Beaver County family facing over 500 charges linked to animal cruelty

Beaver County family facing over 500 charges linked to animal cruelty

INDUSTRY – A local family is facing 502 animal abuse charges after officers say their home was found to contain over 100 animals residing in unsanitary conditions.

Charges were filed against Industry residents Eric Bostwick, 49, Cheryl Bostwick, 51, and Shelby Bostwick, 22, after a warrant was issued to investigate their home along Tuscarawas Road. In addition to the mistreatment of over 100 animals, officers report that several minors were found living in dangerous conditions.

According to the criminal complaint, officers received a warrant to search the home on Feb. 2 and several officers went to investigate the property. When they arrived, Eric Bostwick answered the door and initially denied the officers entry to the home. Officers report that they informed him of the warrant, and began their search of the home.

Once entering, police officers immediately observed several dogs, a turtle tank, birds and reptiles inside the home, all in poor health conditions. Officers say that many parts of the house were covered in trash as well, writing that the upstairs of the house was “completely blocked.” The basement was in similar conditions, with officers reporting that they could not see the floor of the room.

In another part of the home, which officers say belongs to the family’s two teenage daughters, one room contained numerous small cages that contained feces and three ferrets that were left in a covered cage without any access to food and water. Another room belonging to the girls contained 30 different breeds of reptiles.

Outside, other officers investigated the family’s bird coop and pastures. In the coop, officers report they found 45 living homing pigeons and 23 dead pigeons. Observations indicated the birds had no food or water and the coop was unheated, leaving the birds stuck in very cold temperatures. In the charges, officers said the coop looked like it “has never been cleaned.”

In the pasture, officers found ponies, a horse, goats and a donkey emaciated and without access to food or water. A shed was present in the pasture, but could only fit one animal at a time. Trash was scattered around the pasture as well, with officers observing screws and broken glass that could have severely hurt the animals.

Officers also investigated an RV, where Shelby Bostwick was living. Inside this structure, police say rooms were filled with trash and feces. Two cats were seen eating out of the sink and an elderly chihuahua was found emaciated, officers reporting that the dog was “barely able to use its back legs.” A toddler and baby were also inside the RV at the time of the investigation.

Officers filed a total of 288 criminal charges against Eric Bostwick, including 23 felony charges for aggravated cruelty to animals. Cheryl Bostwick is facing 179 criminal charges and Shelby Bostwick is facing 35 criminal charges.

In addition to the charges for animal cruelty, officers report they informed Beaver County Children and Youth Services of the living conditions at the home and how many minors were on the property.

This article originally appeared on Beaver County Times: Beaver County family facing over 500 charges linked to animal cruelty

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