A high school student reportedly was attacked by several of the woman's dogs.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
POLAND -- A village woman will be in Struthers Municipal Court on Friday to answer charges of having vicious dogs that police say she should not be allowed to keep.
Carol Jo Coleman, Massachusetts Avenue, has been charged with having a vicious dog at large, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, after it was alleged several of her dogs attacked a Poland Seminary High School student as the student jogged through Poland Municipal Forest last week. There is no report on the student's injuries.
Licensed dogs: Carol Keevey of the Mahoning County Dog Warden's office said Coleman holds licenses for six dogs. She said there may be another dog at the home that does not have tags yet, but is on record for having gone to the veterinarian recently. The dogs are reportedly of mixed breed.
Village police Officer Don Lambert said Coleman faced similar charges in 2000 after three of her dogs chased a 21-year-old jogger in Poland Municipal Forest. One dog bit the man.
Lambert said Coleman was placed on probation, fined, made to carry $100,000 in liability insurance on the animals and told to install a 6-foot kennel with a fenced top. He said Coleman also made an agreement with the police department to keep the dogs out of the woods.
According to Lambert, Coleman never installed the kennel and the dogs have again been seen unrestrained in the woods, leading to last Tuesday's attack. He said there have also been two claims made against Coleman's insurance for infractions involving the dogs.
Encounters: Village police have five infractions on file of the dogs' chasing people or fighting with other dogs while roaming around unleashed. Lambert said police are aware of more instances, but individuals in those cases did not come forward because their pets may have been unrestrained at the time.
Keevey said if the dogs are licensed and on the owner's property, dog warden personnel cannot take the animals. However, should the animals be seen running unrestrained away from the property they can be picked up. She said only a judge can order the dogs confiscated and euthanized.
Keevey said a judge will usually consider such an order if requested by police. Lambert did not say the police department would request that the dogs be euthanized, but he did say the overall feeling is that Coleman should not be allowed to have the dogs.
"I would think these dogs need to be taken off of her whether they are given to someone else or put down, they should be taken -- that is my opinion," he said.