Woman Faces Animal Neglect Charges After Dog, Cats Found With No Food Or Water
A Columbus woman faces more than 20 counts of animal neglect after human agents found cats and a dog inside her home with no food and water.
The discovery happened on Ramsdell Drive in northeast Columbus in late May.
Humane agents say they found Snapshot, a Walker Hound, living in his own filth in a wooden crate in a garage.
"The entire area was filthy - in his own feces and urine," says Kerry Manion Humane Agent for the Capital Area Humane Society.
Agents filed more than two dozen animal neglect charges against the owner, Bettie Sue Hefner.
According to the complaint, a family member says Hefner suffered a mental breakdown after the passing of her husband.
Manion says the Walker Hound lacked proper medical care based on the tumor growing off his ankle.
"He had absolutely no food or water. There was eye discharge coming from his eyes," says Manion.
Humane agents say when they first arrived at the home in late May, they counted 12 cats in the window.
But after the owner failed to respond to repeated warning letters, agents came to the home with a search warrant.
The conditions inside the home were deplorable. Manion says it's a typical case of animal hoarding and animal neglect.
"We opened up the window and 17 cats, one after the other, came through that window into our arms. We put them in carriers. I've never had that happen before," says Manion.
Manion says the cats were emaciated and dehydrated.
He says had neighbors not complained, it's likely Stringbean and the 18 cats would have died.
"If that situation was unreported, I'm sure we would have found dead animals," he says.
The Humane Society says the cats are not ready for adoption yet because they are still under weight.
They dog will also be adopted someday but he first must undergo several medical check-ups.