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West Liberty, OH

County couple could face animal cruelty charges; nearly 600 animals found on their property

Two county residents could face animal cruelty charges after deputies discovered numerous animals in unsanitary conditions.

The Logan County Dog Warden responded to 4666 County Road 35 North, DeGraff, Tuesday afternoon around two o'clock.

Aunalee Hess, 57, and her boyfriend, David Schweitzer, 67, live at the residence.

There were nearly 600 animals on the property, including 200 rabbits, 200 pigeons, 100 chickens, 10 guineas, 10 peacocks, 3 goats, 2 horses, 40-50 dogs, and 20 cats.

Schweitzer admitted to having too many animals.

Deputies were given permission to enter the home.

They immediately noticed an odor of feces and urine.

There were numerous adult dogs and small puppies housed in small cages that had piles of feces in them.

In another room, there were additional dogs in cages and birds in cages sitting on top of the dogs.

There were 10-12 mastiff puppies in a nearby room covered in feces.

Moments later, Hess returned home from work.

She told deputies she has been working to sell/trade some of her animals.

A local veterinarian arrived to assess the animals.

The vet said the birds and rabbits appeared healthy.

The vet advised the dogs and cats housed outside were in unsanitary conditions, but they appeared healthy.

The vet said the dogs in the house were in unsanitary conditions.

The birds appeared to be alright.

The vet determined the dogs and cats should be removed from the residence.

All of the other animals appeared to be fine and were in common living conditions for their species.

37 dogs were removed Tuesday afternoon.

The Shelby County Humane Society removed 20 dogs.

The other 17 dogs were transported to the kennels at the Logan County Sheriff's Office and the Union County Humane Society.

The Logan County Auditor's Office gave deputies a copy of Hess's vendor and kennel license.

It appears Hess has complied with dog licensing requirements.

The case has been sent to the Logan County Prosecutor's Office for review.

The animals are not available for adoption as the investigation continues.

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