A volunteer dog named Evie was killed while left in the care of inmates as part of a prisoner rehabilitation program.
As reported by Daily Mail, the four-year-old German Shepherd and Norwegian Elkhound cross was found dead in a cell at Warren Correctional Institution in Lebanon, Ohio.
She died from blunt force trauma to her abdomen that caused hemorrhage to her liver and her kidney was damaged - indicating that she was brutally beaten.
The Warren Correctional Institution houses 1,365 inmates, is a high-security jail which contains adult male prisoners – including murderers – aged over 18 on a 45-acre site.
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“We’re all undeniably angered and overwhelmingly upset. We will have more [examination] results in about three-to-four weeks. We have to get justice for Evie. We have removed all our dogs from this program and will not return,” volunteers of the animal rescue group, Joseph’s Legacy, said in a statement.
What happened to Evie shocked the group as they never had any issues with the program before, said Meg Melampy, president and founder of Joseph’s Legacy, and the group’s secretary Lisa Cantrell.
Like other rescue groups around the United States, Joseph’s Legacy partners with prisons which have programs set for trusted inmates to use their time and energy training rescue animals, preparing them for new lives with new skills.
These programs are intended to be great for the dogs and the inmates. They are supposed to be closely monitored by the prison staff.
JUSTICE FOR EVIE
Those allegedly responsible for her brutal death have not as yet been identified, but at least two inmates have remained in solitary confinement since Evie’s body was found.
The group rescued Evie in 2015 when she was suffering a broken hip after being hit by a car. She underwent surgery on the fracture. After she healed, she delighted people by learning the trick of opening doors at the group's base in Middletown, Ohio.
“We are incredibly sad and it’s a rough time for us. We have lost one of our own animals who we feel needs justice and her story told,” the group wrote.