BLANCHESTER —A former Blanchester resident has been charged with two counts of cruelty to animals after police say she abandoned three dogs in a house with no food or water, and one of the dogs subsequently died.
According to Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt, last Thursday police were contacted by Clinton County Dog Warden Rex Doak seeking assistance with an investigation into abandoned dogs inside a house at 504 S. Wright St. Doak reported he had been trying to contact the homeowner at the residence for three days after receiving a report of several neglected dogs inside the house.
A police officer and Doak went to the home and found no one there, with several notices from Doak still on the door. They then canvassed the neighborhood speaking to residents, none of whom had seen anyone at the house for the past week. One neighbor said the resident there had moved out.
Doak and BPD Ptl. Jeff Lemmons then looked inside the house through the windows and said they saw two dogs inside.
“There was no food or water for the dogs visible, and the floors were covered with dog feces and urine, which produced an overwhelming odor,” Reinbolt said. “Lemmons forced entry to the home and inside he and Doak found a pit bull and two chihuahuas, one of which was dead on the floor.”
The dogs were taken by the dog warden.
The subsequent investigation revealed the homeowner to be Monica Estle, 41, now residing in rural Morrow, Reinbolt said.
“An officer was sent to that address, but she no longer lived there,” Reinbolt said. “Efforts to locate her continued until yesterday (Monday) morning, when an officer spoke to her via telephone.”
He said Estle has been charged with two counts of cruelty to animals, a second-degree misdemeanor. She will answer the charges in the Clinton County Municipal Court.