The Clark County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to the trailer in the 16000 block of Beechwood Drive in Charlestown Jan. 17 in reference to an animal cruelty report, according to court documents.
The landlord of the property contacted authorities, saying several neighbors had reached out to him regarding starving dogs inside the trailer. The landlord said the trailer sat empty at least two weeks after he asked the tenants to move out.
Joshua Davis said the woman who lived in the trailer, Amber Davis, is his cousin and that the dogs belong to her. He told police that his grandmother asked whether he had stopped by Davis' trailer to check on the dogs. He said he told her he didn't know he was supposed to. Davis and his fiance Erin Caves, then went to the trailer and said when he opened the door, the smell of dog feces was strong.
"Stuff was everywhere," Joshua Davis said. "Dog feces everywhere and cockroaches, it was bad."
Caves said the dogs were skin and bones. Court documents reveal that Davis' cousin found the five dogs without food or water, and it appeared they had been abandoned.
The documents say the animals' rib cages were visible and all of them were malnourished. Caves said she picked up one of the dogs and carried it outside for some fresh air, but when she put it on the ground, the dog fell, too weak to stand or walk.
The couple said they went home and got some dog food, returned to the trailer and placed the food inside a large dish. One of the dogs immediately vomited upon eating the food.
Clark County Animal Control responded. The dogs were taken to the Clark County Animal Shelter for treatment. The three dogs who were in the worst condition were eventually taken by the Arrow Fund. They are now in foster care and are doing better. The other dogs are at J.B. Ogle Animal Shelter in Jeffersonville.
Clark County prosecutor Jeremy Mull believes animal cruelty laws in Indiana need to be tougher.
"Passing a bad check can be a more serious offense than starving an animal to death, that disparity and those laws are not correct," Mull said. "The legislature ought to toughen up those laws."
(WAVE3 - Jan 24, 2017)