Horrific conditions at bogus animal rescue in Middletown

Published: Sep. 1, 2017 at 1:56 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2017 at 7:42 AM EDT
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Middletown, OH - A dozen animals were pulled out of a Middletown home that was allegedly posing as an Animal Rescue. The Butler County Dog Warden says the animals were sick, malnourished and covered in fleas. The Warden says the animals were so sick that two puppies and three kittens had to be euthanized.

According to the Warden, the bogus Broken Wingz Animal Rescue was being operated out of a house on the 100 block of Garfield Street by Melanie Todd. The Dog Warden was called to the home after a tip and found dogs with lesions, bloody stool and most were sickly and thin.

Kris Apolinar learned about the rescue after she placed an ad on Craigslist offering four free kittens.

"She's a known animal flipper and at the time I didn't know who she was."

She says she later learned that the woman taking in free animals would turn around and sell them. When she went to the home to get her kittens back she says she found them in poor condition.

"I asked him where are my kittens? He brought me a crate and there were only three in there and you could smell the feces on them it was disgusting and they were so little," said Apolinar.

As she was looking for her other cat that is when she says she saw several other sick puppies.

"When we went in she had 10 dead puppies in the basement. Two were dying and the other two I have now." She says the puppies that she rescued were infested with fleas to the point where it was coming from their mouths. She had to spend $700 in vet bills to get the puppies healthy again.

We talked to Melanie Todd's Husband. He says his wife's heart was in the right place when she started the animal rescue out of her home. "She feels horrible. She completely feels horrible and she is an animal lover," said Christopher Todd.

He says it started with rescuing one dog, which was sick with Parvo and it spread to the other animals. "She was doing everything she could to take care of these animals I've been working over time to take care of these animals for her and it just got to be overwhelming," said Todd.

After the Animal Warden removed the cats and dogs from the house Todd was forced to shut down the Animal Wingz animal rescue website but some in the community say they're still concerned. "I'm sad because she still has animals and they are letting her keep them. How you let somebody who does this to animals have more animals," said Apolinar.

Todd was charged with animal cruelty and is not allowed to take in any more animals until the case is closed. She is due in court on September 7.

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