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Morgan County Humane Society Takes Custody After Animals Seized

Last updated on Monday, December 17, 2018

(MORGAN CO.) - After more than 141 animals were seized, a judge signed an order awarding custody to the Morgan County Humane Society.

Officials seized 78 poultry, including ducks and guinea, 45 dogs, 12 cats, and five fish from Joseph Smith on November 25th. The dogs include two different large dog breeds and at least eight different small dog breeds. The fish are either goldfish or smaller koi.

Smith was then ordered to post the necessary bond to care for the animals within 10 days of the animals being impounded. He didn't do that, so the judge awarded custody of the animals to the humane society.

Officers seized the animals after a report of a possible overdose at the home in the 100000 block of West State Road 42. When police arrived they found a dead man on the kitchen floor.

Officers obtained permission to search the home and in a bedroom of the dead man's police found deputies found meth and drug paraphernalia that tested positive for meth, marijuana. They also found more than $4,000 in cash.

Officers then discovered the animals who were being housed in crates that had not been cleaned for some time. They were covered in feces and the animals had no food or water. Twenty-plus dogs were being kept in 1 foot, 5 inches (in) height by 3 feet wide wooden boxes on the floor. Police say the boxes did have access to outside crates.

On November 25th the dogs were seized. Police arrested Smith and Jeremiah Morgan, who they found passed out on a couch. Near Morgan, they found a used syringe, a metal spoon with burnt residue that tested positive for meth, a piece of glass containing a white powdery residue and a credit card containing residue. Morgan also had a writ of attachment out of Morgan County.

Morgan was transported to the Morgan County Jail and Smith was taken by ambulance to St. Francis Mooresville after he complained of chest pains.

Smith was charged with dealing and possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of a syringe, maintaining a common nuisance and neglect of vertebrate animals.

Morgan was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia, possession of a syringe and visiting a common nuisance.

A final pretrial conference for both is scheduled at 3 p.m. Feb. 2, 2019, and the jury trial is scheduled for 9 a.m. April 9, 2019.

All the animals were taken to the Morgan County Humane Society. They were vet treated and many were spayed or neutered and are now available for adoption.

Some of the animals required special medical treatment and were taken to Indianapolis for treatment.

A Critter's Chance, who specializes in farm and exotic animals, is in charge of placing the poultry.

Because of the large number of animals seized, some are being fostered.

For more information on adopting an animal visit the Morgan County Humane Society 690 West Mitchell Ave. in Martinsville. The shelter is open from noon until 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from noon until 7 p.m. on Fridays.

For more information, call 765-349-9177 or visit mchumanesoc.org.

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