NewsNational News


At least 30 dead, 90+ malnourished dogs discovered at Ohio animal rescue

Helping Hands for Furry Paws WCPO
Posted at 10:33 AM, Jul 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-30 10:34:12-04

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio — Deputies found approximately 30 dead dogs and puppies, in various stages of decomposition, stuffed into fridges and freezers earlier this week at an Ohio animal rescue. According to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, there were more than 90 dogs and puppies removed from what deputies and investigators said were “the most horrible conditions they have ever seen.”

The dogs and puppies were being held at two different properties in Madison Township in various structures, the sheriff’s office said. One of the structures law enforcement discovered was a garage with more than 25 caged canines and an indoor temperature of 89 degrees.

“Numerous animals” were kept in cages together that were “filled with urine, fecal matter, and no food or water. One cage contained a mother and eight newborn puppies,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Authorities also found 11 adult canines in “the main house,” with “some caged together,” according to the news release.

The deceased canines were found in five refrigerators and freezers, “some of which were not working,” throughout the two properties, the release said.

“Deputy Dog Wardens described the conditions of the house as unlivable. The odor was strong enough to burn their eyes and take away their breath. Conditions were so horrendous that Deputy Dog Wardens had to leave the structure numerous times to catch their breath,” the release states.

CNN has tried to contact the Butler County Sheriff’s Office for further comment.

The owner of the dog rescue was operating it under the business name “Helping Hands for Furry Paws,” according to the release.

The owner and operator of the rescue, who police identified as Rhonda Murphy, “faces dozens of charges of neglect and cruelty to companion animals, both felony and misdemeanor,” according to the release.

CNN was unable to contact or identify an attorney for Murphy.