BREAKING NEWS: Fuhrmann facing charges

Staff Writer

By JANNAYA ANDREWS
Decatur Daily Democrat

    A Decatur woman is facing animal cruelty charges after two dogs were found dead in her 3rd Street home.
    According to a probable cause affidavit released Tuesday by Adams County Prosecuter Jeremy Brown, Beth Fuhrmann, 41, has been charged with two counts of animal cruelty, both class A misdemeanors, in the deaths of two dogs reportedly found dead in her 3rd Street residence.
    According to the affidavit, Decatur Police Detective Sergeant Leonard Corral Jr. received a report Sept. 5 from Decatur officer Trent Busse regarding the deaths. According to that report, Fuhrmann's sister, Laura Callow, called police after discovering the dogs inside the home.
    Callow had reportedly gone to the home after hearing from her mother that Fuhrmann's son had expressed missing his dogs, reportedly saying he had not seen the dogs for a few weeks and that his mother would not let him go to the house to see them.
    Court documents state Callow called Fuhrmann and asked her to meet at the home. Fuhrmann reportedly said she had given the dogs to a friend, who must have returned the animals to the home without her knowledge.
    Fuhrmann had reportedly been staying with a friend in Decatur because her house does not have air conditioning.
    Corral went to examine the home Sept. 6, where he stated he observed yellow police tape wrapped around the home, the front and rear lawn to be very high compared to neighboring houses and high weeds all around the house. Corral also noted all the windows on the house were
closed.
    Corral interviewed Fuhrmann Sept. 7, at which time Fuhrmann reportedly recounted the same story Callow had told police, confirming Callow found the deceased dogs in the home. Fuhrmann told Corral she had given the dogs to a friend "two or three weeks ago," stating she did not know the dogs were in her home, according to the affidavit. Fuhrmann said she believed the friend returned the dogs to her home believing she would find them there.
    When asked for information regarding the friend Fuhrmann reportedly gave the animals to, Fuhrmann told Corral the friend's cell phone number was no longer in service, the individual lived "somewhere in Van Wert, Ohio," and she did not know where this person works, according to the affidavit.
    Corral said Norman's Pest Control was called into the home Friday morning to spray for a severe flea infestation. Friday afternoon, he and Dr. Lorrie Riggs of Red Barn Veterinary Care entered the home, with the air tanks and masks provided by the Decatur Fire Department.
    The home was littered with trash and feces, Corral said, and fleas were still prevalent. "It was probably the worst house I've ever seen in my life," Corral commented Monday morning.
    Two of the dogs were located — one upstairs and one downstairs — while a third, a chihuahua, was not located. Corral said the house was in such a state of disarray it is possible the chihuahua is in the home underneath debris. "We only had 30 minutes of air in the tanks, and we looked, but we couldn't find it."
    Corral said Riggs conducted a visual examine of the dogs and determined the probable cause of death to be malnutrition and dehydration. Riggs removed the dogs from the home and to be taken to Fort Wayne for proper disposal, he said.
    Brown said the court found probable cause Tuesday morning and issued a warrant for Fuhrmann's arrest. The judge set bond in the amount of $2,500 surety and $250 cash.

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