Woman Facing Charges for Starving Two Dogs Locked in a Cage Together, One Eats the Other

April 15, 2019 Updated: April 15, 2019

*Warning: Graphic photo*

CANTON, Ohio—A 25-year-old Canton woman has been charged for allegedly starving two dogs locked in a cage, causing one of the animals to eat the other after it died, according to court records.

Jessica J. Swinehart
Mugshot from Jessica J. Swinehart, a 25-year-old Canton woman has been charged for allegedly starving two dogs locked in a cage in Cleveland, Ohio. (WEWS via CNN)

Court records state that on or about April 5, Jessica J. Swinehart locked a beagle in a cage with a German Shepherd-mix and starved the animals. When the beagle died, the other dog ate it to survive.

When authorities found the German Shepherd, it appeared to have lost nearly two-thirds of its body weight. it was still locked in the cage with the decaying beagle.

An arrest warrant was filed on April 8 and she was later arrested.

Swinehart has been charged with two counts of prohibitions concerning companion animals, a fifth-degree felony.

A future court date is pending.

A 25-year-old Ohio woman has been charged for allegedly starving two dogs locked in a cage, causing one of the animals to eat the other after it died, according to court records.

Posted by Fox Carolina News on Sunday, April 14, 2019

Animal Cruelty

The effects of animal cruelty reach beyond the animal victims, noted researchers for the Animal Welfare Institute in a 2012 report (pdf).

“Accumulating empirical evidence is demonstrating a strong association between animal cruelty and other crimes, including interpersonal violence, illegal possession of drugs and guns, and property destruction,” researchers stated.

“Moreover, participation in animal cruelty in childhood is a significant marker for the development of aggressive and anti-social behavior, as well as a predictor of individuals who might engage in domestic violence.”

Nearly every state has passed laws making animal cruelty a felony in some or all cases, the researchers said, “a dramatic change” in how the crimes are viewed and prosecuted.

Animal cruelty
Congressmen Vern Buchanan and Ted Deutch on Jan. 23, 2019, introduced the “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act” to outlaw and make it easier to prosecute those involved in the gruesome killing of animals. (Pixabay image)

According to the Humane Society of the United States, hoarding behavior can hurt animals, with women as the main culprits; animal abusers, meanwhile, are most often men.

“Hoarding behavior often victimizes animals. Sufferers of a hoarding disorder may impose severe neglect on animals by housing far more than they are able to adequately take care of. Serious animal neglect (such as hoarding) is often an indicator of people in need of social or mental health services,” the group stated.

“Surveys suggest that those who intentionally abuse animals are predominantly men under 30, while those involved in animal hoarding are more likely to be women over 60.”

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