COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A humane society agent described the conditions nearly 190 animals were subjected to when they were removed from a Grove City home and pet store last week.
Doug and Britny Devaul listened intently as Columbus Humane Agent Sean Dundar testified Friday about the justification for removing the animals from their home on Demorest Road on Aug. 21.
“When I visited the property in July, for instance, there were four to seven puppies often being kept in a small – approximately 3 (foot) by 3 (foot) cage which obviously limits movement and allows for disease to spread quickly through the population,” Dundar testified during a probable cause hearing Friday. “The barn had obvious concerns for sanitation with a lack of appropriate food and water.”
The Devauls are each charged with two dozen counts of violating the state’s animal cruelty laws regarding companion animals.
A spokeswoman for Columbus Humane said many of the animals removed were suffering from a variety of health issues including parvovirus, parasites, and pneumonia.
Dundar testified that humane agents had visited the property on Demorest Road multiple times and that the Devauls had made the corrective actions that agents requested. But he said agents also noticed that with each visit, the population of animals on the property was increasing.
The situation came to a head after agents received video evidence from a witness in late July showing unsanitary conditions and signs of neglect.
“Agents reviewed that footage that was from a witness and it was then that a determination was made that we ought to apply for a search warrant,” Dundar said.
“We began by removing the animals with the most immediate medical concerns. Those animals with immediate medical concerns were transported immediately to MedVet for veterinary care,” Dundar testified. “Many of the cages appeared to be very unsanitary and hadn’t been cleaned in several days.”
Dundar also testified about the conditions in the basement of the Devaul’s home. where agents found dozens of snakes and lizards.
“Many of them were confined without access to proper water,” Dundar said. “Many of them appear to have been in cages and housing that was inappropriate for their size and species – either too many of them or too small of a cage. Additionally, many of them appeared they had not been paid attention to in terms of their cleaning in quite some time.”
The probable cause hearing is scheduled to resume Aug. 27.