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Children, dogs removed from ‘unhealthy’ rural residence


Three arrested on slate of charges due to filthy condition of home

By Ralph Hardin

According to a Crittenden County Sheriff’s Department report, dozens of dogs are now in the custody of the West Memphis Police Department, three children are without a home and three adults are facing criminal charges after a welfare check at a residence in the southwest corner of rural Crittenden County near Horseshoe Lake turned into a rescue operation.

The discovery of about 70 small dogs at a home on Earl Beck Road with children inside living in filth led to three people being arrested Tuesday, according to the Sheriff's Department.

W.L. Crump, 44, Victoria Martinez, 37, and Martin Miller, 61, were all charged with three counts of Endangering the Welfare of Minor in the First Degree, and multiple counts of Animal Cruelty, according to arrest reports.

Specifically, a first-degree child welfare endangerment chage indicates risk of death and/or physical injury to a child under age 10.

Responding to the request for a welfare check, at the home, deputies found three children living with dozens of small dogs that were deemed unhealthy. The dogs were seized and the children were removed from the home where West Memphis Animal Shelter workers said there was 'an abundance of debris and animal waste.'

The Department of Human Services took the children for a health screening and further care. On its Facebook page, the West Memphis Animal Shelter posted photos of the dogs under the caption “Operation Bridge over Muddy Water,” and said the animals will all be examined and placed up for adoption. However, the shelter added that “each and everyone of them will need medical treatment.”

'Most importantly,' Shelter Director Kerry Facello said, 'they will need love, attention and a forever home.'

Photo courtesy of CCSO

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