Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Grove City couple convicted on animal cruelty must forfeit animals

Grove City couple convicted on animal cruelty must forfeit animals




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A Grove City couple convicted on 17 animal cruelty charges was sentenced to five years of probation and is no longer allowed to breed or broker any animals. 

Douglas and Britney DeVaul were sentenced Friday and will also be required to pay $16,000 in fines to Columbus Humane. 

The following terms of community control were also placed on the DeVauls:

  • No owning or keeping any animals, livestock, or reptiles except for five companion animals. Those five companion animals must also be spayed/neutered.
  • All other animals, livestock, and reptiles owned by defendants must be forfeited within 30 days.
  • They cannot work, operate, or volunteer within a field involved in the care, breeding, or sale of animals, livestock, and reptiles.   
  • All animals, livestock and reptiles owned by the DeVauls and currently in possession of Columbus Humane are forfeited to Columbus Humane. 
  • They may not leave Franklin County, Ohio without permission from their probation officer.  
  • They must go through psychological evaluations, mental health assessments and take animal awareness classes.
  • They are subject to random inspections by Columbus Humane and other agencies at the discretion of the Probation Officer.

The DeVauls were convicted on animal cruelty charges in October 2020 after authorities seized 247 animals from two locations from the couple citing unsanitary, dangerous conditions in 2019.

“This is a massive victory for the animals,” said Columbus Humane CEO, Rachel, D.K. Finney. “We are so relieved the ongoing suffering of animals in this couple’s care has finally come to an end.”

They were charged after Columbus Humane agents, Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies, Columbus Police, and other authorities executed search warrants at The Petting Zoo Pet Shop (formally known as Grove City Reptiles) located on West Broad Street and the couple’s Jackson Township home on Aug. 13, 2019.

Agents said they found animals in unsanitary, overcrowded conditions with inadequate food and water.

Columbus Humane is working with probation officials to determine how many and what kind of animals will be forfeited by the defendants in the coming month. Health and behavior evaluations will be conducted for those animals and then adoption and/or rescue transfer plan will be put in place.

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