Arrest Is Made Over Dead Pets
By ANNIE DIMMICK POSTED: January 9, 2009
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WHEELING - When a man hired to haul items from the Wheeling home of Brenda Lee Magdich first entered her basement in August, he got a surprise.
According to Marshall County sheriff's Deputy Steven White, the man came across an emaciated dog, with no food or water, living in its own excrement among piles of garbage. But that was just the beginning and now, Magdich, 39, is facing four felony counts of animal cruelty.
Magdich was arrested by deputies late Wednesday. She was taken to the Northern Regional Jail and later released on $6,500 bond.
Searches of the home by the department led to the discovery of another dog in a similar condition, as well as a dead bird and guinea pig, both still in their cages, White said. The pets were found in Magdich's 9 Carl St. home within two days of each other, launching a months-long investigation.
Shortly after their discovery, both dogs had to be euthanized due to the condition they were left in, White said. He noted the man immediately alerted the department upon discovering the first dog.
"Prior to mine and Marshall County Animal Control Officer Mike Baker's arrival, the (first) dog had started having seizures," White said, adding that the dog was still suffering from seizures upon their arrival. "There was no water or food for the dog. There were piles of garbage and animal feces all over the floor."
He added that dog also had extremely long toe nails, several areas of missing or thinning hair and an "extremely foul" odor.
According to Baker, an autopsy revealed that the only trace of food in the second dog was what was eaten prior to it being euthanized.
"It would have taken several days for the dog's digestive system to be completely empty," White said.
White said Baker was also told by the veterinarian who did the autopsy that it would have taken several weeks for the dog's physical condition to become as bad as it was.
If convicted, Magdich could be sentenced to one to five years in prison and fined between $1,000 and $5,000 for each charge, according to West Virginia Code.