Police in Akron, Ohio, removed four dogs from a couple's home after officers found the dogs allegedly malnourished and neglected.
The dogs were removed from the house after police arrived searching for Richard Facemire, a fugitive from justice with a felony warrant for his arrest, according to WKYC. Officers arrived at the home and found Richard's wife, Angel Facemire, who is said to have told them that her husband wasn't home.
After Angel gave the officers permission to check the home, they found the dogs, who they said were visibly malnourished and appeared to have been neglected. Police said that the home had no dog food or water for the animals and that the dogs appeared to have been kept in cages for long periods of time.
One dog, a German Shepherd, was reportedly near death and was immediately taken to an animal hospital. The other three dogs were taken to a nearby animal shelter.
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Photos of one of the animals show a dog with a visible rib cage and patches of missing fur.
While officers were removing the dogs from the home, Richard arrived at the house and police immediately arrested him. The man reportedly had a small amount of methamphetamine in his pocket. Angel was also reportedly taken into custody by police.
Richard was reportedly charged with possession of drugs, as well as felony cruelty to animals. Angel was also reported to be charged with animal cruelty.
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In another case of animal cruelty in Akron earlier in March, James Taylor, 66, killed his 95-year-old mother's dog, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
Taylor reportedly arrived home intoxicated to find that the dog had peed inside. The man is then accused of snapping the dog's neck and leaving it in the pet's dog bed, where his mother and her grandson reportedly found the dog's body in the morning.
Taylor, who stood accused of threatening to snap his elderly mother's neck, as well, was charged with animal cruelty and menacing.
Police in Ohio have only been able to charge people with felonies for animal abuse since 2016, when lawmakers passed Goddard's Law, named for animal advocate Dick Goddard, according to WJW.
Goddard's Law made it a felony to knowingly cause serious harm to a pet, including depriving pets of food or water. The law also requires prison time for anyone who harms a police dog.
Prior to the passing of Goddard's Law, authorities in Ohio could only charge those who harmed or abused animals with misdemeanors for the crimes.