A Tennessee dog trainer who was caught and charged with animal cruelty, committed suicide three days after his arrest.
The Daily Mail reports Stephen Kinder, 42, was arrested Monday for abusing several dogs in his care at his business Kinder Dog Training. Police held him at the Cleveland pet training center after his customers accused him of starving and mistreating their dogs. Kinder was subsequently freed on a $1,250 bond and claimed he was innocent.
Kinder was found in a vehicle on Thursday and police say he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after he was sent to a local hospital.
Cleveland PD Sergeant Evie West said that it was unclear of what was going through Kinder’s mind before he claimed his own life.
‘I don’t know what was going through his mind. I don’t know if it was just this specific incident, if it was what was being said, or if it was the collective – you know, something that made him think that this was just not worth it, in order to take his own life,’
Multiple dog owners said that their pets would be returned covered in feces and urine. One dog owner said that she could see her dog’s ribs and leg bones poking out of their skin. Animal control raided Kinder’s home Friday and discovered 16 malnourished dogs in crates. They reported that the animals had been dwelling in the horrific conditions for weeks. Despite the findings, the dog training center is still in business.