MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – Bailed out of jail, Tina Marie Jackson didn’t have an explanation for the gruesome discovery of a decapitated dog in her backyard.
"How it happened I do not know, and the body … I don't know where it is," Jackson, 39, told WCPO after returning to her Oxford State Road home on Tuesday.
Jackson was arrested after Butler County dog wardens found four dead dogs in her backyard last week. Jackson told WCPO she stopped feeding the dogs because she barely had enough money to feed her kids.
Tests determined three dogs starved to death, according to the Butler County sheriff. There weren’t enough remains to determine what killed the decapitated dog.
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said he was “disgusted” by what happened to the dogs. The decapitated head was found in a black plastic tote along with another dog’s body, Jones said. Two bodies were found in dog houses, which had no bedding to keep the dogs warm, according to Jones.
"I’m beside myself,” Jones said. “Owning an animal and treating it like trash is appalling, but this woman had four. I am disgusted these poor animals suffered.”
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The discovery also shocked Jackson’s neighbor, Victoria Sharp.
"We volunteer at a rescue so knowing that that could happen just two doors down really hurts and really affects me," Sharp told WCPO.
Jackson said the animal crates in her backyard were left over from when she helped her ex-husband board and breed dogs. Bowls caked in spaghetti show the last meals the dogs ate.
"I was feeding spaghetti and scraps, trying to feed what I had, you know?" Jackson said. "I wasn't getting my income that I was supposed to be getting, and I was barely making it to even feed my kids."
Sharp said she got a look at Jackson’s dogs when they got loose and went into her yard.
"They didn't look like they were being malnourished or abused," Sharp said. Now, Sharp said, she regrets returning the dogs to Jackson.
"I can't put it into words … it hurts really, really bad knowing that we could have kept them here or found them homes," Sharp said.
One surviving dog is under the care of Joseph's Legacy Animal Rescue.
Jackson faces three counts of felony animal cruelty.