CIRCLEVILLE — The Tarlton man allegedly running a puppy mill on his Amish farm has been charged with 23 counts of cruelty to a companion animal, according to Lt. Dale Parish, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office.
More than 50 small breed dogs were taken from the property of Jonas Beachy in October and into the care of the Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ohio SPCA).
Teresa Landon, Ohio SPCA director, said she is satisfied with the charges.
“The sheriff’s office has been wonderful on this case,” she said. “They have not hesitated to move forward to make sure that these animals got the help that they needed.”
Lt. Parish said cruelty to a companion animal is a misdemeanor charge and covers dogs and cats, but not livestock or any wild animal.
He said Beachy has been cooperating and voluntarily surrendered the dogs to the Ohio SPCA.
“The important thing is stopping the kennel operation in the fashion that he was doing it,” Lt. Parish said.
Landon said the Ohio SPCA, which provided medical reports of each dog to the sheriff’s office, would like to work with Beachy and his family to ensure the safety of his animals.
“We certainly would like to work with this family,” she said. “We’d also like to monitor the other animals on the property because there were some deficiencies also with the water and proper cleaning for the horses, but one thing we absolutely do not want is more dogs being brought on the property.”
Beachy had reportedly asked for some of the dogs he kept as pets to be returned, but Landon said the organization is not willing to return the animals because “they were also flea-infested and full of parasites.”
The sheriff’s office and rescue groups inspected Beachy’s property on Oct. 1 after receiving tips of a suspected puppy mill, a term used for an operation where puppies are bred for sale to pet stores.
The dogs were confined in cages with inch-square wire, and now suffer from permanent paw injuries, Landon said.
“It appears now that their feet problems are going to be permanent,” she said. “They have tumors and abscesses that are not healing.”
Many of the dogs were also severely matted with fleas and had overgrown nails.
They are currently being housed at nine rescues out of the county and are not yet well enough to be put up for adoption.
Landon said the Ohio SPCA is trying to raise money to cover the cost incurred for saving the dogs.
Because some needed surgery, veterinary bills have been “astronomical,” estimated to be about $15,000 to $20,000.
“If we need anything, we need help on that,” she said.
Donations are being accepted at www.ohiospca.org.
A hearing for Beachy has not yet been scheduled.