Twenty-two dead dogs were found left in a ditch in a rural area of Cherry Valley, Ohio on Monday afternoon. Now, the Ashtabula County Animal Protective League and area police are asking for the public’s help in finding the person responsible for the horrific act.
The owner of the property where the dogs, all a similar Poodle-type breed and ranging in age from 10-weeks to 6-years, some pregnant, alerted police when she made the gruesome discovery.
“I was crying that’s horrific,” said Cindy Bundy, who along with her neighbors found the dogs near their property Monday. “I got two grandchildren that play through here and for somebody to take 22 dogs, and pregnant ones, it’s beyond horrific. If my grandchildren found them, it would not have been right at all.”
“It’s most of all of our thoughts. Did they suffer in any type of way and who would do something like this? Why were they put there? Obviously somebody who loaded up deceased animals, drove somewhere and threw them out like they were trash,” Ashtabula County Animal Protection League’s animal welfare director Tammy Dondorfer told WKYC. “I’ve been here 10 years, I’ve been on property before and I’ve seen many things but I have never seen 22 deceased dogs laying on the side of the road.”
The dogs were found thrown over a gate, scattered in a ditch, in the grassy areas and on top of tree limbs. It appears as though the dogs died in a separate location before being dumped in the remote ditch.
All of the dogs appeared to have been healthy at the time of their deaths. A few were sent to a veterinarian for examination and to determine a cause of death. Some speculate the dogs were dumped by a puppy mill in the area.
“They look very healthy,” said Bundy. “There are so many puppy mills around here, in the country, you got puppy mills. It’s quick money. Maybe they were tired of it, maybe somebody turned them in for it.”
The dogs were removed from the property before they were each given names, cremated, and given a memorial service at Ashtabula County’s animal shelter. The shelter posted photos of the scene to Facebook, along with an urgent plea for help. We have chosen not to display these graphic images, but they can be found here.
A pair of gloves found at the scene is the only evidence thus far. The gloves are being tested for fingerprints.
Anyone with any information in this case is urged to contact the Ashtabula County Dog Warden at (440) 576-6538.