UPDATE: Couple charged in Montgomery animal rescue case


JEFFERSONVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The couple on whose property animal activists seized more than 200 dogs and cats late Wednesday night have been cited.

According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, 60-year-old Renee Ann Zaharie and 65-year-old William Brian Zaharie, both of Highway 213 in Jeffersonville, were charged with second degree cruelty to animals.

The charge is a class A misdemeanor punishable by 90 days to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $500.


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – An animal rescue group desperately needs help after almost 300 animals were found living in what rescuers call ‘horrible’ conditions” in Montgomery County.

“It was heartbreaking,” Director of Field Operations James Houchins said.

The Kentucky ‘Guardians of Rescue’ group recently received a tip about animals living in deplorable conditions, that’s when Montgomery County law enforcement got involved.

“They were extremely helpful on this situation. They began an investigation, after their investigation it was found true that there were several hundred animals living in this deplorable situation,” Houchins said.

Rescuers worked Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning to help get all the animals off the ‘Caring about Treasured Strays’ property.

Overall, there were about 104 dogs and 187 cats.

“These situations it’s very sad, it’s very emotional, the stress level runs high but all the animals are safe. They’re off the property. They’re all receiving vet care. We did have to take ten puppies to the emergency vet due to several medical and neglect issues,” Houchins said.

He says the animals are doing fine now, but supporters of the rescue are posting on its facebook page saying this is all wrong. That the owner of this stray rescue took good care of the animals.

James says they do understand the owner was trying to help the community but he says the tip they received saved these animals lives.

“April is animal cruelty awareness month. If you see something, expect something, say something,” Houchins said.

We reached out to ‘Caring about Treasured Strays’ and spoke with the owner, she says her lawyers told her not to speak out. However, she told us the animals were well fed and taken care of.

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