Dog from Prison Program Found Dead in Cell

Man indicted in death of dog found in Warren Correctional Institution cell

Benjamin Holliday, 31, is charged with prohibitions concerning companion animals, a fifth-degree felony, according to the grand jury report. He was an inmate at WCI on Aug. 25 when he allegedly caused the death of a companion animal, according to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.

No arraignment date has been scheduled for Holliday in Warren County Common Pleas Court as of Monday.

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Evie, a companion dog fostered through Middletown-based Joseph’s Legacy Animal Rescue, was discovered beaten to death inside a cell at the prison. The 4-year-old female German Shepherd-Elkhound mixed breed died from “blunt force trauma to her abdomen, causing her liver to hemorrhage, and her kidney was also damaged,” according to Joseph’s Legacy.

She had been in the program as part of the group’s efforts to prepare her for adoption. Evie had been flea-infested, hobbled by a broken hip and nursing two puppies when rescuers found her.

“Nothing has ever happened like this,” Joseph’s Legacy president Meg Melampy said after Evie’s death. “We’re all just distraught.”

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Joseph’s Legacy withdrew all of its dogs from the animal-assisted inmate rehabilitation program after Evie’s death. The program had been at the prison for more than 20 years. The rescue agency also called for public support to get “Justice for Evie” in a Sept. 2 Facebook post.

State prison records show that Holliday is currently incarcerated at Madison Correctional Institution. He’s serving a prison sentence of more than nine years for robbery, burglary and receiving stolen property in Lucas County. He will be eligible for early release in 2022.

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