Rescuers load an African gray parrot into a van during an animal abuse investigation north of the town of Rogue River. [Photo courtesy Jackson County Sheriff’s Office]
Dogs, cats, birds rescued from Jackson County home
A call about a sick dog in the front yard of a Jackson County home led to the discovery of dead animals and the rescue of 32 animals that were still alive, including dogs, cats and birds, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said.
The sheriff’s office and Jackson County Animals Services animal control officers went to a home Wednesday in the 6600 block of East Evans Creek Road north of the town of Rogue River to investigate the call. They found another diseased, neglected dog in the yard plus two dead dogs nearby that also showed signs of disease and neglect, the sheriff’s office said.
An animal rescuer wears protective gear during an animal abuse investigation at a home north of the town of Rogue River. [Photo courtesy Jackson County Sheriff’s Office]
Due to the severity of the dogs’ condition, a search warrant was sought and granted for the property. When they entered the home, deputies and animal control officers discovered 10 more dogs that were diseased, malnourished and close to death. The home also contained 10 exotic birds in cages and at least six cats. Outside the home, investigators found a dead cat and a cage containing six pigeons, the sheriff’s office said.
In total, 32 animals were rescued from the property by deputies, animal control officers, Jackson County Search and Rescue volunteers, a community services deputy and a local veterinarian employee, the sheriff’s office said.
Animal rescuers in protective gear carry a crate during an animal abuse investigation at a home north of the town of Rogue River. [Photo courtesy Jackson County Sheriff’s Office]
The suspects, Michael Lee Hamilton, 71, and Debbie Lee Hamilton, 61, both of Rogue River, were charged with three counts of first-degree animal abuse and 10 counts of second-degree animal abuse. They surrendered all the animals at the scene. The case is under further investigation. The Jackson County District Attorney’s office will prosecute the case, the sheriff’s office said.
The exotic birds were housed overnight at the Jackson County Animal Shelter, then transferred to several local bird rescues Thursday. The Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center in Central Point examined all the dogs Thursday and a treatment plan was initiated for each dog. All the living dogs will be transferred to the Oregon Humane Society, where they will receive extensive medical care and rehabilitation, the sheriff’s office said.
Jackson County Animal Services thanked the rescue community for stepping in to help the animals quickly start on their journey of recovery.