Dozens of animals rescued from Kinder's residence

Posted 2/10/19

Police in Dalton, Ga., obtained a warrant to search the home of Cleveland dog trainer Stephen Kinder, finding dozens of animals living in desperate conditions.Kinder died Thursday in Cleveland from …

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Dozens of animals rescued from Kinder's residence


Police in Dalton, Ga., obtained a warrant to search the home of Cleveland dog trainer Stephen Kinder, finding dozens of animals living in desperate conditions.

Kinder died Thursday in Cleveland from an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound. He was facing five counts of cruelty to animals in connection to his dog training business located at the Cleveland/Bradley Business Incubator on the Cleveland State Community College campus, 3575 Adkisson Drive.

Kinder’s home is located on Mattie Street in Dalton. According to the Dalton Police Department,  Kinder “took his life after officers served a warrant to search his home.”

The warrant was served at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, according to the DPD. 

The DPD report stated Kinder’s friends said he was making suicidal statements, prompting them to contact the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office to ask the DPD to perform a welfare check on Kinder.

Dalton police were able to contact Kinder by phone. He denied he was suicidal and agreed to meet investigators at his Dalton home, the DPD report stated.

The phone call took place at approximately 12:10 p.m., according to the DPD.

Kinder never arrived.

He shot himself minutes later at American Legion Post No. 81, located on 227 James Asbury Drive N.W., in Cleveland.

Cleveland police responded to a 911 call around 12:30 p.m.,  informing them a shot had been fired at the Legion's parking area.

"Dalton investigators at the scene were contacted again by Bradley County at approximately 1:30 and learned that Kinder had apparently killed himself with a self-inflicted gunshot," the DPD statement read.

Kinder was arrested earlier this week by the Cleveland Police Department on animal cruelty charges and transported to the Bradley County Jail, where he was later released on a $1,250 bond.

The arrest stemmed from complaints from former customers who claimed Kinder had mistreated their dogs, resulting in several suffering malnourishment and bodies covered with sores.

He was charged with four counts of cruelty to animals, with a fifth charge filed against him Wednesday.

Diane Franklin, director of Whitfield County Animal Control, told the Cleveland Daily Banner that 16 dogs were inside the residence, as well as two baby goats, two turtles and a snake. 

“Nine ducks were in the backyard,” Franklin said.

The animals were malnourished and were covered in feces, Franklin said.

Also found was a dead turtle, as well as several dead snakes.

Franklin said many of the animals were 20 to 30 pounds underweight.

“They also had muscle mass breakdown,” Franklin said.

Franklin said two goats and two ducks were rescued and sent to a farm. The reptiles, including the two turtles, a lizard and a snake were rescued and re-homed.

Fourteen dogs were rescued by Canine Pet Rescue of Dalton, with two returned to their owners.

“All the animals got a positive outcome,” Franklin said.

Franklin said the owner of the residence, Morgan Kinder, who was Stephen Kinder’s wife, “willingly relinquished the animals to rescuers.”

According to Canine Pet Rescue’s Facebook page, “all of the dogs we received [Thursday] are extremely underweight,” the post read. “They have all been vetted and microchipped, and any medical needs that arise out of the blood work and other tests will be dealt with.”

A Belgian Malinois, Dutch shepherds and German shepherds were among the dogs rescued, according to Canine Pet Rescue.

Those wishing to make a donation or adopt to Canine Pet Rescue may visit,


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