Protesters speak at arraignment of Tameka Smith, accused of killing pet dog
Protesters rallied against animal cruelty outside the Campbell Municipal Court.
The protests took place Friday morning as Tameka Smith of Campbell was arraigned on animal-cruelty charges. Police accused Smith of leaving a dog tied to its house in the rear yard of her home on Reed Avenue.
According to 21 WFMJ-TV, The Vindicator's broadcast partner, Campbell police discovered the dog frozen to death with no food or water. Police said the dog was tied to a dog house on a small chain.
Authorities told WFMJ the dog was left in Smith's care after its previous owner moved out.
Smith pleaded not guilty and posted bond, said Brian J. Macala, city law director. If convicted, Smith faces up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.
More than 30 people attended the rally, said Jason Cooke, who organized the protest.
“I felt enough was enough,” he said.
Cooke said he didn’t know the name of the dog nor its gender, but gave it the name “Charlie.”
“We need some type of anti-tethering legislation throughout the Mahoning County,” he said.
The city of Campbell is working on strengthening its animal-cruelty laws, officials said.
Shalyse Bolash, executive director of Animal Charity Human Society in Boardman, said some people lack knowledge of what to do with their pets when they no longer can keep them.
“They can go to the Mahoning County dog pound,” she said, adding that a quick Internet search would provide a list of animal shelters and rescues.
Cooke said the rally lasted between a half-hour and 45 minutes. Protesters also entered the courtroom and watched the proceedings for Smith, he said. Another protest is scheduled for her next court appearance.
“I want something good to come out of Charlie’s death,” Cooke said.