Former Indianapolis Animal Care and Control officer arrested on animal abuse charges

INDIANAPOLIS -- A former Indianapolis Animal Care and Control officer was arrested on three counts of animal abuse charges Wednesday morning.

According to court filings, Ashley Chastain, 30, was conducting unauthorized and illegal ear cropping in her home.

Marion County court records show that Indianapolis Animal Care and Control officials were first alerted on Jan. 10 by a man who came into the office to report it. The man, who is also the father to Chastain’s children, told IACC officials that Chastain was stealing Ketamine from IACC to sedate animals while she was cropping dog’s ears at home.

Court records show he brought 13 images and one video as evidence to Chastain’s illegal ear cropping activity. He also brought a bag of items that were used during the surgery, including the remaining pieces of the dog’s cropped ears.

The video showed a sedated, brown bulldog mix was lying on a bloody urine pad, on top of a washer or dryer, with recently cropped ears, the court documents say.

The next day, Chastain and a friend were trying to crop another dog’s ears without sedation and had to tape the dog’s muzzle shut, according to court records. During the procedure the dog threw up, aspirated its own vomit, suffocated and died. The dog was later buried in Chastain’s back yard.

Chastain is accused of using Ketamine to sedate the dogs, the record show. Each IACC officer is issued some Ketamine to tranquilize dogs in the field, but they are not allowed to take any of the controlled substance home, the records say.

The records show that investigators talked with IACC’s veterinarian about the drug that Chastian is accused of administering to the dogs. The veterinarian explained that Ketamine at IACC is a mixture with a drug called Xylazine, making it a dissociative. That means the animal can feel the pain of the ear cropping, but the animal cannot move after the drug takes effect, records say. The veterinarian compared it to a date rape drug and that Ketamine is not an anesthesia.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for Chastian’s home and found medical tools for cropping dog’s ears and also found the carcass of a dead puppy buried in a hole in the back yard. The puppy had one ear that was normal and one that was cropped.

Records show that during a raid on her home on Jan. 26, Animal Care and Control confiscated 11 dogs. She was charged with 7 counts of violating proper care and treatment of animals, 6 counts of animals not having rabies vaccines, 10 counts of dogs not having their required rabies tags, and 6 counts of animals not being micro chipped. All of those charges are local Indianapolis ordinance violations. 


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