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Jones faces animal cruelty charges
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The Centertown woman who had over 120 dogs seized from her property in March will face criminal charges for animal cruelty and possession of controlled substances.
Wilma Jones faces 15 criminal charges, all misdemeanors, after she was indicted by the Warren County grand jury.
Ten of the counts are for animal cruelty as the indictments say Jones failed “to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter for an animal,” in her custody.
Each of those 10 indictments lists a specific dog, meaning prosecutors found some animals in worse shape than others. It appears Jones will escape charges for more than 100 of the animals on her property. Prosecutors are not commenting on the active investigation.
The other five charges come for possession of controlled substances. According to the indictments, those substances are:
• Fentanyl – an anesthetic used for procedural sedation
• Ketamine – an anesthetic used for minor procedures
• Testosterone propionate – a steroid that promotes muscle growth
• Alprazolam – a mild to moderate anxiety drug
• Darvocet – a narcotic pain reliever.
Prosecutors and an international animal rights organization said Jones was operating a puppy mill when they converged on her property March 29 and seized over 120 dogs. They claimed she was putting profits over the care of animals and left some dogs to live in squalor.
In her defense, Jones, 72, says she is an animal lover who has bred and cared for dogs for well over 35 years. She says she spent hundreds of dollars a month on dog food and gave the animals around-the-clock care when necessary. She said some of the dogs on her property were dropped there by people who didn’t want them anymore and who knew she would feed them.
Despite seizing the animals, prosecutors never charged Jones with a crime. She relinquished custody of all but four of the dogs to the state and those four dogs were returned to her April 15. At that time, prosecutors announced they would be taking Jones’ case before the grand jury to see if any indictments would be returned.