OHIO -- A woman’s concern over her neighbor led Wapakoneta Police to discover several dead dogs in a Logan Street home Wednesday afternoon.
The woman called police at 4:35 p.m. Wednesday after having not seen her 55-year-old female neighbor outside in a couple months.
Wapakoneta Police Clerk Denise Kohler said the woman reported seeing swarms of flies around the front door and a foul odor coming from the home at 907 Logan St.
Upon arrival, police officers could not get a response at the door and forced their way into the home, where upon entry they discovered three dead dogs and another in very poor health.
“The conditions were as bad as I’ve ever seen,” Auglaize County Dog Warden Russ Bailey told the Wapakoneta Daily News.
He said the dogs had been in the home for an undetermined amount of time, but possibly almost two months without food or water and in extreme heat as no air conditioner or fans were running and all the windows to the home were closed. Two of the dogs were caged throughout their ordeal.
The Auglaize County Humane Society is caring for a fourth dog found still alive in the home, however the chihuahua mix was described as being in really bad shape.
Breeds of the deceased dogs were unknown because of their condition. The animals appeared to have been dead for some time, Kohler said.
“I’ve taken in dogs in certain situations, but nothing like this,” Bailey said.
“It seems like to me whoever dropped the ball on this was pretty irresponsible,” he said. “It appears no one was taking care of them at all.”
According to the police report, the resident of the home, whose name has not been released, had gone into the hospital in June and a family member was supposed to be caring for the dogs.
Bailey said unfortunately Assistant Auglaize County Dog Warden Jim Heistan experienced a similar situation in St. Marys a couple months ago.
The county dog warden said they can pursue charges against the inhumane treatment of the dogs, but as the situation remains under investigation, it is unknown if they have enough to charge someone.
The Humane Society declined to comment on the situation, only to say that the living dog is in their care.
Wapakoneta Police are investigating the situation as a case of animal cruelty.
“The house was in a very poor condition,” Kohler said, adding that they are still investigating who was the party responsible for the dogs.
The homeowner has yet to be reached and her whereabouts after going to the hospital a couple months ago are unknown. The police department doesn’t plan to pursue charges until more information is known.
Kohler said the Auglaize County Health Department also has been called in to help with cleanup of the home.
“We want to let everyone know that if someone is going into the hospital or is elderly and might be out of the house for a prolonged period of time, they can get a hold of us or the Auglaize County Humane Society to take care of their dog,” Bailey said.
“Anyone can call us anytime and between us and the Humane Society we will do what we can to prevent a situation like this,” he said.
“We would definitely like to prevent this in the future.”
(Wapakoneta Daily News - Jan 3, 2017)