Kansas City Chiefs defensive player Isaiah Buggs charged in Alabama with animal cruelty over abandoned dogs

 May 30, 2024

The NFL's Kansas City Chiefs enjoyed a massive amount of good publicity last season with the media's incessant focus on the romance between star tight end Travis Kelce and pop superstar singer Taylor Swift -- not to mention the team's Super Bowl victory in February.

That good publicity has been countered, however, by legal troubles for other Chiefs players in the off-season, including recent arrest warrants out of Alabama for animal cruelty allegations against defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs, according to Fox News.

Buggs, who joined the Chiefs' practice squad in January and has a future contract with the team for the coming season, stands accused of abandoning two dogs at a rental home in Tuscaloosa, where he resides as a former University of Alabama star player.

Current and pending criminal and civil charges against Buggs

The Tuscaloosa Patch, which was among the first to report on the arrest warrants issued on Wednesday, reported that Buggs turned himself in Thursday morning to address the two misdemeanor charges for animal cruelty, and was subsequently released on a $600 bond.

Buggs still faces other pending criminal charges for unrelated incidents, however, including for pushing a police officer during a separate arrest in April and for threatening a woman with a gun at his place of business, a hookah lounge he operates in the city. He also faces several civil charges related to the business, including allegations of overcrowding, operating without a license, and failing to pay the city's sales taxes.

As for the animal cruelty charges, they stem from reports that two dogs, a grey and white pitbull and a black rottweiler mix, were found in March abandoned on a screened-in porch with no food or water -- with the rottweiler locked in a metal crate -- at a rental home Buggs had reportedly vacated more than a week earlier, according to neighbors.

The dogs were taken into custody by Tuscaloosa Animal Control and were described as being severely "malnourished, emaciated and neglected." Since then, the pitbull was euthanized after it became aggressive and treatment for heartworms was unsuccessful, while the substantially underweight rottweiler remains in the shelter's care after it tested positive for Parvo, a highly contagious and deadly disease for canines if left untreated.

The second-degree animal cruelty warrants were issued after authorities were unable to make contact with Buggs, and a separate court ruling is pending on whether he should be allowed to reclaim ownership of the rottweiler or any other animals, given the circumstances.

Agent denies animal cruelty allegations, accuses city of "subversive campaign" against player

ESPN reported that Buggs' agent, Trey Robinson, said in a statement on Wednesday, "Under no circumstance does Mr. Buggs condone the mistreatment of any animal. The dogs at issue did not belong to him and he was unaware they remained at the property in question."

"Furthermore, we believe the City of Tuscaloosa's decision to file the charges today is part of a concerted effort by the City of Tuscaloosa and its Police Department to besmirch Mr. Buggs' name and reputation as part of an ongoing subversive campaign to force the close of his local business Kings Hookah Lounge," the agent continued.

Robinson also claimed that his client was twice arrested previously on misdemeanor charges "on two separate occasions in the past two months, but each time no public record was made of these arrests," and accused the city of having "used the threat of pursuing and publicizing both the allegations filed today and these arrests as leverage against Mr. Buggs by offering to drop and not pursue them in exchange for his voluntary surrender of his business license."

However, his client "declined the City's offer as he has serious concerns about the City's and Police Department's motivation for deciding to target his business, which he plans to bring to light as part of his defense of the allegations and charges filed against him and his reputation and business."

Star player for Alabama has since bounced around the NFL

The Patch noted that Buggs, who is originally from Louisiana, was a standout defensive lineman for the 2018 NCAA Champion Alabama Crimson Tide, and continues to maintain a residence and business in Tuscaloosa.

He was drafted into the NFL by the Pittsburgh Steelers, for whom he played three seasons, per ESPN, then played a couple of seasons with the Detroit Lions before ending up on the Chiefs' practice squad earlier this year.

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