An animal rescue group has been left ‘absolutely heartbroken’ after one of its dogs was killed while left in the care of inmates as part of a prisoner rehabilitation program.
Joseph’s Legacy said its ‘worst nightmare happened’ after Evie, a four-year-old German Shepherd and Norwegian Elkhound cross, was found dead in a cell at Warren Correctional Institution in Lebanon, Ohio.
The institution, which houses 1,365 inmates, is a high security jail which contains adult mail prisoners – including murderers – aged over 18 on a 45-acre site.
Volunteers at Joseph’s Legacy explained on Facebook: ‘Our Evie died from blunt force trauma to her abdomen causing her liver to hemorrhage and her kidney was also damaged.
‘We’re all undeniably angered and overwhelmingly upset. We will have more results in about three-to-four weeks. We have to get justice for Evie.
‘We have removed all our dogs from this program and will not return.’
Meg Melampy, president and founder of Joseph’s Legacy, and the group’s secretary Lisa Cantrell, said they had ‘never had any issues with the program before’.
They said that at least two inmates have remained in solitary confinement since Evie’s body was found on Saturday morning – but those allegedly responsible for her brutal death have not as yet been identified.
State authorities are investigating Evie’s death, and the animal rescue group said that ‘formal charges will be pressed… these programs are more risky than we had originally thought.’