COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A couple in Jackson Township has been found guilty of 20 counts of animal cruelty stemming from a raid at their home and pet shop in August 2019.
Douglas and Britny DeVaul were found guilty after a three-week trial, said Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein in a statement Monday.
The couple was under investigation for animal cruelty at both their Demorest Road, Jackson Township home as well as their pet shop, The Petting Zoo, formerly Grove City Reptiles, on West Broad Street in Columbus.
According to Klein’s statement, authorities received approximately 30 complaints against the couple, many filed by customers who purchased puppies from the couple only to have them die soon after purchase.
In August 2019, Columbus Humane investigators seized 190 animals, including 97 dogs, from their property in the Jackson Township area. Most of the animals, according to court documents, did not have access to freshwater or proper food, were being held in crowded, filthy cages, and suffering from health issues including parvovirus, parasites, and pneumonia.
“Innocent animals were trapped in deplorable conditions by the DeVauls,” Klein said in his statement. “With testimony from Columbus Humane investigators and veterinarians, medical records and hundreds of photos, Prosecutors Joseph Gibson and Jennifer Grant helped bring justice to these individuals. We appreciate the citizens who brought forward their concerns to stop the suffering of these animals.”
Each count is a misdemeanor of the second degree. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 5, 2021.
The convictions automatically result in the loss of the DeVauls’ animal broker license.