A Talent man was arraigned Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court on multiple counts of felony animal cruelty for allegedly killing a litter of puppies and having their bodies dumped at an animal shelter.

By Sanne Specht

For the Tidings

A Talent man was arraigned Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court on multiple counts of felony animal cruelty for allegedly killing a litter of puppies and having their bodies dumped at an animal shelter.

Robert Allen Fullmer, 54, of the 800 block of Talent Ave., faces five counts of felony first-degree aggravated animal abuse, five counts of first-degree animal abuse, and possession of methamphetamine. He remains in jail on $250,000 bail with conditions for his release that include not being under the influence of intoxicants or having any animals under his care.

Fullmer, who has multiple felony and misdemeanor convictions for drug charges, driving under the influence and resisting arrest, did not enter a plea at his arraignment after appearing before Judge Tim Barnack. He asked to retain his own attorney. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Thursday.

Talent police said Fullmer killed the puppies at his Talent home, then got someone to dispose of the dead dogs at the Southern Oregon Humane Society. Investigators still want to talk to that person, said Talent Police Chief Mike Moran.

The puppies originally appeared to have been suffocated, but police investigation has opened other possible manners of death that police are reviewing, said Moran.

"We know for certain that the animals died at the hand of the suspect," he said, "and the vet has confirmed that they died in a nonhumane way. We are still investigating the manner of their death."

Fullmer was arrested Wednesday after police received a tip from a neighbor who had read news accounts of puppies apparently suffocated and dumped at the Southern Oregon Humane Society. On Sunday morning, Humane Society workers found a sealed plastic storage container with large mixed-breed puppies about 8 weeks old inside. Each of the five pups was wrapped in a plastic bag.

Talent police Sgt. Jennifer Snook pursued the tip, interviewed Jackson County Animal Control and Humane Society officials, and had a veterinarian examine the bodies of the five puppies. The investigation revealed that Fullmer had cared for a dog and her puppies for his roommate, who was in jail.

Moran said Fullmer told investigators he couldn't do the job any more.

When Fullmer was booked into the Jackson County Jail, officials found that he had a small packet of meth hidden. A charge of possession of methamphetamine was added to the animal cruelty charges.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.