Ironton man charged with 67 counts of animal cruelty

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 6:37 PM EDT
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IRONTON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- An Ironton man is charged with 67 counts of animal cruelty after 67 dogs were rescued from his property last Friday.

Those dogs were taken from Ruben “Ted” Sprouse’s home to local animal shelters.

The Lawrence County Humane Agent says the dogs were in horrible condition, and malnourished, but Sprouse tells WSAZ he disagrees with the charges.

More than half of those dogs are at Pitiful Paws Rescue in Chesapeake.

Desiree Flanery is the executive director at the rescue and is helping take care of them.

“Several of them are going to go to our clinic [Wednesday] evening [for] repeat bloodwork, and to see how they are healing up with the supplements we’ve had them on,” Flanery said.

However, a few of the animals still still remain at Sprouse’s home along state Route 650 in Ironton.

Sprouse allowed WSAZ onto his property this afternoon, but did not wish to go on camera himself.

He showed NewsChannel 3′s Joseph Payton the kennel where the dogs were kept, their food, and their medications.

Sprouse says the dogs were not neglected, but Flanery disagrees saying many would not have survived.

“I’m relieved for the animals,” Flanery told WSAZ. “I am hoping that everything sticks and that he is held fully responsible for everything and that everything goes forward.”

Now, after being charged with 67 counts of animal cruelty, Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson says Sprouse could face a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $750 fine for each count.

“I think that’s the justice that these dogs deserve,” Flanery said.

Sprouse says he won’t stand down and plans to fight the charges in court.

He believes the kennel on his property, and trophy collection of championship beagles speaks for itself and the way he treats his animals.

Flanery is just glad he is being charged and that most of the dogs have been rescued.

“I’m just relieved. I just feel very thankful that we were able to step in and that they are here,” she said.

Sprouse has not been arrested at this time.

All of the counts are misdemeanors. Therefore, Sprouse will be issued a summons to appear in court.

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