Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Arrest Warrant Issued for Minersville Couple for Leaving Bodies of Dead Dog and Puppies in Mineshaft in Cass Township

MINERSVILLE - An arrest warrant has been issued for a Minersville couple after an investigation found they were responsible for leaving the bodies of a dog and her puppies in a mineshaft in Cass Township.

UPDATE (09/27/2023) - On Tuesday, September 26th, 2023, during a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Dave Plachko, the charges were withdrawn by Schuylkill County Assistant District Attorney David Noon, to allow the defendents to be interviewed further.

According to Sgt. Jeffrey Bowers, the Minersville Police Department began an investigation in March 2023 into the actions of a local couple surrounding the discovery of numerous deceased dogs.

Sgt. Bowers says the story began in September 2022, when the Cass Township Police were alerted to a heart-wrenching scene. Inside a remote mineshaft situated off Thomason Road, officers discovered seven puppies and one adult dog, lifeless and abandoned. Investigators retrieved the bodies of the dogs, and the adult canine was scanned for identification.

Subsequent investigations unveiled that the registered owner of the adult dog was 41-year-old Justyn Fair, of Minersville. 

In October 2022, authorities brought the public's attention to the discovery, asking for information and cooperation.

During this period, the SPCA was contacted by Angela Kapusnick, who operates Coal Mountain Rescue. 

Kapusnick disclosed that she had entrusted the dogs to the Fair residence for fostering. Kapusnick told the SPCA that Justyn Fair contacted the Coal Mountain Rescue, using his wife Nina Fair's Facebook account, admitting to depositing the dogs in the abandoned mineshaft.

According to Fair's account, the puppies had fallen ill with severe symptoms including explosive diarrhea, coughing, and a loss of appetite. Although initial medical attention was sought for the puppies, it was not followed through. 

Justyn Fair then detailed the grim deterioration of the adult dog, referred to as "Brownie." Fair said the dog exhibited symptoms like uncontrollable diarrhea, green discharge from the eyes and nose, and an overall debilitated state. Fair did not pursue medical assistance for Brownie.  Fair chose to dispose of Brownie and the puppies in the mineshaft.

A subsequent autopsy on Brownie revealed a combination of a viral infection and bacterial pneumonia.

The Fair couple admitted that financial constraints prevented them from seeking medical treatment for Brownie. Despite this, they did not seek help from the SPCA or any other relevant agencies. It was ascertained that Brownie's last medical attention was received on July 15, 2020.

In the course of the investigation, a visit to the Fair residence, on North Street in Minersville, unveiled more animal problems. Multiple dogs and cats, visibly suffering from ailments like hair loss and flea infestations, were discovered. Cat cages were found coated in fur, and a strong ammonia odor emanated from the cages due to accumulated cat urine. 

Recognizing the horrible conditions, the cats were surrendered to a rescue.

As a result of the investigation, Minersville Patrolman Joseph Kavanaugh filed felony charges of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals and Neglect of Animals against both Justyn and Nina Fair.

Minersville Police have issued a warrant for their arrest.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact the Minersville Police by calling
(570) 544-6212.