YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Mahoning County Grand Jury has indicted a man after a veterinarian determined two of his dogs died of starvation.
John E. Burroughs is facing two felony counts of animal cruelty.
Last Wednesday, Animal Charity humane agents responded to a heinous scene — two dogs frozen and starved to death on Burroughs’ east side Youngstown property. Two other dogs and two puppies were also found in deplorable conditions.
One of the dead animals had grass in its stomach, while the other had sticks, showing they weren’t eating properly.
“We sent everything to the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office last week and today, the grand jury indicted the gentleman on two counts of animal cruelty,” said Mary Louk, with Animal Charity.
It’s a fifth-degree felony under Goddard’s Law. This is now the second case in Mahoning County where someone has been charged under the law that took effect in 2016.
“Prior to Goddard’s Law, no matter how horrific the case, animal abuse was always a misdemeanor,” Louk said.
Over the past week, the rescued dogs have continued to improve and gain weight, and will be placed up for adoption soon. As for the puppies…
“The puppies will go up for adoption after we gain custody of them. We have to go through the court system to get legal custody of the puppies, only because the gentleman refused to sign them over to us,” Louk said.
Humane agents say this indictment only proves that Goddard’s Law is doing exactly what it was designed to do.
“It’s really important that the most heinous cases have the most severe penalties,” Louk said.
If you suspect animal neglect or abuse, call Animal Charity at 330-788-1064 ext. 17 or email ACOhumanedepartment@gmail.com.