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Case of dogs found dead and neglected sent to grand jury

A Butler County grand jury will now consider a case of a woman facing felony charges after three of her dogs were found dead due to neglect in the cold weather.

Melissa Damico, 46, was arrested after a welfare check was conducted at 3700 Morganthaler Road in St. Clair Twp. by county humane officers, who found three dogs deceased due to neglect and cold weather, while four other dogs were found alive but severely malnourished.

FIRST REPORT: 3 dogs dead, 4 malnurished lead to felony charges

Merbs said a welfare check on seven dogs was conducted after the property owner called, and three dogs were found deceased due to neglect and cold weather, while four other dogs were found alive but severely malnourished.

Merbs said Damico had moved to a new home, abandoning the seven dogs. There was no food, water, or appropriate shelter from the weather.

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Damico was taken to the Butler County Jail and charged with three felony charges of cruelty to companion animals and four misdemeanor counts of the same charge.

After a preliminary hearing in Hamilton Municpal Court today, Judge Dan Gattermeyer found sufficient evidence to bind the case over to a grand jury for consideration. Damico is free on bond.

The surviving dogs, Chihuahua mixed breeds, are doing well recovering at the Animal Friends Humane Society, according to Merbs.

The dogs were gaining weight and will soon be ready for adoption after spay and neutering.

Merbs said in a statement that Damico had moved to a new home, abandoning the seven dogs, adding that there was no food, water, or appropriate shelter from the weather.

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