HARRISON COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF)– It started with a call from sheriff’s deputies to the Humane Society of Harrison County.
A house in the Jewett area was the site of suspected animal hoarding.
What they found was so extreme, humane agents say they couldn’t go inside because they didn’t have hazmat suits.
In the house, they say they found 18 dogs.
Outside they found four more dogs, two donkeys, 13 goats, 50 chickens and five ducks.
“I walked up onto the porch and I could smell the feces and urine from outside,” said Linda Williams, humane agent for Harrison County. “When I looked in the windows, it (feces) was several inches deep, covering the whole floor.”
Officials say one Shih Tzu had huge mats in her hair.
They say the dogs were basically wild.
“The puggles were completely feral,” said Williams. “I know those are two words you don’t normally put together. But they had no human interaction and none of them even had names and they were three to five years old.”
Outside, she said there were larger dogs attacking a black lab, donkeys with overgrown hooves, chickens living 50 to a coop, and ducks with only mud in their water bowls.
They had been fed, officials say, but that’s all.
“There’s more to animal husbandry than food and water,” Williams noted. “These animals were getting sustenance but a feces-filled home is not considered adequate shelter just because it has a roof on it.”
She said even owners with good intentions can take on too much and get overwhelmed.
“Ask for help,” she advised. “Ask a family member. Ask a neighbor. Reach out to us. We have a Facebook page. We can take messages. It’s always manned.”
Now the black lab with facial injuries has a name.
Boogie is healing, starting to trust people, and will soon be up for adoption.
The Humane Society of Harrison County removed all the dogs and donkeys.
The goats, chickens and ducks are still on the property. A full report has been turned over to the prosecutor, and charges are reportedly pending.