Sharpsburg woman faces multiple charges of animal cruelty

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A Sharpsburg woman is facing multiple charges of animal cruelty after police discovered last week a litter of dead puppies inside her home.

Sonya Lee Thomas, 44, was charged Saturday with seven counts of animal cruelty and seven counts of animal neglect.

According to the criminal complaint, Sharpsburg Borough Police conducted a welfare check on Ms. Thomas' Altmeyer Street home on May 21 due to a foul odor. Upon entering, police found a litter of puppies decayed on the floor of the home's master bathroom and the skeleton of a large dog with a red collar still attached in the home's living room. Police also found an emaciated live female dog, later determined to be the puppies' mother.

An animal control officer said it appeared the living dog survived without food and water by eating the carcass of the dead dog. The officer also estimated the puppies had probably died two to three weeks before they were discovered.

The living dog was taken to a local kennel.

Ms. Thomas called police on May 23 and said she had last attended to the living dog, Sadie, some time the previous week but occasionally sent her kids to feed the dog. She was described as "emotional and crying" during the conversation.

Officers described Ms. Thomas' home as "extremely filthy, with clothing, old food cans, furniture, mattresses" and other items thrown throughout the residence. They estimated trash inside of the home piled as high as three feet in some places.

mobilehome - breaking - neigh_north

Deborah M. Todd: dtodd@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1652.


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