SCIOTO COUNTY, OH (WOWK)—A woman accused of animal torture in Scioto County entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity on Thursday.
29-year-old Samantha Damron, of Portsmouth, was indicted on Wednesday for 46 counts of cruelty to companion animals and 46 counts of possessing criminal tools.
On Thursday, Damron’s attorney filed a motion for competency evaluation, and Damron submitted a written plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
Damron’s pretrial is scheduled for June 13 at 10:00 a.m.
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.
Scioto County Prosecutor Shane Tieman confirms the dogs were German Shepherds or shepherd mixes. Animal Control took custody of the surviving dogs for a veterinarian to evaluate.
Since Damron’s arrest, authorities have confirmed that two more of the dogs have died, bringing the total to 21 deceased animals.
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.