Animal rights advocates protest outside Campbell Municipal Court


By SARAH LEHR

slehr@vindy.com

CAMPBELL

“Justice for Drew” protesters assembled outside the Campbell Municipal Courthouse on Friday waiting for the pretrial of William Turner, 57, of Campbell, who is charged with animal cruelty.

According to a police report of his Feb. 18 arrest, Turner left the dog chained outside in freezing weather with no food and a frozen water bowl. The dog had sores on its neck from the chain and exhibited signs of frostbite, police said.

Jason Cooke, who organized the protest, said the court refused a request from the protesters to allow the dog inside the courthouse to watch the proceedings.

“Unfortunately, under the law right now Drew is regarded as property and not as a victim,” Cooke said. “Normally, a victim would have a right to be in court and confront their abuser.”

Protesters didn’t get to hear a case, either, as Judge Scott Cunning granted Turner a second pretrial for Nov. 10 at 9 a.m. in Campbell Municipal Court.

Turner’s lawyer Katherine Rudzik declined to comment.

Maria Morales, an Austintown resident, said she first notified police about the dog.

She now walks the dog nearly every day at Canfield Kennels, where he is kept.

“You feel bad about these animals that can’t defend themselves,” she said, “I just wish I had called sooner.”

After Morales called, police Chief Drew Rauzan arrested Turner. Local animal-rights advocates named the dog “Drew” in Rauzan’s honor.

Rauzan said the police department has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to animal cruelty and neglect.

“We are a department filled with dog owners and cat owners, and we are responsive to every complaint,” he said. “We are here to protect and serve, and that includes the animal population in the city.”

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