Animals, teen boy removed from home

A teenage boy and a dozen animals were removed Thursday from a Belpre home that authorities say was covered in feces and urine.

Meanwhile, the two adults living in the home are facing multiple charges related to the welfare of the child and animals.

Washington County Dog Warden Kelly McGilton responded Thursday morning to a welfare check on the animals at 759 Sycamore St.

“I observed two dogs outside. One had food and water. The other was kept in a kennel inside the fenced-in enclosure and did not,” said McGilton.

Through a window, McGilton observed multiple cats and could see the floor of the residence was covered in feces.

Resident Carla Lutz, 62, had been outside the home upon McGilton’s arrival, but went inside and ignored repeated knocks on the door.

While attempting to obtain a search warrant, McGilton contacted homeowner Jennifer Lutz, 40, who advised she had been hospitalized that same morning for an infectious disease and claimed her ailment was the reason the house had not been kept clean.

Jennifer also advised that her 14-year-old son lived in the home, said McGilton.

After obtaining a search warrant, McGilton entered the home to find little food for the four dogs and six cats living inside and no water.

Similarly, there was little food for the people in the home. The refrigerator was moldy, the stove unused and the cupboards empty, said McGilton.

The inside animals were in various states of neglect. Some had skin irritation and sores. The cats were malnourished.

“Two bedrooms had no furniture. There were no signs of a boy living there at all,” McGilton said.

Carla Lutz stated the boy slept on a pile of blankets on the floor.

The boy was removed from the home and sent to stay with a relative. Jennifer surrendered the six cats, but has not surrendered the six dogs, which are being kept at the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley, said McGilton.

Three of the dogs, French Mastiffs, attacked and killed another dog a couple of years ago and were ordered under a Belpre City Ordinance to be euthanized. Carla Lutz appealed the decision and then reported the dogs stolen. The case was dropped since the dogs were lost, said McGilton.

Carla and Jennifer Lutz are each being charged with one count of child endangerment, animal cruelty and failure to register a dog.