Authorities found 30 dead dogs at an Ohio animal rescue, while 90 dogs were rescued from inhumane conditions in July 2023.
The operator of Helping Hands for Furry Paws, Inc. faces several felony allegations after authorities discovered 30 dead dogs at two of the animal rescue organization locations.
According to the Butler County Sheriff's Office, the searches of the two locations are tied to the nonprofit rescue organization, where they also found 90 living dogs kept in horrific conditions.
The sheriff's office stated in a press release: “One garage housed over 25 dogs in cages with no ventilation or air conditioning, with measured indoor temperatures of 89 degrees,”
Their cages contained fecal matter and urine, and lacked food and water, the sheriff's office alleged. “One cage contained a mother and eight newborn puppies.”
The office stated that Rhonda Murphy, the organization's owner and operator, now faces dozens of charges of neglect and cruelty to companion animals, both felony and misdemeanor.
As the investigation develops, it's still unclear whether Rhonda Murphy has been arrested, booked, or formally charged since court records revealed no information on her legal status, and she was not listed as an inmate.
It was also unclear if Murphy had legal representation. The public defender for the place did not quickly respond to a request for comment.
The sheriff's office also confirmed that dead animals were found in refrigerators and freezers (some were not working) in different stages of decomposition.
The reason for the search and whether or not it was done with a judge's permission was not revealed in their statement.
Deputies also discovered dogs that were alive but needed fresh air, food, and clean water.
On another location, the sheriff's office described as the “main house,” contained 11 dogs that were in hoarder-like conditions.
They described that the odor there was “horrendous”, and they said that the deputies involved had to take small breaks to walk outside to catch some fresh air.
The Animal Friends Humane Society stepped in to take custody of the rescued dogs. Their animal population nearly doubled as a result of this kind of deed.