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SCANDINAVIA (WAOW) – Two dead dogs in a "mummified" state were found inside a rural Waupaca County home, leading to charges of animal mistreatment against two people who once lived there, according to a criminal complaint.
Joshua Gray, 20, and Teresa Spaeth, 34, of Scandinavia were charged Wednesday with two felony counts of being party to mistreatment of animals and five misdemeanor counts of mistreating animals.
The pair mistreated a beagle named Chase and miniature Dachshund named Cleo so cruelly in June and July that the dogs died, the complaint said.
"Joshua Gray said that Chase was lying outside the bathroom door and that Teresa had moved him into the bathroom so the other dogs would not eat him," the complaint said.
A pit bull mix named Sweet Pea found at the home was "malnourished with its ribs sticking and its hips sunken in," the complaint said.
During a search of the home in August, investigators had to wear suits to protect against hazards because of the dead dogs inside and rooms covered in feces from the other dogs living there, the complaint said.
Spaeth told investigators that other dogs who died in her and Gray's care were in a cooler outside on a porch or in a freezer at the home, the complaint said.
The couple moved out of the home in June when the power was cut off, leaving some dogs behind, the complaint said.
"Teresa Spaeth stated they still continued to go there about every 2.5 to 3 days to make sure their dogs had food and water," the complaint said.
Four dogs recovered in the investigation – named Moose, Trixie, Peaches and Dusty – were taken to a veterinarian and each had "fleas falling off of them," the complaint said.
Gray told investigators some dead puppies were put into a garbage bag and placed in a freezer, the complaint said. Gray said the couple planned to bury them "but never made it back to the house."
The complaint said the home where the dogs were found was "condemned uninhabitable" by the Waupaca County Department of Health.
Gray and Spaeth made their first court appearances Wednesday and are free on $2,000 signature bonds, online court records said. They are to return to court Sept. 26.
There were no attorneys listed for Gray and Spaeth in online court records.
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