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Animal welfare check leads to ‘life-saving’ discovery of special needs woman in Dayton

Local animal control officials are being credited for their recent rescue efforts that not only led to saving a dog left home alone, but saving the life of the dog owner’s special needs daughter, who also had been left alone for a week after her mother checked into the hospital.

It all happened over the weekend in a series of events at a Harrison Twp. home.

A homeowner’s adult daughter, who has special needs, was found inside the Camden Avenue home after a week of being left alone, said Mark Kumpf, director, Montgomery County Animal Resource Center. Also found in the home was a black and white Labrador.

The homeowner had been admitted to Miami Valley Hospital and was unresponsive in a coma — so no one knew she left behind her dog and adult daughter at home, according to court documents and Kumpf.

ARC officers were first alerted to a possible dog left inside a home after the owner was hospitalized.

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The Animal Resource Center posted on Facebook Tuesday about the efforts: 

The dog owner self-reported to the hospital and then suffered a catastrophic medical event. No one knew that there was another person in the house,” the post read. “As our officers checked the house for other pets, they heard voices in the back room and thought it was a television. As they tried the door, they realized it was a person in dire need of medical care.”

A friend of the woman had called a Montgomery County dispatch line March 30 for a welfare check at the home. That’s when a dog was noticed inside the home, with no one answering the door.

Through assistance from the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office and a judge, ARC officers were able to get a search warrant and the house keys from hospital staff to safely get the dog access to food, water and care, Kumpf said. 

Toby the Labrador was rescued and is currently in the care of ARC’s “Safe Pets” program until it may be able to return to the care of its owner, Kumpf said.

The animal owner, a woman in her 60s, is listed in serious condition in the hospital, according to hospital staff.

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The Animal Resource Center’s Facebook post continued: 

Our officers rescued a pooch who was very happy to see us. We saved a life, but the story doesn't stop there,” reads an ARC Facebook post. “Mark Kumpf, Kandi Broadus, Crystal Coldiron and David Walthall saved two lives that night. Saving the pooch was a win. Saving the woman's life was a miracle that wouldn't have happened without the hard work, dedication and compassion of the ARC director and officers.” 

The homeowner’s daughter was evaluated and released from Good Samaritan Hospital. That woman and the dog had been alone for a week prior to being found March 30-31, said Greg Flannagan, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office.

“There was no indication of care,” Kumpf said.

The ARC is staffed by unsung heroes. They don't look for glory and honestly, prefer to do their jobs without fanfare. But, what happened over the weekend deserves a spotlight,” ARC posted on Facebook.

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