Twenty-one dogs covered in feces and urine were seized from a building in deplorable conditions and without air conditioning last month in Lorain. Their owners appeared in a Lorain court on Friday for a pre-trial hearing that drew about a dozen protestors.
"They should never be able to do this again," said protestor Sandy Criswell.
The dogs were found in cages in a small, stagnant room. Some of the dogs had eye and ear infections, others had skin issues, according to authorities. While the animals had been fed, their water bowls had an algae-like growth in it.
"Those 21 full [sic] neglected dogs could have died in there," protestor Pat Fogo said.
The owners, Cornelius Charlton and Lauren Souris, pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges last week.
The two appeared before Judge Mark Mihok Friday.
The dogs are currently housed at Friendship Animal Protective League. There are so many in fact, they take up half the shelter. During court, it was agreed some of the will go to foster homes across Ohio.
"We'll put that order on to allow these dogs to go to foster care," Judge Mark Mihok said.
It's not known how many of the dogs will be fostered or where exactly they will go in Ohio, but the authorities said the homes will be vetted first.
The owners are scheduled to appear again in court on Sept. 7th.