Max, a beautiful and intelligent dog, spent eight years of his life chained to a tree, suffering through hot Mississippi summers and freezing winters without shelter.

When Doll Stanley from In Defense of Animals and a sheriff’s deputy from Montgomery County followed up on a tip of the dog’s situation and arrived on scene, they found a scared, cold Max with no water, food, or shelter.

It was 34 degrees Fahrenheit and raining. There were holes all over the yard where Max had tried to dig his way to warmth since the only place he could hide was in the mud under a car. 

Max’s collar was so tight that, combined with the heaviness of the chain, he was left with marks and nearly raw skin. He had scars on his face from other dogs coming into the yard to fight him.

Stanley left a dog house with Max to provide shelter until legal action could take place. Finally, they were able to rescue Max and remove his chain, taking him into the rescue so he can start his new life with people who will take proper care of him.

Max’s “guardian” Vernell Flowers claims that he fed the dog. At some point, Max was taught to shake and sit.  This bare minimum of care and attention is not enough, Stanley said. Max, and all animals, deserve so much more.

Flowers was charged and found guilty of animal cruelty under the Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law. He was given a 90-day, suspended sentence — meaning he won’t serve jail time unless he violates the court conditions — and fined $1,000, which is the maximum fines. Flowers also is not allowed to have a dog in his possession for two years.