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Traffic stop nets wanted woman

40-year-old facing distracted driving and animal cruelty charges

CAMPBELL — A woman pulled over Sunday evening for distracted driving was arrested on multiple warrants for animal cruelty.

According to the Campbell police report, Rebecca Heatherly, 40, of Warren, was pulled over near the corner of Jackson and Jean streets after she nearly hit a parked vehicle. The report states officers saw her looking down toward her lap, with her face illuminated by the glow of a mobile device.

When they stopped her, one officer immediately identified her as wanted. The report states that she tried to flee but was unable to escape police. In addition to warrants for animal abuse and animal neglect, Heatherly is charged with distracted driving, driving without a license, resisting arrest and falsification. She was taken to Mahoning County jail, where she is being held without bond.

Heatherly was due in Campbell Municipal Court Tuesday morning, but court records do not yet indicate what happened in those proceedings.

The warrants originate from a Sept. 19, 2023, incident.

The police report describes finding one man living in an abandoned row apartment at 56 Chambers Street, along with animals that Heatherly had allegedly abandoned there with him.

The report states that officers found an adult dog, five puppies and a cat living in squalor, with garbage and animal feces and urine on the floor.

The report states: “(Detective Sergeant) Pavlansky was concerned the pets in this condition would not be cared for by the white male who Pavlansky believed to be a drug user.”

One officer stated that the conditions were “unacceptable and no person or animal should be living inside.” Another officer stated that “it was the worst home he had been in and there were several thousand fleas inside.”

The report also states there was no running water and there were buckets upstairs filled with human waste. The report states that the animals all were found heavily infested with fleas, the adult was losing its fur, and all the animals were described by a vet — after being removed from the home — as malnourished and slightly anemic. The dogs had overgrown nails and all the animals were found to have intestinal parasites.

The man, James Shankel, 60, of Campbell, also was charged with animal abuse and neglect, and a warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear for his arraignment on Oct. 17. He remains at large.

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