Man and woman remain in jail on cruelty charges
By Ed Runyan
A man and woman charged with animal cruelty after five dogs and four kittens were found dead at their Hamilton Street Southwest home Nov. 28 remained in the Trumbull County Jail on Monday evening.
Tiffany Charlton, 30, and Michael Kelley, 33, entered innocent pleas Monday in Warren Municipal Court to nine counts each of misdemeanor animal cruelty.
The U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitives Task Force and Warren police arrested them at 2:32 p.m. Friday at Tiffany Charlton’s father’s house on Hamilton Street.
Arrest warrants were issued for them Dec. 4.
During the arrest, police also arrested Tiffany Charlton’s father, Randall Charlton, 60, and charged him with four counts of animal cruelty after finding four malnourished dogs at his house.
Randall Charlton’s house is at 2530 Hamilton, next door to the house in which Tiffany Charlton and Michael Kelley lived when an investigator with the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County found the five dead dogs and four dead kittens.
Randall Charlton, who also was arraigned in Warren Municipal Court on Monday, was able to post $3,500 bond and was released from the Trumbull County jail after entering an innocent plea.
Tiffany Charlton and Kelley also entered innocent pleas but were unable to post bond of $1,500 each.
As a condition of bond, Randall Charlton, Tiffany Charlton and Kelley will not be allowed to possess any animals, Judge Thomas Gysegem of said.
During her hearing, Tiffany Charlton asked Judge Gysegem to allow her to post a personal- recognizance bond, meaning she could get out of jail without having to pay anything, but Judge Gysegem declined.
If convicted, all three could get jail terms of up to 90 days and a fine of up to $750 on each count.
The Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County said five dead dogs were found Nov. 28 inside the house at 2518 Hamilton where Tiffany Charlton and Kelley lived, and four dead kittens were in an animal carrier outside of the house.
Debbie Agostinelli, shelter manager for the Animal Welfare League, said Monday the agency has talked to Randall Charlton about the care of his pets on two occasions.
The most recent time was Nov. 28, the day the dead dogs and cats were found at his daughter’s house.
On that day, Agostinelli said she told Randall Charlton to reduce the number of dogs at his house to two inside dogs because the outside dog had not been provided with proper bedding or water.
The two inside dogs appeared to be healthy, Agostinelli said. Charlton agreed to keep only the two inside dogs, Agostinelli said.
On a previous occasion, the Animal Welfare League had been called to Randall Charlton’s house for a dead dog in the yard, Agostinelli said.