WARREN - The couple accused of animal cruelty for leaving starving and dead dogs and cats at their Hamilton St. S.W. home nearly two weeks ago are in Trumbull County Jail.
Tiffany Charleton and Michael Kelley, 2518 Hamilton St., each were charged with nine counts of cruelty of animals, and Tiffany's father, Randall Charleton, 2530 Hamilton, was charged with four counts of animal cruelty.
Officers had been hunting for Tiffany Charleton and Kelley since finding the dead animals late last month, and finally tracked them to Randall Charleton's home on Friday.
Randall Charleton was arrested as well after officers said they found four malnourished animals at his home. The Animal Welfare League took control of the four dogs.
The three people remained in jail Saturday while awaiting a hearing Monday in Warren Municipal Court.
"I'm glad they found them, and hopefully now justice will be served," Barb Busko, president of the board with the Animal Welfare League, said on Saturday. "It broke our hearts the dogs had to die the way they did."
Michelle Goss, a humane investigator with the Animal Welfare League, said the four dogs that were taken from Randall Charleton's home ''are in relatively good condition. Two of them are skinny. We are going to investigate that.''
Goss said Randall Charleton had an agreement with the Animal Welfare League to have no more than two dogs at a time at his home.
Initial cruelty charges against Tiffany Charleton and Michael Kelley are based on a Nov. 28 raid of their home in which police, city officials and Animal Welfare League investigators found five dead dogs on couches inside the house, which was full of feces and garbage, according to police reports. There were four dead kittens in a crate outside the house.
One live dog - Mocha - was taken into AWL custody. Goss said that dog now is OK.
In addition to the animals, the house was full of needles, police and investigators said.
It was not the couple's first run-in over animals. In September, after a prior allegation of animal neglect, Tiffany Charleton and Michael Kelley were ordered by Warren Animal Control to remove all but four of the 11 dogs they had in their home. Warren residents by law cannot have more than four dogs in their homes.
The city Health Department also ordered the couple to clean up the property.
When Warren Animal Control Officer John Onatz returned to the home several days later, the animals had been removed. The couple also removed some of the dog cages and debris from around the house.
In September, the couple said they began taking in dogs shortly after moving into the house in February.
"People keep bringing us dogs to take care of," Tiffany Charleton said in September. "I look at the faces of the dogs and I can't say no."
At the time, Charleton described taking in sick and neglected dogs, nursing them to health and giving them to others.
That was not what inspectors found last month. The scene at the house was described as grim.
Warren Deputy Health Commissioner Robert Pinti said the house has since been condemned.