Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Adams County dog hoarding case grows


There are not enough words to describe the filth and unsanitary conditions more than 64 dogs have been living in under the care of a West Union family, Adams County officials said on Tuesday.

Beginning Monday, officials seized more than four dozen dogs belonging to the Nixon family; Tuesday it got worse, officials said.

About 3 p.m., Tuesday, members of County Animal Removal Team made a heartbreaking discovery at the property of Joyce and Evelyn Nixon in Lynx, Ohio.

"We found a dog house, it is almost covered to the roof with whatever excrement and filth there is in the dog pen; there are puppies inside," said Paul Hughes, Adams County dog warden.

In boxes stored at mobile homes on the site, Hughes said he found the remains of deceased dogs and puppies since the removal operations began on Monday; Tuesday there was life.

"We heard them crying; they are alive," Hughes said, eager to get the dog house dug out so rescuers could get to the puppies.

The dog house was nearly four feet deep in waste, he said.

At last count there were 65 to 70 dogs which had been removed from the property; many have been taken to a safe location for evaluation and care, Hughes said.

"I have never seen anything this bad. It is awful. We were just getting ready to move more of the dogs when we heard them," Hughes said.

On Monday, Joyce Nixon told reporters she had been ill and lost her job, which allowed the situation at the property there and at 519 East Main Street in West Union to get out of control.

Her intention was to develop a safe shelter for homeless dogs, but her program had not received a nonprofit status and she was unable to get funding for the project, Nixon said..." More

photo: Terry Prather/Staff

(photo of Joyce Nixon)