The cats and dogs at the center of a Warren County animal and child abuse case were cleared by a judge Wednesday to be adopted.
The 14 cats and 14 dogs were first seized from a Limeton Church Road home, where the owners Wendy and Brian Tenney were breeding Australian Shepherds.
Animal control officers seized the animals after hearing barking coming from a locked garage. Inside, the dogs were living in kennels covered in feces and food.
Upon inspection of the house, deputies found a number of cats being kept in unsafe conditions, as well as the couple’s six children. Deputies say a great deal of insects, animal feces, and rotting food were found inside the house.
After spending about three months at the Humane Society of Warren County shelter, the 28 surviving animals are close to finding their forever homes. However, shelter manager Kayla Wines says the Tenney’s have a ten-day window in which they can appeal the judge’s decision, after which they would have another 20 days to formally appeal.
The animals’ stay has been a costly one for the county, with basic care costs and veterinarian treatments running up a nearly $40,000 tab. The Tenney’s have been ordered to pay in restitution.
In the meantime, the shelter staff is seeking donations to offset the cost of spaying and neutering the animals in order to speed up the pace in which they can be adopted. They’re hoping the community once again can help in their time of need.
“When we first got the animals in, we outreached for donations. We got a flood of donations of food and blankets and flea treatment, I mean you could possibly think of,” said Wines. “The community really came together and helped us out with that.”
Wines says once the ten days pass, the shelter will post a link on its Facebook page for people to donate. Otherwise, donors can call the shelter at (540) 635-4734 or visit in person to drop off funds.
Looking for another way to help animals at the shelter, but want to get yourself a gift too?
The Humane Society will be hosting a Westminster Dog Show raffle in February. Tickets are just $10 and Wines says those who enter will have a one in 204 chance to win $500 if your assigned dog wins.
All of the proceeds will go back to the shelter.