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Martinsville Couple Accused In Animal Cruelty Case

Last updated on Tuesday, June 19, 2012

(MARTINSVILLE) - Police have accused a Morgan County couple of animal cruelty after they allegedly allowed two beagles to starve to death in a kennel at their Martinsville home.

Investigators said Nicholas Ferris, 29, was taken into custody earlier this month and his wife, Brooklyn Ferris, 29, was issued a citation after two dead dogs were found on their property.

Police said they received a tip from a neighbor on reports of possible animal neglect at the Ferrises' home.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the neighbor called the Humane Society after finding a malnourished beagle wandering though the neighborhood.

Nicholas Ferris became angry with the neighbor for calling the Humane Society, according to the affidavit.

Days later, the neighbor noticed the usually loud, barking dogs had been quiet for several days and according to the affidavit, the dogs had died in their kennel.

Morgan County Sheriff's Department Deputy Steve Hoffman went to the home, looked over the fence and saw two dead dogs in the kennel. No one was home at the time.

Hoffman said when he entered the yard, there were several plates and bowls containing rotten human food on the ground, with mold growing on some of the food.

The floor of the kennel, Hoffman said, was covered in piles of dog waste and urine that had completely matted the cedar chips into a solid substance.

Nicholas Ferris returned to the home once Humane Society officials were called to pick up the dogs.

Ferris told Hoffman he was having "financial issues" and did not have the money to feed and care for the dogs.

Ferris allegedly admitted to leaving the dogs without food or water for about a week-and-a-half and said he knew the dogs were dead, but he did not have the time to bury them, police said.

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