News

Palmyra boy found living in squalor is improving

Written by Merriell Moyer/The Lebanon Daily News | Oct 10, 2017 3:30 AM
hoarder_palmyra.jpg

hoarding situation that created a powerful odor for neighbors led to Palmyra police intervening on South Harrison Street. A resident, a six-year-old child, 27 Pomeranians, and an African Grey Parrot were removed from the house. (Photo: Submitted/Pawsitively Pom Rescue)

(Palmyra) -- The Palmyra boy who spent most of his life isolated and living in poor conditions before a dog rescue group found him in July is progressing quickly and is now going to school.

The six-year-old boy's mother is facing child endangerment charges and 28 counts of cruelty to animals. 

"He is doing really well, and has come a long way in two or three months," Jason Adams, the boy's biological father, told Lebanon Daily News in a recent interview. "He is opening up more. He still likes his familiar faces, but he's definitely (doing better)."

On July 15, Shannon Fies, the boy's mother, called Pawsitively Pom Rescue, a Lebanon-based Pomeranian rescue group, to come for the 27 dogs she owned after finding out she was being evicted from her home at 121 S. Harrison St. in Palmyra.

When the group arrived to evaluate the dogs, Fies would not answer the door, and after they learned from neighbors that a child was also inside and living in poor conditions, they called the police.

A powerful odor reported by neighbors led to Palmyra police intervening on South Harrison Street. A resident, a 6-year-old child, 27 Pomeranians, and an African Grey Parrot were removed from the house. Michael K. Dakota, Lebanon Daily News

After police arrived, Fies opened the door and signed over her dogs and an African grey parrot. Fies' son and her mother, Juliann, were also found in the home. The group had to climb over stacks of urine-filled soda bottles and a floor covered in feces and garbage to get the dogs out of the home.

Police called county Child and Youth Services (CYS) in to evaluate the boy, who is still living with the same family member he was placed with in July, Adams said.

Neighbors of the family told LDN that the boy was not seen outside more than once or twice a year, and was not enrolled in school.

Adams is now attempting to gain custody and believes he is now a step closer thanks to results of a paternity test.

Jason Adams said he is now positive he is the boy's father.

"I'm working toward getting custody," Adams said. "I'll probably have to go to court because I know (the mother, Shannon Fies) won't sign him over to me."

Shortly after the July incident, Adams told Lebanon Daily News he was not listed as the father on boy's birth certificate when the child was born because Fies asked him to leave the hospital before he could sign the paperwork.

Adams had been out of the child's life since about 8 months after his birth, but had kept in touch enough to contact Children and Youth about the boy's welfare earlier in the boy's life.

In order to get custody, one of the standards set by Child and Youth Services that Adams must meet is making sure the boy has his own room.

"I'm working on getting a bigger house," Adams said. "Hopefully within two months, but we'll see."

The dogs are better, too

Pawsitively Pom Rescue has found homes for most of the Pomeranians they rescued from the Fies home. The Lebanon-based rescue group kept 17 of the dogs with the remaining 10 going to Central Ohio Pomeranian Rescue.

"Tiffany and Wiggles are the only two left out of the 17 we kept," Amanda Reichenbach, vice president of Pawsitively Poms Rescue, said. "Tiffany just had bilateral patella repairs and Wiggles is scheduled for her patella repairs Oct. 23. Basically, they're getting their knees fixed so they're stabilized."

The dogs that went to Ohio have had their medical needs taken care of and are up for adoption now too, Reichenbach said.

"A couple of them did find homes, but not all of them yet," she said. "It took them a while to get them all vetted out since their vet was pretty backed up."

The parrot, Caesar, is also doing well, Reichenbach said.

"He had some minor lung damage from the conditions he was living in and he was also emotionally traumatized, but (avian specialist) Jill (Dowhower Fox) has done an amazing job," Reichenbach said. "He will eventually be available for adoption."

That will be another six months, though, as he recovers from the emotional trauma.

"She has to make sure he's emotionally stable to do that," Reichenbach said. "He is growing feathers back too. He won't completely grow them back, but they are coming in slowly."

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and Lebanon Daily News.

Published in Lebanon, News

Tagged under , , , , , , , , , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »