Franklin County sheriff’s deputies rescued nine beagles, including three puppies, that had been abandoned Friday morning in an unheated garage with an open door in subzero weather and charged the owner with animal cruelty, a class D misdemeanor, Sheriff Scott Nichols said.

Deputies searched for the owner, David Ellis, 46, of Avon, who was located later Friday and issued a summons to appear in court on the charge.

“The dogs are doing fine at the shelter now, they were well fed,” the sheriff said in an email. “The issue was the extreme cold conditions they were left in.”

A woman who answered the phone at the Franklin County Animal Shelter in Farmington said the dogs are in good condition, but she added she could not release any information or photographs of the dogs. Nichols said no photos were available.

Nichols, who responded to the call along with Deputy Andrew Morgan just after 7:30 a.m., said the dogs had been abandoned on Foster Hill Road in Freeman Township. The temperature overnight in the rural township dipped into the teens below zero.

Nichols said a witness reported that the dog’s owner had moved, leaving them there over two days without food and with frozen water. The dogs were removed and taken to the animal shelter in Farmington. Deputy Andrew Morgan is working with authorities from the state Animal Welfare Program.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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