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Dead goats, dog prompt Clay Twp. animal cruelty investigation

CLAY TWP., Montgomery County — Three goats and a dog were found dead in a barn Wednesday afternoon on National Road, prompting an animal cruelty investigation.

Two other goats were found alive after Clay Twp. Police responded around 1:30 p.m. to a foreclosed property in the 7300 block of National Road following a call from a property preservation company working with the mortgage lender.

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The caller told dispatchers the company was alerted the property was abandoned, and that when they arrived they found the deceased animals.

“I don’t know how decomposed some of the animals were,” said Brian Weltge, President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. “Whenever we find animals that are deceased any place, we take it very seriously.”

Weltge said one of the Humane Society’s humane agents are assigned the case and will be investigating whether any charges are appropriate.

The caller said the property owner called the company and told them “she is in the hospital and has been having a friend feed the goats and the ... dead ones have been dead since last winter.”

Neighbor Rick Thomas said he was heartbroken to learn of the deceased animals.

“This was just really a bad circumstance,” he said, because the owner “loved her animals very much.”

He said his neighbor formerly was a breeder of Labradoodles — a Labrador retriever, poodle crossbreed — but that in the last few years she had lost her husband and suffered poor health, then no longer was living there. Thomas said someone was coming out to care for the goats, and then at one point he thought there were no longer animals on the property.

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Thomas said when neighbors discovered there were still two goats in the shed, alive but “skin and bones” they pooled together to feed them.

“When you live in the country you rely on each other to watch each other’s property,” he said.

He also called authorities to report the neglected animals. Crews came out, he said, but he was surprised to find out a couple weeks later that the goats were still there. Thomas and his son resumed trying to care for them.

The dead animals were found in a barn, and not a place the owner kept her goats, Thomas said.

“We didn’t even know about the ones that possibly even starved to death,” he said.

The Montgomery County Animal Resource Center and Humane Society of Greater Dayton were called to assist with the investigation.

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