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Felony cruelty charged in dog's neglect death

Chelsey L. Ormsby
Cameron J. Marcum

Tito was the puppy no one wanted out of a litter born in December 2012.

The humans he lived with didn't want him, either, and the dog slowly starved to death in filth, locked in a bedroom without access to food or human contact for months.

Cameron J. Marcum and Chelsey L. Ormsby, both 25, are now formally charged with felony cruelty to an animal in connection with Tito's death. The charge carries a potential prison sentence of six months to three years.

Allen County police officers went to serve arrest warrants on the couple at their home in the 5500 block of Allendale Drive on Oct. 18. When they arrived at the home, they found the decomposed body of a dog under a child's bassinet, according to court documents.

Bloody scratch marks lined the walls, and the handle on the bedroom door had been chewed. Marcum told police he heard the dog barking and scratching during the night. He said he never fed the dog and never let it out, according to court documents.

Ormsby said Tito was the last of a litter of puppies born to another dog found at the home, named "Mamas," but no one bought him. She said they stopped feeding Tito in mid-June after he and his mother began to fight over meals. During the one time she recalled letting the puppy out of the room, sometime in mid-August, he was excited but collapsed from weakness, according to court documents. Marcum said he did continue to feed Mamas and let her outside, according to court documents.

Also undernourished and suffering from fleas and hair loss, Mamas was taken to Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, where she put on weight, according to court documents. Tito's body was so decomposed that veterinarians were unable to determine exactly how he died.

Small children in the home were placed with the Department of Child Services, according to court records.

Marcum and Ormsby have not yet been arrested, according to Allen County court records.

They are also charged with a misdemeanor count of cruelty to an animal, according to court documents.

According to court records, Marcum has prior arrests for theft, domestic battery, driving with a suspended license and numerous animal violations including possession of a dangerous animal.

Ormsby has been cited numerous times for the illegal sale of kittens or puppies, failure to vaccinate and failure to provide medical care for an animal, according to court documents.

rgreen@jg.net

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