Animal Control Call in Lawrence County, Indiana, Results in Both Child and Animal Neglect Arrest – Animal Foster Needed

Staff report

Mitchell, Ind. — July 8, 2023

An alleged scene of neglect at a residence in the 1200 block of South Meridian Road, in Mitchell, Indiana, prompted the arrest of a woman and the need for an animal foster.

Lawrence County Animal Control Deputy Chad Hillenburg responded to a tip regarding the mistreatment of small animal pets on July 6, 2023.

Upon arrival, Hillenburg discovered deceased domesticated rabbits strewn across the porch of a residence. He then approached the resident, 42-year-old Amanda Chastain, who granted permission to assess the other animals on the property.

Inside the residence, Officer Hillenburg, accompanied by Deputy Kenton Carter, discovered deceased rabbits, along with dogs confined to crates immersed in inches of feces. Additionally, multiple rabbits and a chinchilla were severely malnourished, hinting at a prolonged period of neglect.

Chastain was taken into custody and subsequently booked at the Lawrence County Jail on charges of Neglect of a Dependent (2 counts) and Animal Neglect (17 counts).

The Department of Child Services intervened to ensure the welfare of the two juvenile children residing in the home. They were placed under the care of extended family members. The White River Humane Society came to the aid of the neglected dogs, arranging for their transportation and temporary housing.

While efforts have been made to secure appropriate care for most of the animals, there remains an urgent need for a foster home for the chinchilla. Officer Hillenburg of the Sheriff’s Office has appealed to the community for assistance, urging anyone interested in providing a foster home for the chinchilla to contact him directly at 812-275-3316.

Under Indiana law, criminal charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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