Hillsboro couple charged with animal cruelty


Seifer

A Hillsboro couple is facing charges of animal cruelty after numerous dogs and cats were allegedly found in “extreme unsanitary conditions,” according to an affidavit filed with the Hillsboro Municipal Court.

Highland County Dog Warden Cathy Seifer reports in the affidavit that she was contacted by the Highland County Animal Shelter for assistance concerning a trailer on Heathermoor Trail on June 24.

The shelter had reportedly posted a notice on the trailer’s door advising the residents – identified as John and Lori Ward, 48 and 42, respectively – to contact the shelter within a 24-hour period.

After the shelter was not contacted, the landlords of the residence allowed the shelter, the dog warden, and the deputy dog warden into the residence, according to the affidavit.

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.”

A total of three dogs were removed from the premises, as were five cats. The affidavit states that “one cat was found to have (an) ulcer on one eye.” Another cat reportedly seemed to have “some type of balance problem,” the affidavit adds. The remaing three cats “appeared in fair health by appearance only,” according to the affidavit.

The cats were reportedly placed into the custody of the Humane Society, as the dog pound does not house cats.

Court records show that John Ward is scheduled to be arraigned on second-degree misdemeanor animal cruelty on Wednesday. Records add that a warrant remains active for Lori Ward. Warrants for both were issued on June 26, according to records.

Reach Sarah Allen at 937-393-3456, ext. 1680, or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.

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