Woman indicted on felony animal cruelty charges after allegedly abandoning dogs in the cold

A St. Clair Twp. woman is facing three felony and four misdemeanor charges after allegedly neglecting dogs in the cold January weather.

Melissa Damico, 46, was indicted today by a Butler County grand jury on fifth-degree felony charges of cruelty to companion animals and first-degree misdemeanor counts of the same charge.

Damico was arrested Jan. 7 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 malnourished lead to felony charges

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

The surviving dogs, Chihuahua mixed breeds, were taken to the Animal Friends Humane Society to recover, according to Merbs.

MORE: Hamilton man caught on video beating dog with leash

Damico was taken to the Butler County Jail. She is free on bond.

The case has been assigned to Butler County Common Pleas Judge Noah Powers, but an arraignment date on the indictment has not yet been set.

About the Author