Two Lovettsville residents are facing 18 misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty after pets were found to be living in unsanitary conditions in their home on July 2, according to Loudoun County Animal Services.
LCAS officers were alerted to the conditions at the residence — determined to be “an immediate threat to [the animals’] life, health or safety” — by Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office deputies who had been at the home earlier on July 2 investigating an unrelated incident.
Animal Services officers discovered 17 dogs and a bearded dragon living in the residence of Jackie Howard Payne, Jr. and Tia Marie Reid, who were arrested July 12 following an animal cruelty investigation.
“The scene was very troubling,” LCAS Chief of Animal Control Chris Brosan said in a prepared statement. “Every surface accessible to the dogs was covered in urine, feces and waste; they literally had nowhere to go to get out of their own mess.”
The county took all of the animals into custody July 2 and took them to the Loudoun County Animal Shelter for assessment. On July 10, the Loudoun County General District Court awarded the animals to the county, enabling it to offer the animals for adoption.
Payne and Reid are both free on bond and are scheduled to appear in Loudoun County General District Court to face charges on Sept. 4. If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail for each count and a fine of up to $2,500 for each count.
Most of the seized animals have since been adopted. Anyone interested in adopting or fostering the remaining animals or any other pets can visit loudoun.gov/animals.