Indiana law enforcement officers participate in animal cruelty training seminar

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Indiana law enforcement officers got some valuable training today to help them combat animal cruelty and fighting.

Hosted by the Humane Society and Indianapolis Animal Care & Control the training included reviewing current laws and examining the connection between illegal animal fighting and other felony crimes. The training comes as officials in Owen County continue to clean up one of the worst cases of hoarding and animal cruelty Central Indiana has ever seen.

The property was littered with dog skeletons, piles of junk, bio hazard waste and an estimated population of 100,000 rats.

More than 100 dogs were rescued. Some are concerned the property owner will only get a legal slap on the wrist.

"I have particularly tried to get this person,  this case brought before the police, brought before justice two years ago. The neighbors have tried for years to get this guy dealt with as an animal issue. Not until it became totally out of control and it became a health issue we were actually able to bring law enforcement in and hopefully prosecute the people. Even our prosecution level is dismally small right now.  He has two misdemeanors,” said Gary Cunningham member of the Owen County Humane Society Board of Directors.

Property owner Paul Purcell and his sister Vicki each face just one count of cruelty to an animal and one count of harboring a non-immunized dog. It's said medical care for the dogs that were rescued is estimated to cost more than $100,000.

The price tag to remove all of the rats is more than $30,000  The fines Purcell and his sister face, look like about $150 each.


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