WJTV News Channel 12 - Columbus Woman Facing 25 Counts Of Cruelty To Animals

Columbus Woman Facing 25 Counts Of Cruelty To Animals

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Nineteen animals were seized from a northeast Columbus home after being left in the home for an extended period of time, according a humane agent.

According to a warrant issued by the Franklin County Municipal Court, the animals were seized from the home of Bettie Hefner located in the 4400 block of Ramsdell Drive on May 28 at about 1:15 p.m.

The warrant states that a complaint was received by the Capital Area Human Society via and online report on May 13 that stated there were at least three cats and a dog inside the Ramsdell Drive home that appeared to be abandoned.

A humane agent responded to the home on May 13 at about 1:20 p.m. to check on the animals. The agent knocked on the front door of the home but received no answer. Through a front window, the agent reported seeing at least 12 cats and heard a dog barking in an attached garage. The agent reported that the cats appeared to be in good condition, but that the house appeared to be unkempt. The agent also reported there were two vehicles in the driveway with flat tires and a notice that water had been shut off to the home was posted on the front porch of the home.

Prior to leaving the property, the agent posted a 15 hour abandonment notice, according to the warrant.

When the agent did not hear from the homeowner, she returned the following day, May 14, to check on the animals.

The agent reported seeing several cats sitting on a window sill and could hear the dog barking in the garage. The 15 hour notice that had been posted the previous day had not been touched, according to the warrant. The agent attempted to make contact with the homeowner a second time, but was unsuccessful. The agent reported posting two final abandonment notices on the front door of the home and the garage door.

On Thursday, May 15, the agent reported receiving a call from a man by the name of Michael who left a voicemail stating he was a friend of the Hefner’s daughter. The man stated that Hefner was now living with her daughter after experiencing a mental breakdown following the death of her husband.  The man stated he had been checking on the pets in the morning and again in the evening when he got off of work, according to the warrant.

The agent reported she attempted to contact Michael the same day and left him a message. When he did not return the agent’s call on May 16, another agent responded to the home where the animals were being kept. The agent reported he was unable to make contact anyone in the home. He reported seeing several cats in the home and heard a dog barking in the attached garage. Another notice was left for Hefner asking for her to call about the animals.

The second humane agent returned to the home again on May 17 and reported the conditions had not changed, according to the warrant.

While the agent was completing a report, a neighbor told him that Hefner’s daughter and boyfriend had been caring for the animals. Through the neighbor, the agent was able to make contact with Hefner on the phone. The agent and Hefner established that a decision would be made about the animals on May 19, according to the warrant.

The agent contact Hefner on May 19, but she stated she was too upset to talk. The agent followed up with Hefner in the evening, but had to leave a message.

On May 21, Hefner’s daughter called the first humane agent and scheduled a time on May 24 to meet with the agent to take care of the complaint. The daughter failed to appear during the scheduled time, according to the warrant.

On May 27, the agent responded to the home and reported she could no longer hear the dog in the garage. She attempted to contact Hefner, Michael, and Hefner’s daughter but was unsuccessful. She posted a final notice before leaving the home.

As she was leaving the home, she spoke with a neighbor who told her no one had been to the home for approximately three weeks.

On May 28, a dog and 18 cats were seized from the home, according to the warrant. The agents took several pictures of the conditions inside of the home and left a copy of the warrant at Hefner’s home.

According to the municipal court site, Hefner has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, 19 misdemeanor counts of prohibitions concerning companion animals, and four misdemeanor counts of prohibitions concerning animals.

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