November 27, 2014

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2 women face charges after 118 dogs are removed from home

WADSWORTH — Two women are facing animal cruelty charges after the Medina County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals seized 118 dogs from their Medina County home Friday.

Stephanie Moore, executive director of the local SPCA, said 20 charges were filed in Wadsworth Municipal Court on Monday against each of the woman — Glenda Curtis and her daughter, Danielle Tschappat.

The mother of a new litter of puppies tends to her young at the Medina County SPCA on Sunday. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY JENNIFER PIGNOLET)

The mother of a new litter of puppies tends to her young at the Medina County SPCA on Sunday. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY JENNIFER PIGNOLET)

Jeff Holland, attorney for the SPCA, said the charges against Curtis, who is in her 50s, and Tschappat, who is in her 20s, all are second-degree misdemeanors.

“They all have to do with neglecting to provide the animals with adequate water or food or allowing them to suffer in different ways,” Holland said.

He said the maximum penalty for each charge is 90 days in jail and a $750 fine, but the maximum amount of time that could be served regardless of the number of charges is 1½ years.

SPCA officials raided the house at 358 Dawnshire Drive around 10 a.m. Friday after neighbors reported a stench coming from the residence.

Moore said the SPCA seized 118 dogs, five of which were dead when they arrived. Since the raid, two dogs have had litters, she said, bringing the total to 124 dogs.

She said it was the biggest animal seizure the local SPCA has ever handled.

The house had 2 feet of trash and feces covering the floors.

Moore said although she wishes animal cruelty charges were felonies, she doesn’t believe either of the women in this case meant to do any harm. She said the dogs were not malnourished and, although they lived in filth, the women lived in the filth themselves.

With 124 dogs to care for in a facility that comfortably can care for 10, Moore said the SPCA is in disaster mode.

“The outpouring of support has been astronomical,” Moore said. “Donations have been coming in like crazy.”

She said the phones have been ringing off the hook with people looking to foster or adopt one of the animals.

She said donations have come in from corporations like PetCo, PetSmart and Walmart.

PetSmart at 5011 Grande Blvd. in Medina Township will assist with the adoptions of the dogs, which are all small breeds, Moore said, including terriers, schnauzers and poodle mixes.

She said photographs of each dog available for adoption will be posted on the SPCA’s website, www.medinacountyspca.com, with the first round online by Wednesday. On Thursday, those that were posted online will be available for adoption at PetSmart.

As more dogs become available for adoption, their pictures will be posted, and they will be taken to PetSmart, she said.

“I don’t think we’re going to have to look at long-term fostering,” Moore said.

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or jpignolet@medina-gazette.com.