BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) Officials at Belmont County Hoof and Paw received a request for assistance from the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department.


What they discovered was a horrific scene of animals that were once treasured pets–that had been left to die, locked in cages.


They found the bodies of 22 rabbits, five kittens and three adult cats inside a house on Main Street in Barton.


Hoof and Paw Humane Agent Julie Larish got a call from the sheriff’s department, directing her to meet a cleaning crew at a repossessed house.


She said they found “cages and cages” containing the bodies of rabbits, cats and kittens.
Larish said neighbors said the woman who lived there moved out in 2015 or 2016, leaving the animals behind.


Larish said charges are pending against the woman, who now lives in Dillonvale.


She said the rabbits were pedigreed rabbits that had won prizes at rabbit shows.


She said the house was in deplorable condition, with debris everywhere and feces covering the floors. 


She said there was nothing left of the bodies except bones, skin and fur