Friday, July 31, 2015

Ohio: John Ward, 48, and Lori Ward, 42, get probation after locking animals inside feces and urine-covered mobile home

OHIO -- A husband and wife charged with animal cruelty both entered plea agreements in the Hillsboro Municipal Court on Friday.

The Times-Gazette previously reported that John Ward, 48, and Lori Ward, 42, both of Hillsboro, were charged after numerous dogs and cats were allegedly found in “extreme unsanitary conditions,” according to an affidavit.

Both pled guilty to the second-degree misdemeanors. The state recommended suspended sentences on the condition that they forfeit the animals and possess no animals during their probation periods.

Hillsboro Municipal Court Judge David H. McKenna described “the conditions of this place – I wouldn’t call it a home” as “pretty disgusting.”
The affidavit states that “upon entering, the smell was overpowering” and that the group “had to vacate the premises several times due to burning eyes and not being able to (breathe).”

The affidavit adds that the trailer “was at least 90 percent feces and urine from the dogs and cats, not only on the floor but on counters, furniture, etc.”

The dog warden further describes the state of the trailer, including that “one small dog was in a small wire crate with at least seven inches of urine and feces covering the entire bottom of the cage floor,” according to the affidavit.

The affidavit adds that two other dogs were “found in a closed room … standing on top of plastic crates to get off the floor which was covered in both feces and urine.”
He asked John Ward: “Why’d you do this? … Do you hate these animals?”

“No,” he said.

“But you didn’t do anything about it except make it worse,” McKenna told him.

The judge asked Lori Ward if she had been living in the same residence as the animals. She said that she and her husband were, at times, living there and spending the night.

She added, “I do a lot of stuff for my church.”

McKenna then said, “Well, you don’t have to worry about taking care of pets for a long time.”

He added, “Maybe you should look into raising flowers.”

Ninety-day jail sentences were suspended on each case with the conditions of the agreements. Also suspended were $750 fines.

The Wards will each have to complete 80 hours of community service. They will be on non-reporting probation for five years, which, according to McKenna, is “as long as I am allowed” to place a defendant on probation.

(Times Gazette - July 31, 2015)