Case Snapshot
Case ID: 5161
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: cat, dog (non pit-bull), rodent/small mammal (pet)
More cases in Franklin County, OH
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Child or elder neglect
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Sunday, Jul 17, 2005

County: Franklin

Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 3 files available

» Robert Helmbright
» Amy Stover - Alleged

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

A load of animals neglected that need special care were brought to Columbus July 17 after a two-hour trip from Scioto County.

Eleven cats and a number of dogs including five puppies have not been given enough to eat and are infested with fleas. Some of the animals have fleas so bad, they may not survive.

The animals were found after a call with the tip. Volunteers with the Ohio SPCA have taken them in and are bathing the animals and giving them medical care and food.

Although the family's pets were rescued, their children are still living in the home. The SPCA says it will be in touch with the local children services agency -- over the deplorable conditions inside the home.

Case Updates

A local man accused of animal abuse appeared in court Wednesday to answer to 20 charges of animal cruelty. The case is not the first time animal rescue groups have dealt with Robert Helmbright, the man accused, NBC 4's Nancy Burton reported.

When animal rescuers arrived at Helmbright's Taylor Road home in August, they found sick and abused animals. There were also the bodies of dead animals rotting in a shed, officials said.

Helmbright told investigators that the problem started two years ago when he lived on the city's west side. According to a report, Helmbright said a virus swept through his population of cats and dogs.

A puppy and seven cats died, Burton reported. The dead animals were allegedly put in a freezer. When the owner moved, officials said he put the carcasses in a shed.

"It just sickens me," said Kerry Manion, of the Capital Area Humane Society. "(There is) no excuse for this."

In 2004, when investigators showed up at Helmbright's home, the conditions were uninhabitable for humans and animals, officials said.

Health department officials said conditions improved after the first visit. But once Helmbright moved, the alleged abuse and cruelty began again. That's why Helmbright was charged with dozens of animal cruelty charges.

Helmbright pleaded guilty to four counts of animal cruelty and was sentenced to five years of probation. He was also forbidden from owning any animals. So far, the case has cost taxpayers close to $35,000 to nurse the animals back to health.
Source: NBC News - Feb 1, 2006
Update posted on Feb 1, 2006 - 5:26PM 
Agents seized 75 animals, most of them cats and dogs. Several dead animals were recovered.

Agents brought all the animals back to the Capital Area Humane Society for examinations and shots before moving them to a shelter.

The health department ordered the house vacated because of unsanitary conditions. Four people lived in the house, including Robert Helmbright and Amy Stover, who officials said used to live at a house full of animals that was seized in December.
Source: NBC News - Aug 12, 2005
Update posted on Aug 12, 2005 - 2:05PM 


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