Rescue owner charged after dozens of dogs found dead in freezers

30 dogs did not survive, the sheriff said.
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 12:51 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2023 at 6:00 PM EDT
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BUTLER COUNTY (WXIX) - A dog rescue owner faces charges after nearly 100 dogs were seized from two Madison Township properties, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Dog Wardens say they seized 90 dogs and found at least 30 deceased dogs at Helping Hands for Furry Paws, an animal rescue run by Ronda Murphy.

Murphy is charged with cruelty to animals, according to Middletown Municipal Court records.

An investigation revealed that adult canines and puppies in varying stages of decomposition were found inside five refrigerators/freezers on two separate properties, deputies said. They also said that some of the refrigeration units were not in working condition.

After searching both properties, Deputy Dog Wardens described the main house as unlivable and said the animals were found in “the most horrible conditions they have ever seen.”

Deputies say the main house contained 11 adult dogs, some living together in cages filled with urine, fecal matter, and no food or water. They said that one cage housed a mother and eight newborn puppies.

Additionally, over 25 dogs were found caged in a garage with no ventilation and an indoor temperature of 89 degrees, according to the investigation.

“Neglect that rises to this horrific level of cruelty will never be tolerated in this county, Sheriff Jones said. “If you can’t properly care for your animals, there are many agencies that will help. Otherwise, you will go to jail.”

All of the dogs are being evaluated and treated at Animal Friends Humane Society. They will remain there until they are relinquished by the owner or removed by the court.

The shelter is accepting donations to help cover the dogs’ medical bills, daily care and food. They are also accepting items such as puppy pads, bleach, laundry detergent, wet pate food and Science Diet brand dry food for adults and puppies.

Potential adopters can view the current adoptable animals and fill out an application on the Animal Friends Humane Society’s website.

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