Woman accused of letting dogs die

A Jonesboro Police Department patrol car. Photo by Stan Morris.

JONESBORO, Ark. – A warrant sent authorities to a home in Sage Meadows to retrieve several starving dogs but not before two died.

The reports begin just before 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, with events transpiring at the 4200-block of Sage Meadows Boulevard – the home of Tonja L. McDaniel, 46. Officers were dispatched and received no answer at the door. They were then led to the backyard by a witness, where they discovered a horrific sight to even the most cold hearted, the report details.

A small dog was lying motionless on the ground with the dog struggling to breathe. It did not respond to the officers touch. It was also very emaciated – starved and malnourished. The officer retrieved the dog and took it to his vehicle to take to a veterinarian. While transporting the dog, it stopped breathing in the officer’s patrol unit. The dog died.

Several other dogs were found at the scene, including another emaciated small white dog.

Later that day, police returned to the home to try to make contact with McDaniel but she would not come to the door. Officers noted in the report seeing her in the kitchen area of the residence, visible from the front door, displaying “hand/finger gestures.” A small dog, inside of the residence with McDaniel, was also observed and believed to be emaciated.

Wednesday, authorities returned with a search warrant. With animal control present, police once again could not get McDaniel to come to the front door. She was detained at the back door of the residence and placed in handcuffs.

Animal control searched the residence once it was secured and discovered three malnourished dogs along with another dog which was lying dead in a box.

McDaniel told an animal control officer she, and the dogs, had a “stomach virus.”

McDaniel was arrested for animal cruelty from the previous day along with four other animal cruelty charges for the dogs in the residence. Her court date is set for Nov. 21 at 1 p.m.


  1. The woman thats in Craighead county that let her dogs starve to death better get some serious punishment for this and not a slap on the wrist. There is no excuse for this behavior. Make her starve for a while and put her heartless scroungie butt in jail and do some time and pay a fine. That is totally unacceptable!!!!

    • This is a tragic situation. I hurt for the suffering of these dogs. But, please know that this lady has been silently suffering herself. She has not had a vehicle since September. No water or electricity since October. Therefore, she and the dogs had no water or food. She didn’t have a phone to call for help. These are difficulties of her own making, but please show her some compassion for her illness. I am personally trying to help her get the help she needs and to see that the remaining dogs are given the best care possible.


        • This is a private matter at this time and I cannot comment on personal matters. Thank you!!!

      • The dogs are getting the best care possible. While Ms. McDaniel is incarcerated for her offenses we are getting her the medical attention that she needs, as well.

  2. Is this the attorney, Bobby McDaniel’s ex wife? How is it that someone is living in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Jonesboro and can’t feed her pets or keep her utilities on?

  3. I am with you on this Michael. SHAME ON EVERYONE WHO KNEW ABOUT THIS SITUATION. I hope this is a felony charge and not a misdemeanor. You can feel sad for a woman but also expect that she is punished for her crimes and faces the consequences of her actions.

    Rev. Vincent you can’t comment?!? But you already did.

    • Garrett, we didn’t know about it. Even the eight or who lived next door didn’t know that she didn’t have electricity. Please know that Ms. McDaniel will pay for this abuse and get help for herself. Please have some compassion for a very tragic situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.