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Woman arrested after nearly 20 dead dogs found inside home

UPDATE 5/12/22 @ 10 pm

SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) – A woman is facing dozens of animal cruelty charges after a wellness check led to the discovery of nearly 20 dead dogs.

After more than two decades on the job, Portsmouth City Health Department animal control officer Wendy Payton has seen her share of unpleasant scenes, but she says nothing compares with what she saw inside a home Thursday.

“It’s just a horrible scene,” Payton told WSAZ outside the house.

She went to the home on Sycamore Street in Sciotoville for a wellness check after neighbors reported a bad odor and an unusual amount of flies. They also reported the woman who lives at the home hadn’t been seen in about a week.

After nobody answered the front door, and the back door was found to be open, Payton says she called for an officer to come help.

She says they found 19 dead dogs.

“It’s very heartbreaking,” she said. “I don’t know what makes a person treat their animals like this.”

Payton says they also found 27 dogs alive and in rough shape, and all appeared to be German shepherds or shepherd mixes. Some were in cages.

“All the dogs we picked up today were in desperate need of a drink of water,” she said.

The woman who rents the home and lives there, 29-year-old Samantha Damron, was taken to the Scioto County Jail.

Payton says she asked Damron how it got to this point, and she told her she just got overwhelmed.

“She didn’t really show any emotion,” Payton said. “She did n’t really show any remorse about the dogs being locked in the cages and what they looked like, the thin condition they were in.”

Chad Garinger lives nearby and pastors a church in the neighborhood.

“I hope the lady meant well, but this is one of those things where you can see if you don’t ask for help, you don’t get it,” he said. “Then at some point it becomes overwhelming, and I hate to see anyone overwhelmed.”

Garinger kept several of the dogs in his yard until they could be taken to the animal shelter.

“The ones so far have all been friendly,” he said. “When you offer a thirsty dog ​​water, they’re going to be your friends.”

Payton says the dogs found alive were taken to the Scioto County Animal Shelter, and animal rescue groups will be picking them up later and finding them new homes.

The house has been condemned.

According to a worker at the jail, Damron faces 33 counts of cruelty to animals, and more charges are expected.

ORIGINAL STORY

SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) – A woman faces charges after nearly 20 dead dogs were found at a house in Sciotoville.

Wendy Payton, an animal control officer with the Portsmouth City Health Department, says she arrived Thursday at the home along Sycamore Street to do a wellness check after a neighbor reported a bad odor.

She says no one answered at the front or back door, and the back door was open. She called an officer to the scene to help investigate.

Payton calls what they found inside the worst case of animal abuse she’s ever seen.

They found 20 dead dogs inside, along with 15 live ones in poor condition. Several of the dead dogs were found in cages.

The dogs are all either German shepherds or shepherd mixes.

A woman faces charges after 20 dead dogs were found at a house in Sciotoville, Ohio.(WSAZ/Andrew Colegrove)

The woman who lives at the house, 29-year-old Samantha Damron, was also found inside. She was taken to the Scioto County Jail.

Payton says she talked with Damron about how it got to this point, and Damron said she just felt overwhelmed. Payton also said Damron didn’t show any emotion.

According to a worker at the jail, Damron faces 33 counts of cruelty to animals, and more charges are expected.

Some of the live dogs have been taken to the Scioto County dog ​​shelter. A neighbor is keeping five dogs in his yard until they can be transported to the shelter.

Payton says animal rescue groups will be picking the dogs up from the shelter later.

The house has been condemned.

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