Digital Access

Digital Access
Access saukvalley.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from SaukValley.com, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
The Holiday Gift Auction is Live! Click here and bid now on great local gifts!
Local

Man charged with animal cruelty in pit bull's death

Joseph R. Nelson
Joseph R. Nelson

ROCK FALLS – A 37-year-old Rock Falls man was in Whiteside County Jail Sunday afternoon, charged with a felony for apparently leaving a caged pit bull to starve to death in the basement of a home he once rented, Whiteside County Sheriff Kelly Wilhelmi said.

Joseph R. Nelson is being held on $50,000 bond, charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal, which carries 1 to 3 years in prison. He has an April 3 court hearing.

Deputies arrested Nelson at 1:45 p.m. Friday, after an investigation into the dog’s death that began Tuesday, the sheriff’s office said in a news release sent Saturday morning.

“We’ve got a good, solid case,” Wilhelmi said Saturday.

A necropsy is scheduled today; it is hoped to reveal, among other things, time and exact cause of death, Wilhelmi said.

The dog appears to be an adult, but the carcass weighed only 25 pounds, he said. It was found in the basement by a person hired to clean out the rental property, which is in the 1000 block of Lincoln Street. The person carried the cage out to the yard, the sheriff said.

Nelson has several felony convictions on his record in Whiteside County, for two counts of burglary and for writing bad checks in two 1997 cases, and for driving on a revoked license and obstructing justice by destroying evidence in a 2009 case. He also has a felony bad check conviction in Lee County stemming from a 1998 case.

Loading more