Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19566
Classification: Hoarding
More cases in Belmont County, OH
More cases in OH
Person(s) in animal care
Login to Watch this Case

New features are coming soon. Login with Facebook to get an early start and help us test them out!

Judge(s): Eric Costine

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

Friday, Oct 14, 2011

County: Belmont

Disposition: Dismissed

Persons of Interest:
» Christopher Wallace
» Carmen Wallace

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

A Belmont County Dog Warden official said in 40 years as an animal rights activist she has never seen worse living conditions that those at a local animal facility.

On Thursday, the Sheriff's Department said it searched the 4 Paws Rescue facility in Neffs, handcuffed caretaker Carmen Wallace and put her in a deputy's cruiser. Officials said charges are likely to be filed against Wallace early next week.

Photos released Friday show a building with feces everywhere and two dogs in a small cage. None of the animals had food or water, Belmont County Dog Warden supervisor Verna Painter said.

"There were snakes, gerbils, frogs, emaciated Boxers, animals in crates and cages with feces and urine up to their elbows practically," Painter said.

On Friday, Wallace told NEWS9 the 4 Paws facility is completely legal and showed documents.

"I have vet records (and) I can show you all that," Wallace said. "Every vaccination has been updated."

But Painter said the paperwork is insignificant.

"This is just pure neglect and abuse and these animals were suffering," Painter said, adding that many of the dogs are visibly undernourished. "I've never seen a case like this in my life."

Painter said a team was busy transporting animals to the animal shelter until late Thursday night. The animals are currently in rehabilitation but will likely be available for adoption on the future.

Wallace said though she was handcuffed, detained and ultimately transported by paramedics on Thursday, she said she was not arrested nor did she "go crazy" like officials said. Instead, she said she needed treatment for a heart condition.

Case Updates

Much to the dismay of rescuers who stepped in to care for badly neglected animals from the Four Paws Animal Rescue in Neffs, Ohio, charges of animal cruelty have been dismissed.

According to Wednesday's WTRF 7 News, Belmont County Western Division Court Judge Eric Costine has dismissed the charges against Carmen and Christopher Wallace, the individuals who operated the rescue agency.

According to the Belmont County Rescue League, the charges were dismissed due to a technical problem, specifically, an improperly executed search warrant.

Due to a lack of adequate signatures on the warrant, the photos taken at the property, which showed deplorable living conditions and starving animals, were not admissible in court.

Fifty animals, including a horse, dogs and cats were taken on the day that the authorities raided the property.

Since that time, those animals which survived were rehabilitated and adopted out to new families.
Source: Examiner - Feb 7, 2013
Update posted on Feb 8, 2013 - 3:09AM 
A Belmont County husband and wife who operated the so-called Four Paws Rescue, are now each facing 41 criminal charges.

Court officials said that Carmen and Christopher Wallace of the Neffs area are each charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty and 21 counts of confining a companion animal and depriving them of water and shelter.

Officials said they were arraigned last week in Western Division Court, and are scheduled for preliminary hearings on April 17.

Authorities seized all their animals in a raid months ago, saying many of them were emaciated and neglected.
Source: - Apr 5, 2012
Update posted on Apr 5, 2012 - 9:30PM 


« OH State Animal Cruelty Map
« More cases in Belmont County, OH

Note: Classifications and other fields should not be used to determine what specific charges the suspect is facing or was convicted of - they are for research and statistical purposes only. The case report and subsequent updates outline the specific charges. Charges referenced in the original case report may be modified throughout the course of the investigation or trial, so case updates, when available, should always be considered the most accurate reflection of charges.

For more information regarding classifications and usage of this database, please visit the database notes and disclaimer.