Warrenville man charged with abandoning puppy in Aiken hotel room

December 15, 2018 GMT

A Warrenville man was charged Thursday in connection with a 2017 incident where a puppy was abandoned with no food or water in an Aiken hotel room.

Richard John Hickox, 54, of the 200 block of Chalk Bed Road, is charged with animal cruelty/abandonment of an animal, according to jail records.

On March 19, 2017, officers with the Aiken Department of Public Safety responded to the Days Inn on Richland Avenue in downtown Aiken around noon after the cleaning staff found a dog inside one of the rooms, according to the report.

Hotel management explained the dog was located in room 304, which had been paid for by Hickox, who had vacated the room around 11 a.m., the report states.

Hickox was called by management to inform him he had left the dog, but he told them he would not be returning for the animal, police reported.

Officers entered room 304, where the puppy was found hiding under the bed. One officer called for the dog, which immediately approached in a friendly manner, police reported.

Investigators reported the puppy appeared to be a tan/golden Lab-pit mix, younger than 4 months old, still retaining milk teeth and not having a full set of canines.

The puppy also did not have access to food or water in the room, according to the report.

Officers called Hickox who admitted to staying in the room the previous night, but claimed he could not locate the dog that morning and decided to leave without it, the report states.

When asked about returning for the puppy, Hickox told officers he did not want to keep the dog and therefore had decided to abandon it, police reported.

An arrest warrant was then issued for Hickox on March 19, 2017.

The puppy was taken the same day to the SPCA Albrecht Center, 199 Willow Run Road in Aiken, where it remained until getting adopted to new family on April 29, 2017, said Lt. Jake Mahoney, with Aiken Public Safety.

On Thursday, Hickox was arrested during a lawful traffic stop in Aiken and taken to the Aiken County detention center, where he was still being held Friday afternoon.

Police also reported finding over 100 different prescription pills that were not inside a prescription bottle in Hickox’s possession at the time of the traffic stop. However, Hickox claimed he could provide police with the appropriate pill bottles for each pill once he was released from jail, the report states.

The pills were all dropped into evidence for safekeeping, police reported.