Jackson Township couple convicted on 20 counts of animal cruelty

Alan Froman
ThisWeek group

A Jackson Township couple were convicted Oct. 19 on 20 counts of animal cruelty.

Douglas and Britny DeVaul were found guilty after a three-week trial in Franklin County Environmental Court, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein announced Oct. 19.

The couple were under investigation for animal care at both their home on Demorest Road near Grove City and a retail pet store, the Petting Zoo (formerly Grove City Reptiles) at 3578 W. Broad Street in Columbus.

Authorities received about 30 complaints, many of which were filed by people who had purchased puppies that died soon after purchase, according to Klein.

Puppies also were sold under the business names of Fireside Puppies and Buckeye Puppies.

“Innocent animals were trapped in deplorable conditions by the DeVauls,”  Klein said in a 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.” 

Court gavel

On their initial visits to the DeVauls, authorities found minor animal-care violations that were quickly corrected, according to Klein's announcement.

The situation had worsened at a final inspection in August 2019, when investigators found unsanitary, overcrowded conditions and inadequate food and water.

Authorities seized approximately 190 animals, including 97 dogs, from the DeVauls' home. Several of the animals were suffering from untreated diseases, including parvovirus, which is lethal to dogs.

Each of the 20 counts against the DeVauls 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.

afroman@thisweeknews.com

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