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Humane Society, police seize 43 ‘malnourished, injured’ animals from Germantown farm

GERMANTOWN — Humane Society of Greater Dayton agents and Germantown police seized 43 animals from a Germantown farm in late July that society officials said were “malnourished, injured, [and] living in deplorable conditions with little to no fresh food.”

With obvious signs of neglect as well as property maintenance violations, humane society agents worked with police to remove a horse, 2 cows, 3 goats, 7 sheep, 5 rabbits, 7 peacocks, a turkey, a duck, 2 guineafowl, 11 chickens and 3 geese.

Water found on the farm looked more like sludge, and fecal matter was nearly 3 feet deep in stalls, according to the humane society.

“It is always a difficult day for our team to see animals in such poor and neglectful conditions,” Brian Weltge, humane society president and CEO said in a prepared statement released Tuesday afternoon.

“Our team . . . responded quickly to obtain a warrant and remove the animals from this horrible situation so that we could begin to immediately address their veterinary needs and provide them with the food, shelter and medical care they need to rehabilitate.”

With most of the animals extremely underweight and many facing additional health issues, the humane society was able to place the animals into foster homes where they are receiving the care and medical attention they need.

Two to four animals remain on the farm, by court order, and the humane society is monitoring their health, society spokeswoman Jessica Garringer said.

Humane society agents recently appeared in Miamisburg Municipal Court about the seizure. The farmers, Joshua Gaul and Amy Driscoll, did plead guilty to animal cruelty involving the 43 animals surrendered. Both were sentenced to the maximum under Ohio law and were granted probation for a period not to exceed five years. The Miamisburg Municipal Court Probation Department and the humane society will monitor the defendants during probation.

The owners are due back in court at the end of the month for a hearing where they will find out their sentencing

Weltge said the humane society is grateful for the people who reported this situation.

“Our organization can’t be everywhere at once so we rely on the community to be our eyes and ears. It is because of your diligence that we were able to remove these animals and give them the help they need,” he said.

The cost to care for these animals can be very expensive for the humane society, he said, asking the public to pitch in financially for the care they need to thrive as they recover and move into forever homes. Weltge is asking the public to visit www.hsdayton.org/donate to make a donation as the society receives no government funding because it is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The humane society relies solely on donations from individuals, companies and grants to support animals in the organization’s care.