By Alex Bridges -- email@example.com
WINCHESTER -- A former city couple faces animal cruelty charges after abandoning pets last month and leaving them to live in trash and feces, police said.
Authorities have charged Robert Wayne Davis, 39, of Lot 12 Ron's Drive, Augusta, W.Va., and Monica Francine Davis, 40, of 106 Johnston Drive, Winchester, with cruelty to animals by depriving them of adequate food, drink, shelter or emergency veteranary care, failure to obey the city rabies ordinance and to provide care for companion animals, according to court records. Police also charged Robert Davis with failing to pay for a dog license.
Both are scheduled to appear for trial on the misdemeanor charges March 26 in Winchester General District Court.
Animal control officer A.D. Enke, of the Winchester Police Department, went to 544 Monticello St. on Feb. 24 to respond to a report of a possible abandoned dog in an apartment, according to a criminal complaint. The landlord told Enke he had begun the process to evict the couple and no one had seen anyone in the residence since two days earlier when the electricity was shut off, the complaint states.
Enke knocked on the door but did not hear a response other than the dog barking. The officer states she saw through a front-door window three cats inside walking around trash bags and garbage strewn about the floor. A silver pet food bowl sat empty at the bottom of the stairs, according to Enke.
Later that afternoon, the officer met with Mrs. Davis, who advised more than three cats lived in the home, the complaint states.
The Davises agreed to hand over the cats, of which Enke found 10, to the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals because Mrs. Davis said the couple planned to move to separate locations and could not take the animals, according to the officer.
"Enke entered the
residence with Mrs. Davis and the odor of dog/cat urine and feces was extremely overwhelming," the complaint states. "Enke immediately stepped back outside and contacted the inspections department to have them respond."
Enke reported seeing feces "all over the floor" as well as trash, including empty pet food bags, stacked in the room. Mrs. Davis gathered the cats and placed them in carriers, according to the complaint. A friend of Mrs. Davis at the scene helped retrieve the couple's dog, Amber.
"Every room besides Mrs. Davis' bedroom was covered with trash all over the floor," the complaint states. "It was difficult to step anywhere in the residence without stepping in pet feces. The cats had been using the bathtub as a litter box and the other litter box Enke noticed was overflowing with feces and had very little litter in it."
The officer transported a 5- to 6-month-old cat to a veterinarian for treatment of open wounds in its neck and an upper respiratory infection, according to the complaint. Enke took Amber to the clinic to undergo a biopsy on growths found in her mouth.
"Mr. Davis told Enke that Amber was his dog and that she is 'his baby,'" the complaint states. "He told Enke that he lost a Boxer last year and that she is all he has left."
Enke canceled a hearing scheduled for Monday to seize the dog because Mr. Davis voluntarily handed Amber over to the SPCA on Wednesday.