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Times of Wayne County

Walworth man charged in animal abuse case

It all began when a stray beagle showed up on a neighbor’s doorstep. The dog, emaciated, downed several bowls of food as the dog saviors called Walworth Animal Control Officer Lea Dill. They told Lea that perhaps the dog belonged to some neighbors. Lee took the dog to her shelter and checked to see if it was licensed.

She returned to the home and a Zachary Keller, age 29, of 5023 Ontario Center Road in Walworth came to the door. “I asked him if he had some beagles and he said he had two. I asked him when was the last time he fed and checked on the dogs and he told me yesterday,” recalled Lea. The man did not know at the time that Lea had possession of one of the beagles for several days.
Lea and Keller walked into the back yard. There, one of the beagles was found dead, hanging out the wire cage, starved to death. “I told him (Keller) to go into the house and I was calling animal cruelty investigators,” said Lea. State Police also responded.

After an investigation and necropsy of the dead dog, Keller was charged on Thursday (3/15) with two counts of Animal Abuse, Not Feeding and Failing to Provide Sustenance, a misdemeanor. He was released on appearance tickets for Walworth Town Court on Tuesday, March 27th at 7:30 p.m.

According to officials, the dogs belonged to Zarchary’s parents. He was supposed to be taking care of the animals while his father was in the hospital and his mother worked and visited the father at the hospital. When asked by police why he had failed to take care of the two dogs he told them got “caught up in things”

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