GALLIPOLIS — A Bidwell woman pleaded guilty to three charges of animal cruelty Monday in Gallipolis Municipal Court.
According to police records, Michelle Queen, 22, was charged with three separate counts of animal cruelty in December 2015. Gallia County Dog Warden Laurie Cardillo reportedly recovered animals last fall found with no access to food or water in their restrained areas. Cardillo recovered two animals in the Bidwell region on a property on Jesse Creek Road after receiving a phone call in early October from a man in regards to having allegedly seen a starved animal on the property. One dog was discovered dead after being retrieved from a shallow grave.
Oftentimes, animal cruelty violations are considered second-degree misdemeanors in Ohio.
“The property owner called and said he was at the (location in question) on Sept. 30,” Laurie Cardillo, Gallia County dog warden, told the Tribune earlier. “There was a Pit Bull (allegedly) down over the hill on a chain that couldn’t get back up the hill. It was so weak it couldn’t get back up the hill.”
The land owner asked Cardillo to investigate the issue because he believed the dog he supposedly witnessed would not live much longer due to lack of sustenance. According to Cardillo and the assistant dog warden, the pair traveled to the property on Jesse Creek Road and found Queen. After Queen was shown a picture, Cardillo asked if the dog in the picture belonged to Queen. Queen allegedly confirmed the dog belonged to her. Cardillo then asked her where the dog was. Queen allegedly said she buried the dog in the backyard after it had died that same morning.
Apparently, a Boxer and another Pit Bull were also seen on the property and in poor health, according to the dog warden.
Queen relinquished the animals into shelter care. Shelter workers returned to excavate the corpse of the deceased Pit Bull.
“(The assistant dog warden) hit the dirt with a shovel on time and hit the dog corpse,” Cardillo said. “She actually uncovered the dog with her hands.”
Shelter workers claimed the burial spot was shallow. Cardillo called a local veterinarian to ask that an autopsy be done on the dead dog’s body. Cardillo said the corpse looked emaciated when pulled from the grave.
The dogs pulled from Queen’s property have both died. One could not recover from its condition and the other was euthanized, according to the dog warden.
Queen’s case is set to have a sentencing hearing on April 4 at 2:30 p.m.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740)446-2342, Ext. 2103.