New Castle News

May 1, 2014

Woman facing animal cruelty charges

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — A woman with five Chihuahuas in her house is facing charges for allegedly harboring them without licenses or rabies vaccines.

The Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office animal control officer charged Donna M. Twaddle, 63, of 729 Butler Ave., Tuesday after making attempts to contact her about her dogs.

Twaddle faces five counts of cruelty to animals, one count of failing to furnish authorities with information, 16 counts of failing to apply for a dog license and 16 counts of not having her dogs vaccinated against rabies.

Reports from a search warrant record indicate the animals were living in unsanitary conditions.

According to court documents, the district attorney’s office had received an anonymous complaint about the neglect and condition of the five dogs at Twaddle’s house.

The animal officer went to her home around 11:30 a.m. March 18 and knocked but got no answer. She heard multiple dogs barking inside, but none were in any windows or at the doors, which indicated they might be in a kennel, according to the report.

The officer left a 10-day warning card in the mailbox with a request for a phone call and license and rabies vaccine information for the dogs.

She received information from Twaddle for two of the five dogs on March 28.

The veterinary office where the vaccines had been administered informed the humane officer that two of the dogs were thin and one had a leg injury that had been splinted with tongue-depressors and gauze.

The injured dog had been re-examined April 9 and the splint was urine-soaked and had a foul odor, the report said.

The officer went back to Twaddle’s house April 25 and again heard multiple dogs barking inside.

The officer and a code enforcement officer both noted a strong smell of decomposition coming from the porch, the court papers said.

Upon obtaining a search warrant, the officer confiscated two male and three female Chihuahuas from the house.

Twaddle will receive a summons to appear in court on the charges.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)