Three arrested After 27 Abused Pets Euthanized In Washington County

Charges have been filed against three people in a case of neglect where all 27 pets found had to be euthanized.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office says they have arrested Rex Swain Junior, his wife Debbie Swain and Rex Swain the Third on a total of 81 charges. Each faces 27 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Last week lawmen went to a home on Pea Ridge Road in Skinnersville and found 26 dogs and a cat in poor shape. After veterinarians checked out the animals they were all euthanized.

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Washington County lawmen seized dozens of abused or neglected animals Friday morning. We now learned that they all had to be euthanized after being checked by a veterinarian.

Chief Deputy Brian Hardison says lawmen executed a search warrant at 2742 Pea Ridge Road in Skinnersville. Hardison says they seized 26 dogs and a cat.

After the seizure, lawmen took the animals to Tidewater Animal Hospital in Roper to be seen by a vet. Hardison says they all had parvo and skin diseases, while there were several agencies standing by to care for the pets if they could have been saved.

No arrests were made as deputies will meet with the district attorney early next week to discuss possible felony charges.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Wishing the DA would open there eyes ASAP on Jan 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM
    Everyone wants to talk about how wrong these people were and the DA has charged them with only failure to Vaccinate but the DA should do some research before finalizing it. Simple FACTS::: Animal hoarding involves keeping larger than usual numbers of animals as pets without having the ability to properly house or care for them, while at the same time denying this inability, Hoarders are deeply attached to their pets and find it extremely difficult to let them go. They typically cannot comprehend that they are harming their pets by failing to provide them with proper care. Hoarders tend to believe that they provide the right amount of care for their pets. There are PROGRAMS that can help these people with this disorder EX.. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. What the What is failure to vaccinate really helping these people????
  • by just me on Jan 9, 2012 at 05:21 AM
    FOr all of you wondering these folks are only being charged with failure to have adequate vaccinations for each pet, just like the person Scooter was talking about. This DA really needs to think before allowing them to only pay a fine and get a slap on the wrist.. I mean really these people are Hoarders, will the punishmnet really stop this from happening again? and again?? Also great job to the fine men and women at Washington County for leaving pets there, very thorow job guys!!! In another county a woman is facing a felony charge for allowing her dog to freeze, she is also in jail on 5,000 (i believe) bond. This is horrible (RIP doggie) but she only had one abuse charge and is getting a much harsher punishment. WTW?????
  • by Hound Dog on Jan 8, 2012 at 07:41 PM
    Comments are bouncing off the wall-every where-like a "super ball". Has anyone done their own investigating into this incident? My Pappy always said-"Don't beleive every thing you hear & only one-half (1/2) of what you see".It is a shame Dr. Chandler is being "stoned" before anyone knows the real facts. Investigate, ask questions before you cast the next "stone". When YOU find the RIGHT answers, please let us know.
  • by Scooter Location: Skinnersville on Jan 8, 2012 at 05:05 AM
    These people deserve all the charges being filed against them. Animal cruelty is often overlooked by law enforcement and the disttric attorney's office. When these folks go to trial, I hope the A.D.A. handling the case will actually hold them accountable for the charges. This summer another Pea Ridge citizen allowed his dogs to roam freely at night and early in the morning, resulting in the mauling death of an innocent dog in the community. Even though the "at large dog" owner had previously been cited for not properly taking care of his animals and allowing to roam "at large" - violating local animal ordinaces, the owner was only required to pay the fine for not vaccinating his animals because the A.D.A. handling the case let him make a deal. Maybe justice will work in this case...
  • by Anonymous on Jan 7, 2012 at 08:59 AM
    Hope the law sees fit to punish them to the full extent
    • reply
      by just me on Jan 7, 2012 at 11:12 AM in reply to
      The law according to what I have heard is that there only being charged wwith not having proper vaccinations for each animal. Thats it, they were let out on there own word that they would show up to court..... These people have a hoarding disorder and with out the right help this will just happen again... I bet there already trying to get there hands on another pet...
  • by Anonymous on Jan 7, 2012 at 05:51 AM
    ok people i do not care if this your own people, if you see this. report it.for now on i will be watching for this abuse and will report it.
  • by Rick on Jan 7, 2012 at 03:39 AM
    What hunting club did these people belong to?
    • reply
      by neighbor on Jan 7, 2012 at 05:53 PM in reply to Rick
      No club, this is an extremely anti-social family.
  • by someone notices now? Location: roper on Jan 2, 2012 at 10:51 PM
    I know who the people r in question and let me tell u plenty of animals died in the yrs leading up 2 this! Maybe they should check 4 skeletons... U would b shocked! 27 more like over 127! I personally reported them! They were not hunting dogs these people aren't smart enough to hunt! So quit with the stupid comments! I know Plenty of hunters who love and care 4 their dogs don't judge a group by a few incompetents who should have had their dogs taken when plenty of ppl see them including game wardens and law enforcment! All u who say u have seen em put ur money where ur mouth is and do something!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 2, 2012 at 08:49 PM
    Once again Washington County Sheriff Ross was too scared to appear on television and embarass himself so he sent his reject chief deputy who does not even live inside Washington County to talk to WITN on camera. If you want good news WITN go look at the condition of Washington County's animal control facility at the landfill. It's discraceful that Washington County commissioners will not fund a decent animal control facility and staff.
  • by local yokel on Jan 1, 2012 at 04:10 PM
    I feel so sorry for these animals, I know Dr. Chandler and and his workers did everything they could do for these poor animals. I also know this family and I am so not surprised to hear they neglected their animals. They think as long as you throw out some scraps you are taking care of them. Never mind getting them preventive medical treatment. I hope the DA does press charges and they are not allowed to own any other pets.
    • reply
      by Edward on Jan 2, 2012 at 05:32 AM in reply to local yokel
      Me too. These under educated misinformed dog hunters need to take better care of their hounds. I would be embarrassed to ride around with my truck full of dogs and my orange hat.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jan 7, 2012 at 05:55 PM in reply to Edward
        These folks do not hunt. Just irresponsible pet owners that don't have their pets spat or neutered so they just keep reproducing until they die of neglect.
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