Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17385
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Person(s) in animal care
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Defense(s): Linda Cushman
Judge(s): Mel Kemmer

For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.

Saturday, Jan 1, 2011

County: Miami

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Jeff Burgess

Case Updates: 5 update(s) available

Authorities have charged a New Carlisle man who operated an animal rescue shelter in Piqua with nearly a dozen charges for unsanitary conditions found inside One More Chance Animal Rescue and Adoption Center.

Police identified Jeff Burgess, 56, as the owner of the center, located at 125 Clark Ave. and which opened last November. Burgess is charged with nine counts of cruelty to animals. Additionally, Burgess has been charged regarding a rabies, immunization, and quarantine violation, along with one for unsanitary conditions, court documents show.

A Feb. 16 arraignment in municipal court has been scheduled.

Burgess is not being held on a bond and remains free.

In all, nearly 100 dogs and 10 puppies were seized at the business, rescue officials said.

Presently, the city wants injunctive relief for the rescue and adoption center and wants the establishment, which they have condemned for health reasons, to be declared a public nuisance.

Various attempts to contact Burgess via telephone and e-mail were unsuccessful Monday.

A message on the center's website stated, "There are no visits to the facility until further notice, due to construction."

According to that same website, the rescue and adoption center is a "no-kill organization established in January of 1999."

Before authorities executed a search warrant on the business at the end of last month, the city's health department found the building was not in proper shape and inside the living conditions of the canines included feces and urine on the ground, inadequate food and water and a history of improper vaccinations, which gave rise to the criminal charges in the case.

Burgess moved his business into the Clark Avenue address before securing building and zoning permits, too, though he later secured a zoning permit, said Amy Welker, the city's health department director.

Marcia Doncaster, Miami County Animal Shelter, described the conditions inside as "deplorable," adding that many of the dogs were living and sleeping in their own filth.

Three dogs perished before animal and health officials could rescue them.

Burgess has a similar operation in Medway, authorities said, and it is under investigation. As many as 500 dogs are believed to be at that facility.

Presently, the Miami County Animal Shelter is tending to the feeding and well-being of the dogs and that will likely continue until legal proceedings can get underway, including an injunction scheduled for Friday.

Emily Gough, of Tipp City, said she volunteered for Burgess in the past at his Clark County facility and said she was appalled with what she witnessed. Gough was one of about 20 volunteers at the location Tuesday helping out.

"I feel like I owe these dogs a lot," Gough said. "I should have done more in 2008."

She described the facility in Clark County as "a run-down shack."

Animal shelter officials said they are in need for donations -- saw dust, muck rakes, shovels, wheel barrows, stainless steel food bowls and water pails -- in caring for the dogs and interested parties who wish to donate items. Likewise, those who are willing to donate their time to volunteer, specifically on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 p.m., are encouraged to contact the Miami County Animal Shelter at (937) 332-6919.

Case Updates

A scheduled sentencing Friday for the former operator of the closed One More Chance Rescue and Adoption in Piqua didn't go forward at the last minute because Jeff Burgess, 57, of New Carlisle asked to withdraw his plea to animal cruelty charges.

Stacy Wall, Piqua city law director, told those waiting for the sentencing in Miami County Municipal Court that the hearing was continued to allow lawyers for Burgess to file a motion to withdraw his guilty pleas to misdemeanors of animal cruelty and failure to immunize 98 dogs against rabies.

The animal rescue was closed after the health department found 98 dogs and a litter of puppies living in unsanitary conditions with inadequate food and water, no heat and no light, according to court documents. The dogs have since been adopted by new owners.

Burgess was sentenced in a separate case in Clark County to five years of probation and 90 days of electronically monitored house arrest. He was convicted in that case on five counts of animal cruelty in a case involving nearly 400 dogs he was keeping in Bethel Twp., Clark County.
Source: - Dec 16, 2011
Update posted on Dec 16, 2011 - 10:31PM 
Burgess, who lives in Xenia, is not done in court. Miami County Municipal Judge Mel Kemmer is scheduled to sentence him on Dec. 16 after he pleaded no contest and was convicted of 14 charges, including animal cruelty. The charges were filed after authorities shut down a warehouse without water and electricity in Piqua where Burgess kept about 110 dogs.
Source: - Nov 20, 2011
Update posted on Nov 20, 2011 - 8:49AM 
A New Carlisle man who operated the closed One More Chance Rescue and Adoption in Piqua pleaded guilty Monday in a Miami County court to 14 misdemeanor charges.

Jeff Burgess, 57, of Lower Valley Pike was charged by the Piqua Health Department in February with animal cruelty, failing to immunize 98 dogs against rabies and allowing unsanitary conditions. He also faced three charges involving prescription drugs authorities said they found inside the center.

He pleaded guilty in county Municipal Court, a court official said. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered and sentencing will be held in five to six weeks.

The animal rescue was closed after the health department found 98 dogs and a litter of puppies with no bedding, inadequate food and water, no heat and no light, according to court documents filed with a search warrant. The warrant also said some dogs needed medical attention and showed no sign of exercise. The dogs all subsequently were adopted by new homes.
Source: - Sep 19, 2011
Update posted on Sep 20, 2011 - 11:29PM 
A Clark County man who has dedicated his life to rescuing dogs will go on trial soon in Miami County on nearly a dozen misdemeanor charges.

Jeff Burgess is accused of mistreating approximately 100 dogs that were found "warehoused" in Piqua earlier this year.

Burgess told News Center 7's Northern Bureau Chief Steve Baker that the truth will come out during his trial. He said he maintains his innocence and that he is not guilty of 11 charges against him, including animal cruelty and unsanitary conditions at his kennel in Piqua and for failing to properly provide the dogs with shots.

Officials with the Miami County Animal Shelter and the Piqua Health Department disagree with Burgess and filed the charges. They called the conditions deplorable for the dogs.

The animal shelter and the Health Department spent weeks caring for the dogs, and making sure that all 100 of them found homes.

Many people donated food, bedding and money to provide for their care.

The civil part of the complaint is over in common pleas court in Miami County. Now, a jury trial in Miami County Municipal Court is expected to last five days. It will begin in the few weeks.

The most that Burgess could get, if found guilty, is six months in the county jail and a fine that would not exceed $1,000.
Source: - Aug 11, 2011
Update posted on Aug 12, 2011 - 11:40PM 
An attorney representing the owner of the embattled One More Chance Rescue and Adoption, 125 Clark Ave., Piqua, filed an entry of appearance for her client with municipal court and entered a not guilty plea on the behalf of Jeff Burgess.

The entry was filed last Thursday, but Burgess was to be arraigned Wednesday in municipal court.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for March 9 in Miami County Municipal Court before Judge Mel Kemmer.

In the entry, the man's attorney, Linda Cushman, requested a demand for discovery relative to the case.

Burgess, 56, of New Carlisle, has been charged with nine counts of cruelty to animals, and a violation for unsanitary conditions and rabies, immunization and quarantine.
Source: - Feb 17, 2011
Update posted on Feb 25, 2011 - 10:53AM 


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