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YOUNGSTOWN Police charge 2 in death of dogs



Published: Sun, September 8, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Six dead dogs were in the home; one was outside. Two dogs and a cat were starving.

YOUNGSTOWN -- When city Patrol Officers James Welch and Barbara Copeland arrived at the North Side call, they inhaled a pungent odor, saw one dog dead of starvation and another, starving, tied to 2 feet of chain.

They entered the 339 Superior St. home Friday and found two more dead dogs in a cage in the living room, three dead dogs in an upstairs bedroom and another dead dog in a second bedroom.

Some are alive

One dog was alive but malnourished, in an upstairs bathroom, according to a report written by Welch. Also alive was a cat, confined to the living room cage with the two dead dogs.

Floors were covered with animal waste. Fleas and ticks infested the building.

Humane Officer David Nelson removed the surviving animals and took them to Animal Charity on South Avenue, the report shows. There, they were given water and food before being euthanized. A veterinarian told the officers that the animals had not been fed for at least two weeks.

Woman, son arrested

Sue A. Tucker, 58, and her son David L. Tucker, 24, lived at the home, Welch's report shows. Both were arrested on 10 counts of animal cruelty.

Sue Tucker was arrested at a home on Saranac Avenue about 4:20 p.m. Friday. She told officers she had two dogs at the Superior Street home and had fed them Thursday when she went there to get furniture. She said her son owned the rest of the animals.

David Tucker was arrested at about 8:25 p.m. Friday after police found him at a neighboring Saranac home. He said he had left six dogs at the Superior Street home and fed them twice weekly. When the officers told him dogs had died, David Tucker said, "They weren't mine. People just kept dropping them off to me."

After the investigation, Welch and Copeland, and the cruiser they used, were disinfected for fleas and ticks.

A Superior Street neighbor told them she had made several calls to city officials about the problem in the past.




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