LANCASTER, Ohio - Authorities found dogs without water and held in filthy kennels when they raided a Fairfield County guard-dog-training business, county Humane Agency Officer Bill Huffman said yesterday. Huffman and deputies seized seven dogs they found on Friday, along with teeth and bones that appeared to be dog remains.
LANCASTER, Ohio — Authorities found dogs without water and held in filthy kennels when they raided a Fairfield County guard-dog-training business, county Humane Agency Officer Bill Huffman said yesterday.
Huffman and deputies seized seven dogs they found on Friday, along with teeth and bones that appeared to be dog remains.
Dog trainer Cory W. Dewberry is charged with 55 counts of animal cruelty, filed as first- and second-degree misdemeanors, and 15 counts of animal abandonment, a first-degree misdemeanor. Several charges relate to unidentifiable dead dogs.
Dewberry pleaded not guilty yesterday at his arraignment in Fairfield County Municipal Court, and he was released on his own recognizance.
Dewberry, 39, who is now staying with family in Columbus, is accused of abusing dogs at the Dewberry Family K-9 Kennel. He operated the business from a rented home and land where he lived until recently at 9280 Carroll-Northern Rd. in Liberty Township.
Dewberry vacated the property after authorities used a search warrant on Friday to inspect and close down the kennel, county Sheriff Dave Phalen said.
Deputy sheriffs began investigating after an Akron dog owner filed a complaint on March 10. Jennifer Yost said her 2-year-old German shepherd, Wolfgang, had been abused and neglected at Dewberry’s kennel.
She had dropped the dog off there on Jan. 8 and had difficulty getting him back. Only when she threatened to go to the sheriff, she told a deputy who took the report, did she get the dog back on March 6.
Wolfgang had lost a lot of weight, his paws were injured from sitting in urine, and his teeth were stained from eating feces. He was aggressive around food, indicating that he hadn’t been fed well or had to fight other dogs for food. His body had wounds that appeared to be bite marks from another dog.
Yost showed the dog to two deputies. “I came to the conclusion that Mr. Dewberry is into dog fight(ing) or is extremely negligent,” Deputy Marty Norris wrote in his investigator notes.
Dewberry declined to comment. His attorney, Karen Phipps, said he has done nothing wrong. He has been breeding and training dogs for about 20 years, and had run the kennel business in Fairfield County for about three years, she said. “He has never been in any kind of trouble before. This is a shocking event that’s come up,” she said.
The seized dogs were returned to their owners, Huffman said.
Dewberry is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on May 9. The first-degree misdemeanor charges carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail.