NEKOOSA, Wis. — Two Wood County residents have been charged for neglecting several animals, according to Chief Shawn Woods of the Nekoosa Police Department.
According to a criminal complaint, two dogs had been abandoned and when officers got to the home on 2nd Street, two dogs were barking inside. Officers said an 11-year-old neighbor boy was periodically feeding the dogs because the owners has not been seen at the house for at least two weeks.
On Nov. 12 officials went into the home and the two dogs were detained by Wood County Humane Society.
According to police, there were multiple dead animals found including a cat, rabbit, snake and fish. They said the there were animal feces in every room of the home and the furnace thermostat was off, registering a temperature of 36˚.
The animals owners, Dallas J. McKinney, 22 and Jessica R. Ramos, 30, moved to Milladore but told authorities they were periodically checking on the animals, according to a press release. But Chief Woods said officers were unable to locate any food or water in the home.
“It comes as a real shock to me that something like this would happen within our community,” Nekoosa resident Ken Hilgers said. “I can’t fathom leaving behind an animal like that.”
The release stated, a veterinarian determined that the cat and rabbit likely died of dehydration and starvation.
“It’s heartbreaking to know that this happened,” area resident Kristin Schwartz said.
McKinney and Ramos were arrested and charged with six counts of animal abandonment, six counts of Animal Abandonment. six counts of Improper Animal Shelter (Temperature), six counts of Improper Animal Shelter (Ventilation), six counts of Failure to Provide Food for an Animal, six counts of Failure to Provide Water for an Animal. three counts of Misdemeanor Mistreatment of Animals and three counts of Felony Mistreatment of Animals.
“The humane society, or friends, or relatives,” Schwartz said. “You know who wouldn’t want to try to help instead of letting this happen to animals who didn’t ask for it.”
“If you’re going to be a pet owner you’re taking on the responsibility of respecting that living animal,” Hilgers said. “Those pets have genuine love for their owners and their caretakers and it’s a sad day when you turn your back on them.”
Collectively the pair are facing over 30 charges. The two appeared in court Nov. 13 and received a $2,500 signature bond.