Editor’s Note: In the initial police report, authorities stated that Samantha Damron, 29, of Portsmouth, had previously been employed at the Wheelersburg Animal Hospital as a vet tech and that she left for “personal reasons.” However, the Wheelersburg Animal Hospital tells WOWK 13 News that was not the case, and Damron did not leave of her own accord. The hospital has released the following statement:

“Samantha Damron was terminated from Wheelersburg Animal Hospital in November 2021 for undisclosed reasons,” Wheelersburg Animal Hospital.


PORTSMOUTH, OH (WOWK)—A vet tech is facing charges in Portsmouth after 46 dogs, 19 of them dead, were found at her residence.

According to an incident report, Portsmouth PD was dispatched to a home on the 600 block of Sycamore Street for a welfare check on May 12. A neighbor had called to report a foul smell and flies, and they feared that a deceased person was inside the residence.

Upon arrival, police found what they described as “‘Hoarders,’ but worse.”

They say they found 19 dead dogs inside the residence and a total of 27 live dogs running loose or locked in separate cages throughout the house. Police said that all of the live dogs appeared severely dehydrated and malnourished. They said that no fresh food or water could be found inside the cages.

29-year-old Samantha Damron is charged with animal torture, and she is currently housed in the Scioto County Jail. She is being held on a $25,000 bond.

Image Courtesy: Scioto County Jail

Neighbors we spoke with say one of the things that stood out to them was the smell coming from the home when investigators pulled the dogs from it.

You can’t describe the smell… Unless you smell it, you really can’t describe the smell.

Anonymous Neighbor

Other neighbors, like local pastor Chad Garinger say, had they known what was going on, they would have done whatever they could to prevent this from happening.

The incident report says that Damron was previously employed at the Wheelersburg Animal Clinic as a vet tech and that she left for “personal reasons.” She was expected to report to her new job at Shawnee Animal Clinic later that evening.

Police found that Damron expressed her interest in a Facebook page dedicated to the viewing, making and selling of real animal parts. The incident report says that Damron specifically shared a post of a real kitten skeleton saying “This is amazing honestly. If you aren’t following her [in reference to the page] yet, you are lame.”

Because of Damron’s social media posts, her electronic devices were sent to BCI for cyber investigation.

Scioto County Prosecutor Shane Tieman confirms the dogs were German Shepherds or shepherd mixes.

Animal Control took custody of the surviving dogs, and a veterinarian will evaluate them.

Tieman said his office will review the charges and evidence and determine whether the case should go before the grand jury. If the grand jury finds probable cause to indict Damron, the prosecutor’s office will take over the case.