Former Youngstown kennel owner sued over dog’s death

YOUNGSTOWN — A Fresh Meadows, N.Y., woman has filed a civil lawsuit against a former Youngstown kennel owner, who went to jail for four months on animal cruelty charges.

Elizabeth Raab, owner of a three-year-old male Rottweiler dog, named Nitro, who died last October, sued Steven S. Croley, 38, former owner of the High Caliber K-9 Kennel on Coitsville-Hubbard Road, and unknown defendants.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, alleges Nitro died because Croley failed to provide adequate food, water, lodging or care for him.

Raab dropped Nitro off at the kennel in June 2008 under a $750-a-month agreement that the kennel would feed, house and individually train Nitro for at least three months, and that Rabb would pay for any necessary veterinary care, the suit says.

However, the suit alleges the kennel failed to train the dog or have him examined or treated by a veterinarian.

“Nitro died under defendant’s care due to long-term neglect,” according to the suit, which seeks more than $25,000 in damages.

The complaint, which demands a jury trial, is assigned to Judge R. Scott Krichbaum.

In the criminal case, Croley was convicted in January of four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, fined $1,000 and jailed for four months.

The kennel was shut down last fall when the charges were filed after animal owners found seven dead and 12 starving dogs there, but it has recently reopened under new ownership.

State legislators from the area later introduced bills that would make cruelty to animals a felony.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.