Protests planned for alleged animal abuse case in Belmont Ohio


A protest is underway against a Belmont, Ohio woman over alleged acusations of animal abuse. 

Anywhere between 50 to 100 live stock including turkeys, cows, and horses were found dead on a farm on Chestnut Level Road in Belmont, Ohio in October, 2018. 

Some photos showed the desiccated carcasses of turkeys stuffed into bags of feed. 

Six cows, a pig, a donkey, a goat, three horses, 11 chickens, a rooster and a guinea pig were all found alive and living in deplorable conditions without food or water. The animals were seized and are currently being fostered by a private farm owner 20 minutes away from Belmont in Jacobsburg, Ohio. 

“There was one horse that was in exceptional condition. That was her baby. That was the one taken care of. The other ones were thin,” said Julie Larish who is the private farm owner taking care of the seized animals. 

21-yr-old Shania Wells is the alleged suspect. She’s facing 10 counts of animal cruelty charges. Her mother Kelly also lives on the property but is not facing any charges as of 2/9/19.

This is not Wells’ first offense.

The accused animal abuser was charged with animal cruelty by the dog warden in October 2017. That case was dismissed.

On Saturday there was a final planning meeting inside the Belmont Gym for a protest slated to happen outside Shania Wells’ arraignment hearing at the Western Division Court in St. Clairsville on Thursday.

The group is fighting against animal cruelty. However, they’re also demanding the City of Belmont implement a Humane Officer to enforce stricter regulations.

“We need documentation. We need pictures of everything we’re removing, quarantine area, we need all the safety precautions making sure that animals are taken off the grounds because of possible contamination not only at that location but other locations also,” said Larish. 

7News spoke with Wells over the phone to get her side of the story. She said she had no comment.

Her formal arraignment is scheduled for Thursday at 2p.m. before Judge Costine.

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