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BOARDMAN Police unravel shooting death of family pet



Published: Wed, April 17, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The dog's body was placed in a trash bin.

By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

BOARDMAN -- A single shot was fired, resulting in a family pet's death. Now, township police are sorting out a case that may lead to a man's arrest -- and one woman questions the safety of her neighborhood.

Cathleen Ford and her family had just moved to a neighborhood in the Southern Boulevard area about a month ago. She said there have been no problems with her new neighbors -- in fact, she hasn't had time to meet them all.

She became aware of one nearby resident in an unforgettable way when the family dog, a 1-year-old husky-shepherd mix named Sinatra, crawled under a chain-link fence Monday.

Ford said she went looking for the dog and crossed paths with someone from the Mahoning County Dog Warden's office, who said there had been a complaint of a loose dog matching the description of her pooch on a nearby street.

By the time she made it to the area where her dog was seen, it was too late. She was told that a man on Shadyside Drive had shot and killed the dog.

Dog alleged to be threat

According to police reports, the Shadyside Drive man was interviewed by officers at the time and admitted shooting the animal. He told officers he shot the animal from an upstairs bedroom window at the front of the house, reports said.

Police said the man contended the dog had been a threat to his children. There is no report that the dog had bitten or threatened anyone in the neighborhood, police said.

"He basically just killed her to kill her. She wasn't on his property or anything," Ford charged. "He maliciously killed my dog just to do it."

The man told police that after he shot the dog, he retrieved the carcass, wrapped it in a plastic bag and placed it in a trash bin on South Avenue. Police and Dave Nelson of the Mahoning County Humane Society went back to the bin and recovered the animal for an autopsy.

Nelson and police officials are conferring with the prosecutor to see what charges, if any, will be brought. The man, reports said, told police he would turn himself in if a warrant for his arrest is issued.

In the meantime, Ford said she has been left shaken and hurt. She and her fianc & eacute; are planning to speak at a Senate meeting in Columbus today on laws against animal cruelty.

Ford said she used to take walks with her two dogs and 3-year-old daughter on nice days. Now she no longer thinks that is a good idea.

jgoodwin@vindy.com




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