CROMWELL — A Cromwell couple was arrested by Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department officers after leaving several animals in their home for more than a week with no food or water, resulting in the death of a small dog.
Melissa A. Payne, 39, and Nicholas Baldwin, 37, both of 12113 N. Beau Peep Lane, Cromwell, were each charged with one count of cruelty to animals, a class A misdemeanor.
According to the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, officers arrived at a home near the couple’s address on July 27, to investigate a report from a neighbor of Payne and Baldwin who told officers that multiple animals at the residence had been without food or water for some time.
The neighbor showed officers two brown dogs in outdoor kennels. According to the witness, she and her family had gotten home from vacation on July 21, and noticed the two dogs looked emaciated and that they had no food or water. The neighbor told police she began providing food and water to the dogs but added that, according to her children, there were other animals inside the home.
Police located an acquaintance of the couple and obtained a cell number for Payne. Payne told police that she and her husband, Baldwin, had last been at the residence about two days prior. She told officers that she and Baldwin were working at a fair in Berne in order to earn money to care for the animals.
Police then talked to Baldwin on the cell phone, who reported it had been a week and a half since the couple had been home. Police obtained permission to enter the home and found one Chihuahua dead in a small kennel as well as a German Shepherd puppy, which was still alive, but appeared malnourished. The police officers also found two emaciated kittens and two hamsters. None of the inside animals had food or water.
Both Payne and Baldwin were booked in the Kosciusko County Jail on Sept. 4, on $500 cash bond.