POMEROY — A Middleport woman has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of cruelty to animals.
In a news release, Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney James K. Stanley announced that Allysia Rice, 23, of Middleport, was convicted of three counts of Prohibitions Concerning Companion Animals, otherwise known as Cruelty to Animals, each a felony of the fifth degree.
The charges stem from an investigation conducted in September 2017 by the Village of Middleport Building Inspector, the Middleport Police Department, and the Meigs County Humane Officer in which Rice was found to have withheld food and water from numerous animals, including two cats who were found dead from neglect inside Rice’s home — one near the entryway and another in the kitchen — and a large dog believed to be mastiff mix, which was emaciated, dehydrated, plagued with numerous dermatological conditions, and infested with parasites.
When entry was made into the home, two additional cats — which also appeared to be underweight and dehydrated — escaped but were unable to be caught. No food or water for the animals was found inside the home, and the home did not have running water. The home was covered in animal urine and feces, the odor of which could be detected from the street. The listless dog was removed from the home and immediately given medical attention.
In release, Stanley states he “is disgusted by the cruelty exhibited in this case and saddened that the two cats suffered to the point that they lost their lives because of Rice’s neglect.” Stanley continued that he “is thankful that the dog — subsequently named Diesel — was successfully rehabilitated by the staff at the Meigs County Canine Rescue and Adoption Center.”
The Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office takes seriously all acts of cruelty toward animals and will seek justice for any animal so victimized. Anyone with knowledge of acts of cruelty towards animals are strongly encouraged to contact the Meigs County Humane Officer at 740-992-3779 as well as local law enforcement.
Stanley thanked the Village of Middleport Building Inspector, the Middleport Police Department, the Meigs County Humane Officer, the Meigs County Dog Warden, the Meigs County Canine Rescue and Adoption Center, and the Meigs Veterinary Clinic for their investigation and/or assistance in this matter. Stanley also thanked the concerned citizens who reported the cruelty as well as the neighbors believed to be feeding the cats that escaped.
Sentencing before Meigs County Court of Common Pleas Judge I. Carson Crow is scheduled for April 29.