14 dogs found in ‘horrific condition’

By Bridgett Hernandez

bhernandez@kpcmedia.com

CHURUBUSCO — A Churubusco man has been charged with five counts of animal cruelty after 14 dogs and puppies were rescued from squalid, cramped conditions on his property.

The dogs – German Shepherds ranging in age from six months to 11 years — were found to be living in small cages and cat carriers stacked inside of a horse trailer and covered with a tarp near Churubusco.

An investigation was first kicked off in late January after the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department responded to a complaint about dogs running loose near the property and was concerned about the welfare of the animals there, according to Whitley County Prosecutor D.J. Sigler.

The investigation has been a coordinated effort between the state veterinarian’s office, the Whitley County Prosecuting Attorney’s office, the Whitley County Humane Society and law enforcement.

The Whitley County Humane Society seized the animals with the help of law enforcement Feb. 26, according to shelter volunteer and board member, Carol Flowers.

“It took hours because it was dark and our staff members were climbing in and out of the horse trailer in the dark using flashlights to get these dogs out. It was a very trying situation for our staff,” she said.

The dogs were living in filthy conditions. Because the dogs’ cages were stacked on top of one another, the animals were covered in urine and feces, Flowers said.

The dogs were also severely dehydrated.

“When they opened the doors, it was very simple to get the animals out because we had water there and they just flocked to the water,” she said.

The dogs are now at the Whitley County Humane Shelter and their condition is much better than when they were rescued.

“It’s amazing how quickly an animal can rebound once they’re given proper food and water,” Flowers said.

Ronald L. Drudge II, 45, has been charged with five counts of animal cruelty and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. A class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail. If the public has any information about his whereabouts, they can contact the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department.

Sigler said when animals are seized, the state veterinarian is called in to do an assessment of the animals and report to the court their status and their long-term prognosis. He added that in the course of the prosecution, he wants to make certain that the humane society is reimbursed for the cost and care of the animals and that the humane society and the county don’t bear the financial brunt of the alleged criminal behavior.

Flowers wants the public to know that the dogs are not up for adoption.

“Do not call the shelter because these animals are not available for adoption,” she said.

First and foremost, legal issues would have to be resolved before adoption would be possible. Secondly, some of the animals are going to need extensive rehabilitation. They don’t have social skills and they’re not house broken.

“It’s going to take some time to get them to understand what a leash is,” Flowers said.

1 comment

  1. Realizationalist

    How much of this is true? How much of this is false information that is “believable” because the public doesn’t actually know anything but what the says? The news is known to make stories sound way more severe than it actually was. Have they even actually evaluated the dogs yet, or are they just making it sound really bad so that the public will by the story spread it, and the news gets a ton of money because the public enjoys reading and hearing about “the worst things possible.” Have they interviewed the “suspect” yet to find out his side of the story? Is this story factual at all? The humane shelter also makes things sound worse. Why, well because the more “horrific” the story sounds, the more the public (that doesn’t know anything about what actually might have happened) will feel bad, therefore the quicker the shelter can get rid of the dogs and get more MONEY. What ‘Money’, oh yea that’s that thing the world supposedly revolves around. EVERYTHING REVOLVES AROUND MONEY BECAUSE EVERYBODY IS GREEDY AND SELFISH AND STUCK-UP FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO FOR SOMEONE ELSE YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOMETHING GIVEN BACK TO YOU. And then the people that are perceived to be in a lower class than you are the ones that have to pay because you ‘think’ they can’t do anything about it. #If your this interested that you read the entire comment then do something about it

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