of the dogs. Dilks saw how the animals had been left with no shelter or food and decided that someone needed to take action.
Dilks lists some of the initial events and situations that led up to that fateful day of rescue.
“I moved in next door and it started like four years ago and you see it progressively getting worse with each dog. ‘Hot Rod’, which is the golden retriever-looking one, and the shih-tzus they had back then. The two pit bulls came about between November and now. What happened is: the week of the 19th to the 23rd, I guess Joyce May’s boyfriend left, turned the electric off because they had a fight so nobody was staying at the trailer at all that whole week. I knew that he left… you could tell the electric was shut off, that nobody was staying there. And Joyce had two dogs that were tied outside and I knew that there was three inside.”
Dilks talks about the trailer owner and how a certain former Kane official was not helpful.
“Wednesday the 21st, I talked to the owner of the trailer and told him about the three dogs that were inside. So, he had told Joyce to get the dogs outside because there wasn’t supposed to be any dogs inside. So, what she did was: the two shih-tzus she put on shepherd’s hooks with a leash and then one pitbull, it had like a four foot leash.”
“I also had called the Greene County Health Department trying to find out what to do. The dog catcher that was supposed to be here in Kane, he up and quit during that week. And like in the past whenever I had talked to him about the cats and stuff in the yard, he told me to just put poison in the wet food. And I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t like poison an animal.”
Dilks then describes the Friday morning when her and a friend entered the property and began the fight to save these five helpless dogs.
“We went over there Friday morning to get the shih-tzus after she told me I could take them and I was videotaping. And first thing we walked up to was the tan and white pit bull, and you could tell that it was really cold, shivering, and real skinny. I seen the one golden retriever on the driveway. Well I went around the garage and I couldn’t find the black and white one. Well then I went over closer to its doghouse, and that’s whenever it was like wrapped around the fence and hanging there. And I thought it was dead, and then it lifted its head and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, it’s alive.'”
Dilks recalls two specific surprises that ended up being true blessings for these canines.
“Riverbend, they were going to Carrolton, and they drove by here and seen all the cars out front and decided to stop and see what was going on. And I asked them who they were and they said ‘the Humane Society’ and they were wanting to check on the shih-tzus and I said, ‘Don’t look at the shih-tzus right now, we’ve got a different problem’ and waved them over. And then they ended up getting the dog free from the fence. And then when they took it in to the shelter they had to get bolt cutters to cut the log chain off that dog’s neck. They were gonna take the one in the fence, and I said, ‘Well, you need to take these other two. I’m not leaving until all these dogs are gone.’ So they ended up taking all three of the big dogs, and then we took the two shih-tzus into PAWS. And one of the shih-tzus ended up being pregnant. If we didn’t get them when we did, that female one probably wouldn’t have survived.”
Joyce May remains behind bars.