Homeowner sentenced to jail time, over $500 in fines on multiple cruelty to animal charges

Photo submitted by Brittany Calihan

Photo submitted by Brittany Calihan

By Jessica Johnston, Assistant News Director

The woman accused of neglecting multiple dogs that lived in her home pleaded guilty in an additional animal cruelty case after originally pleading guilty to one case of the same in May.

On May 3, a dozen dogs were rescued from a Zanesville home after the Muskingum County Dog Warden and Adoption Center received a call about two dead dogs in the basement of the home with a third malnourished dog eating their bodies.

“It was just animals in cages that were filthy, emaciated animals. The smell was overwhelming,” Muskingum County Humane Officer Carolyn Hughes said. “They had cages in bedrooms with dogs in them, they had other dogs shut in bedrooms and they had them down in the kitchen in cages and in the basement where they had the two dead dogs with the third dog eating off the two dead dogs.”

Hughes added that the living dog found in the basement was adopted by a family and is doing well.

All 12 dogs were in Sharilinea Newell’s home on Corwin Avenue, although she only claimed ownership of two of the animals.

While Newell was in possession of all 12 dogs, as they were living in her home, 10 of them belonged to various people who were not in the home.

According to Hughes, two of the other owners are incarcerated and another is unable to be located.

At the end of May, Newell pleaded guilty to two counts of cruelty to companion animals in reference to the two dogs she owned that were in the home.

“It just was a nightmare, I mean to think those animals were living in that, that way,” Hughes said. “And people, people. But, people, that’s their choice. The animals, it’s not their choice.”

Resulting from the first case, Newell was ordered to pay $200 in fines plus court costs, as well as serve 30 days in jail with 20 of those days suspended. Judge Thomas Mills also stated that she was not to own or possess animals for the next two years.

On Aug. 30, Newell pleaded guilty to five counts of cruelty to companion animals, the additional four counts of the same were dismissed.

Newell was sentenced to serve 60 days in jail, with the remainder of her jail days suspended, pay $517 in fines and had her ownership of animals revoked for 10 years. She is scheduled to report to jail at the beginning of November.