STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – A search of a home in Struthers to determine if dogs were living in poor conditions ended with the house being shuttered and the people living there forced to leave, including six children.
Officers and a Mahoning County humane agent went to a home on Frank Street about 3:30 p.m. Thursday with a search warrant after a dog that came from the home was brought in for cremation but was suspected of being malnourished, according to a police report.
A check of the dog through a necropsy determined that it only weighed 21.6 pounds. He should have weighed 50, pounds and the content of his stomach were empty. It was determined the dog starved to death, according to humane agents.
Police say that James Burk, 43, would not let police in the home, but eventually complied. Once inside the house, Burk continued to act aggressively toward officers and resisted when they attempted to restrain him. He was finally put in handcuffs and placed in a cruiser.
Police say a woman in the house, Jamie Burk, 24, tried to get away from officers during a struggle and dragged an officer down the steps, the report stated.
Once the man and woman were detained, officers found squalid conditions inside the home with trash, food and debris strewn about. They were also overcome with the smell of feces, urine and other unidentifiable smells.
Officers added they found two dog cages in a room, with one dog inside a cage and another dog barricaded inside a closet in a bedroom. They also found mattresses on the floor in the rooms with garbage strewn about, the report stated.
Other adults and juveniles were also found in the home, police said.
“It was more or less a home in disarray, deplorable conditions on the interior of the home. There was dog feces, cages, children inside of the home,” said Captain Matthew Haus.
Humane agents removed seven dogs, one cat and a gecko from the house.
A woman who lives in the home but was not there at the time was contacted and told she and six children could not live in the house because of the conditions. Mahoning County Children Services was notified.
James and Jamie Burk were booked into the Mahoning County Jail on charges of resisting arrest and obstructing official business. Jamie Burk faces an additional charge of assault on a police officer.
The incident remains under investigation.