A couple who operated an animal rescue nonprofit in Missouri has been arrested after about 120 dogs were found dead at the facility and more than 130 others had to be euthanized as they were living in “unfit and severely inhumane conditions" at a separate site in Texas, authorities announced Monday.
Tiffany and Steven Woodington ran the organization All Accounted For in Benton County, Mo., where police this month found dogs and cats in “various stages of decay," including some that were “just bones,” officials said in a news release.
The horrific discovery came on Sept. 12 after the Missouri Humane Society learned Steven Woodington, 55, had just been arrested on animal cruelty charges in Cameron County, Texas, and alerted police in Missouri, according to the release.
Authorities learned the man had been housing 278 dogs in Texas and planned to take them to the Missouri facility. More than half of those animals, however, were in horrendous health conditions and had to be euthanized, police said. The surviving dogs in were rescued and treated by a veterinarian in Texas.
Missouri police then went to the Benton County facility, where 49-year-old Tiffany Woodington led them to a house, a barn and old school bus to check on her animals. Authorities said they found 38 dogs and a cat who were “alive but in unimaginable condition” and later learned that about 120 dogs and another cat had recently died on the property.
The Missouri Humane Society removed the surviving animals for treatment and returned the following day to collect the remains of the ones who died for further forensic examination, according to the release.
The woman was charged in Missouri with 10 felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of animal abuse. Her husband was charged in Texas with multiple counts of animal cruelty.
The case has shocked animal lovers in the two states. More than 200 of them have joined a Facebook group — called “Where are our dogs Tiffany Woodington?” — that was apparently created to help reunite owners with dogs they had brought to the animal rescue.
“These two dogs tiffany took from me almost 3 years ago,” Facebook user Karen Owings wrote in the group. “She said that she had homes for them in Canada. She even sent me these pictures of them with the people that supposedly adopted them from her. I am just sick now wondering if these babies are dead!! And if it was all lies!!”