SEBRING, Ohio (WKBN) – After spending several days looking for her, police finally caught up with Ashley Crawford in Alliance on Saturday. They had made a welfare check at her house on East Ohio Avenue in Sebring last Wednesday.
“Every room in the house was full of animal feces,” said Atty. Gary Van Brocklin, Sebring’s law director.
Every room but one — the one used by Crawford’s daughter who was living there.
“All she had to live on was a card that she’d got from school, an EBT card,” Van Brocklin said.
Authorities say three cats and two dogs were also found in the house. They are now being cared for by neighbors while police look for a shelter to take them to. A fourth cat was found dead in the basement.
By the time police arrived at the house, Crawford — who Van Brocklin says has a history of drunk driving and drug convictions — had been missing for nearly a week.
Although Animal Charity of Ohio was called to take control of the animals, humane agents say they didn’t believe they had the authority to go and get them.
However, Van Brocklin says police had exigent circumstances to remove the child and the animals, saying the conditions weren’t safe enough to leave anyone or anything behind.
“I don’t believe that Ashley Crawford was worried about the dogs any more than she was worried about her child,” Van Brocklin said.
For now, the house has been condemned.
Crawford is due in court later this week, charged with child endangering and animal cruelty.