Story Behind The Story

Dozens of Dogs Found Covered In Feces, Dead In Central Ohio Home

For an animal lover such as myself, today was not necessarily a story I was crazy about doing or one I’ll be bragging to my grandchildren about one day when/if they ever ask me, “Gramps, tell us all about your reporting days!”

Basically, a woman in Fayette County could be facing dozens of animal cruelty charges after deputies and humane society agents allegedly found dozens of dogs in cages. Some of the dogs were allegedly covered in feces, 13 caged dogs were found dead. Other animals including cats and guinea pigs were found as well, but the overwhelming majority was dogs.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a dog and cat owner and I absolutely love them both. (Though there are times they drive me absolutely crazy, I would never think about harming them.)

Prior to leaving the newsroom, I called the sheriff’s office and humane society to confirm a variety of facts regarding the case. Fortunately for me, that didn’t take much more than a couple phone calls.

As soon as my photographer, Mark arrived at work around 3, we bolted out the door… and for good reason, we had a 5 o’clock live shot to do and we had at least an hour to drive… in the rain. (Gotta love those tight deadlines!) By the way, that live shot wouldn’t happen. (I’ll get into that in a bit… nail biter!)

After a ride in our live truck (which is about as quiet as a ride in puddle jumper turboprop airplane) we finally arrived at the home where this all allegedly happened.
First things first, we found a safe place to park, put up the mast and got everything in order to do our live shot. We had a few minutes so Mark and I headed over the trailer and home in which the animals were found. Before long, we saw a woman who we were pretty sure was the alleged suspect in the case and we headed her way. Now, at this point, the confrontation can go one of two ways.  She could either yell for us to get off her property (which has happened plenty of times) or she could let us approach and answer our questions. Fortunately for us, this time around she allowed us to approach and answered any and every question we asked her.

After six or so minutes, the interview was shot and we headed back toward our truck to complete the setup for our live shot. Unfortunately for us, we had some issues with our transmitter (Mark spent 45 minutes on the phone trying to get it fixed) and we were simply unable to send anything to our tower.  (It happens… ask anyone in this business.)

In the meantime, I had called up the humane society agents and had them meet us at the home for an interview. By the time we realized a live shot was simply not in our future, they were ready for us to speak to them. So we did.

For this story, the humane society sent us a variety of pictures from inside the trailer as well as the house. Some of the pictures were downright graphic. (In other words, they were something an animal lover never wants to see.) If you want, you can view the pictures on our website at nbc4i.com (You’ve been warned.)  We always try to use good judgment when picking out pictures to use in our stories.  It’s a balancing act – we don’t want show pictures that are intensely graphic, but we want to give our viewers an idea of what we’re talking about in the story. In many cases, if you see a picture on television, chances are there are pictures even more graphic in nature the station is deciding not to air. Such is the case this time around. In the end of the day, even after trying to use good judgment, we still may receive complaints from some people who were offended. While we never like receiving those emails and calls, as I said before - it happens.

Posted by Tom Brockman  on 07/13 at 07:07 PM

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