Allegedly ill-kept dogs seized

Fifty-four dogs seized from a Toledo home remain under quarantine, Lewis County Animal Services spokeswoman Amy Clark said Wednesday.

The dogs were taken after the owner failed to appear in Lewis County District Court to face animal-cruelty charges related to horses on the property.

The dogs were living in filthy conditions, and many didn’t have food or clean water, Clark said. Up to 80 dogs were left on the property because the shelter couldn’t accommodate them, she said.

Theresa Hutton of Toledo was arrested Aug. 9. She was released Friday on her own recognizance after making her court appearance, prosecutor Michael Golden said.

Hutton said she wasn’t aware of the mandatory court appearance. Officers took only small, expensive and rare breeding dogs, Hutton said.

“The dogs were fat and healthy except for the two with mange,” she said.

Their living area hadn’t been cleaned, and they didn’t have food and water because she was in jail, she said.

In April, the state Department of Agriculture placed Hutton’s property under quarantine after veterinarians saw dogs infected with canine brucellosis and traced the disease to her residence, Clark said.

County staff has tested animals at the property several times for further infection, and 41 have been euthanized, Hutton said.

Hutton is scheduled to appear in court again Sept. 5 to follow up on the three counts against her regarding the horses, Golden said.

The charges came about after Lewis County investigators filed a petition regarding 11 horses in her care. The animals reportedly did not have adequate shelter or clean water and were confined for extended periods. Several reportedly had split hooves or overgrown hooves and areas of rot.

Hutton’s children are living with a relative as she continues to fight the animal cruelty charges, she said. The relative had reportedly filed a parenting petition after Hutton’s 12-year-old daughter ran away from home. A judge decided there was reason to investigate and has instructed that Hutton can see her children once a week for now.

“They just want to come home,” Hutton said of her children. “They ask about how their animals are doing. My 5-year-old has never been away from me. It’s just so traumatizing it’s unbelievable.”