Woman in­dicted on felony an­i­mal cru­elty


A St. Clair Twp. woman is fac­ing three felony and four mis­de­meanor charges af­ter al­legedly ne­glect­ing dogs in the cold Jan­uary weather.

Melissa Dam­ico, 46, was in­dicted Wed­nes­day by a But­ler County grand jury on fifth-de­gree felony charges of cru­elty to com­pan­ion an­i­mals and first-de­gree mis­de­meanor counts of the same charge.

Dam­ico was ar­rested Jan. 7 af­ter a wel­fare check was con­ducted at 3700 Mor­gan­thaler Road in St. Clair Twp. by county hu­mane of­fi­cers, who found three dogs de­ceased due to ne­glect and cold weather, while four other dogs were found alive but se­verely mal­nour­ished.

But­ler County Dog War­den Su­per­vi­sor Kurt Merbs said Dam­ico had moved to a new home, aban­don­ing the seven dogs. There was no food, wa­ter or ap­pro­pri­ate shel­ter from the weather.

The sur­viv­ing dogs, Chi­huahua mixed breeds, were taken to the An­i­mal Friends Hu­mane So­ci­ety to re­cover, ac­cord­ing to Merbs.

Dam­ico was taken to the But­ler County Jail. She is free on bond.

The case has been as­signed to But­ler County Com­mon Pleas Judge Noah Pow­ers, but an ar­raign­ment date on the in­dict­ment has not yet been set.

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