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Dogs given to dog warden's office

Published: Tue, January 28, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.




The fate of two beagles on the East Side has attracted so much attention that their owner has given them up.

The dogs’ plight of being left outside in cold weather Saturday was posted on social-media websites and attracted calls and emails to The Vindicator from across the country as well as from as far away as Europe to police.

They were given to the Mahoning County Dog Warden’s Office on Monday, and were in turn given to Angels for Animals to be made available for foster care.

Dave Nelson, who works for the office, said the dogs, age 6 and 12, are in good shape and healthy. He said the owner decided to hand them over because he did not want the scrutiny.

“He said he doesn’t want to take any more heat,” Nelson said.

Attempts to reach the man Monday were unsuccessful. A knock on his door by a reporter went unanswered. A message was left on a phone number listed for the address.

Police were called to the home where the dogs were living in the 2500 block of Stocker Avenue on Saturday by neighbors who complained about them being left outside in cages in cold weather. There were also pictures of the dogs outside in the cold on social media websites. When police got there, no one was home, so they left a note asking the owner to call them and referred the case to humane agents.

The owner of the dogs called police when he returned Saturday and agreed to take them inside.

Humane agents from Animal Charity visited Monday and made no contact with the owner, who was not home, and did not see the dogs. However, they inspected the cages and left a warning because of the flooring inside them, which could cause injury to the dogs’ paws. Humane agent Chris Flak said the owner had two days to repair the cages.

His partner, Kim Woodburn, said under state law the dogs fall under the category of “working animals” because the owner used the beagles for hunting, and all they needed was shelter from the wind, along with adequate food and water.

For companion animals, state law says they can be kept out regardless of the weather as long as they have shelter and access to food and water. Flak said Animal Charity has had several cases where it has investigated complaints of animals being left outside in extreme conditions. While Animal Charity can only advise owners to take their animals inside even though the minimum requirements are being met, they can remove an animal if the access to shelter or food and water is inadequate or if the shelter is substandard.

“We take it on a case-by-case basis,” Flak said.

Flak said a change in state law is needed so that there are tougher guidelines for leaving animals out in dangerous weather. There was a bill passed in the House in December that would address such issues that is now before the state Senate.

At the Youngstown Police Department, Chief Robin Lees said his department is getting calls about the dogs from all over the country and world.

“I’ve gotten emails from everywhere,” Lees said.

The department had gotten calls and emails from as far away as California, France and Rome, Italy.


1endthismess(464 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

A sincere thank you goes out to all the neighbors who stood their ground to get this rotten owner under the spot light and exposed for the no good scum bag that he is. Working dogs...really? Really??? Pitiful. Charges should still be filed. This scum bag should never be aloud to have another animal in his possession..even if it is only a pet rat. Way to go neighbors!!

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2salem1361(5 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Exactly gdog4766 !! We have gotten to the point where we are putting more effort into the care of domestic animals than the children who live in our neighborhoods. Its a sad commentary on our times. And do the "rescue" groups really have the animals care at the forefront. Sometime check out how many long years their rescues spend in foster care never getting a real home because of all their crazy restrictions on adoptions. It has clearly gotten out of hand.

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3JaHughes330(2 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Well, I have to disagree with your statement "gdog", as I am a passionate animal activist but I am also very upfront and forward about my stance on child abuse. If you did some investigation, most animal abuse cases at the hands of their abusers more than likely turn into child abuse cases often ending in fatalities. I want there to be changes in both the laws for child neglect and abuse as well as animal neglect and abuse. According to the news, Teddy was asked by several people, including Struthers School and his Godmother if he was being abused, in which he denied several times. NOW, I AM NOT CONDONING THIS. Struthers School should have been proactive in investigating any suspicious activity. I think as a whole, the state of Ohio is failing a plethora of people from different ages, ethnic groups and socioeconomic backgrounds. The elderly? Theyre suffering too. Animals? Theyre in trouble as well. Kids? We are failing them in the worst way. In several departments we are letting lots of areas down. And I agree that several rescues are extremely strict on adopting out stray pets. It seems it is almost easier to adopt a child than adopt out a stray animal! I know they are concerned they will fall in the wrong hands, they are pushing good, genuine people away from adopting local rescue pets.

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4swinfluoverthecukosnest(19 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Do you know that the origin of Child Services actually had it's roots from animal welfare. At the time there was no one to look into children who were being abused so people looking into animal abuse started looking into cases of children being abused. I agree that our priorities are all screwed up.

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5pgurney(296 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

gdog that statement was completely untrue and uncalledfor! I am a passionate and outspoken advocate for both child abuse prevention and animal abuse prevention. These dogs were brought to our attention, that's why we have rallied around them. IF Teddy had been brought to our attention - by anyone - we would have done the same. SO you REALLY do need to THINK before you speak/type.

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6papa1(711 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

gdog, the reason people love animals and also children so much is because they are completely dependent on us for their safety and care. my heart hurts anytime I read about any child or animal that is abused. what happened to teddy is maybe the worst child abuse case I have ever heard of. I can guarantee you if I had seen that miscreant, subhuman making teddy walk on hot coals I would have called the police, as some witnessed and did nothing. if I was the child services agent and bush told me I couldn't come inside the house, I would have immediately called 911. why people didn't is unfathomable. if I had been one of those, teddy would be alive today and I'm sure everyone would say the same. I hope they're beating bush half to deah every day he's in prison. I think he deserves the death penalty. he's the true animal. people can protect themselves to an extent and make decisions to stay safe. children cannot. some people think animals are just disposable and not worth our time to worry about. how much they are missing. God put us all on the planet and He expects us to look out for and take care of the defenseless.

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7Roger_Thornhill(1068 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

123GOZ great post.

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