By Melody Vallieu
Editor, Miami Valley Today
TROY — What began as a tragic story earlier this week has become a heartwarming story of a community coming together to help those in need.
On Tuesday, Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak announced that that had been relinquished to the Miami County Animal Shelter stemming from the Peebles Road puppy mill investigation have been adopted. A Butler County rescue group had taken 30 of the dogs on Monday to find homes for them, however Duchak said he did not know how many of those had been re-homed.
“The whole situation is sad for everyone involved and we are thankful that the dogs are going to have good homes to live in,” Duchak said.
Miami County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sarah Fraley on Tuesday said the sheriff’s office was first alerted to a problem at the Peebles Road address when a barking dog complaint was taken last Thursday. Deputies went to the residence and observed the carcasses of two dogs — decaying and unburied — in the yard. After looking into the home, a number of dogs were seen and filthy conditions were observed, Fraley said.
Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputies, along with personnel from the Miami County Animal Shelter, Miami County Public Health and Miami County Children’s Services, on Monday executed a search warrant at 3365 Peebles Road in Concord Township as a result of what deputies first observed. The search warrant sought evidence of alleged animal cruelty and alleged child endangering due to filthy and unsanitary conditions in the residence, according to a press release from Duchak.
At the conclusion of the search warrant, 125 dogs, including many puppies, were seized by the Miami County Animal Shelter. The homeowner relinquished the rights to 122 of the dogs, saying the other three were special to the family and had hopes they could be returned to the family, Duchak said.
Four pregnant dogs remain to be taken care of, but Duchak said those puppies also will be up for adoption in the coming weeks and the shelter has many other pets that need homes as well.
“The animal shelter still has many other dogs available who are looking for good homes,” Duchak reminded.
Duchak said due to the generosity of the community, the animal shelter also is no longer in need of dog food or dog beds. The shelter still is in need of flea and tick medicines and slip leads for anyone wishing to donate, he said.
He said he was not surprised that the community stepped up to help the animals in need.
“Miami County and the surrounding areas have always been very generous when the call goes out for assistance,” Duchak said. “For that we have always been thankful.
“The Miami County Sheriff’s Office, Miami County Commissioner’s Office and the staff at the Miami County Animal Shelter would like to thank everyone in the community for their generosity in donations and overwhelming support in helping resolve placement of the dogs,” Duchak said. “It was truly amazing the amount of support received from the community on such short notice.”
Duchak said while the sheriff’s office has never had a case with such a large number of dogs, he said they have previously had similar hoarding-type situations with exotic birds and horses.
Duchak said the case file on the investigation should be completed by the end of the week and dropped off to the prosecutor for consideration of charges.