Mark Herron, the lieutenant in charge of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s special investigations unit handling the case, said no charges had been filed, while investigation continued. He referred further questions to the public information office in Columbus.
“Following the investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, we will conduct a thorough review of the program at the Warren Correctional Institution followed by a broader review of the animal programs across the state,” JoEllen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, said in this morning in an email.
A 4-year-old female German Shepherd-Elkhound mixed breed, Evie died Aug. 25 from “blunt force trauma to her abdomen, causing her liver to hemorrhage, and her kidney was also damaged,” according to Joseph’s Legacy, a Middletown-based rescue agency.
Joseph’s Legacy called for public support to get “Justice for Evie” in a Sept. 2 Facebook post.
Joseph’s Legcy said it has discontinued the progam at the prison in the aftermath and were awaiting the findings of the hhighway patrol investigation.
“They have told us they are taking it very seriously,” Meg Melampy, president and founder of Joseph’s Legacy, said this morning. “We are all trying to get through this one day at a time.”
Melampy said theirs was the only such program at the prison on Ohio 63, near the Miami Valley Gaming racino.
“The animal training programs within our facilities have proven to be an effective and meaningful activity for over 20 years, and we have absolutely zero tolerance for any type of abuse of the animals who are part of these programs,” Smith said in her statement.
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