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« Brain food from the heartland


By Louie b. Free (Contact)

Published December 21, 2011

Untitled document

When I was first wed, I wanted to show my wife that I had manly skills outside the bedroom. I bought a bathroom vanity/sink thing from Stambaugh-Thompson in the Boardman Plaza. The salesman assured me that I could install it in about 45 minutes. Two days later I called a plumber. The main problem was I didn't have the correct tools for the job -  not unlike Ohio's legal system. Our legislators have failed to give prosecutors the proper tools to do their  job...case in point is the recent arrest of Steve Croley:

The former owner of a Youngstown kennel, convicted of two counts of animal cruelty, was arraigned today for violating the terms of his probation.

Steven S. Croley was charged with probation violation for having three dogs at his Austintown home. He was released on his own recognizance.

Croley was picked up about 10:50 p.m. Monday by Austintown police on the warrant, issued by Youngstown police after it was determined he owned dogs. Croley was held overnight in the Mahoning County jail pending his morning arraignment.

Nineteen dogs were found starving, including eight who died, at Croley’s High Caliber K-9 kennel in Youngstown in 2008. As part of his probation, he isn’t permitted to own dogs.

My listeners,Vindicator readers and news watchers know that most of our  state legislators did nothing to get Nitrto's "Law" passed. If there had been a felony provision in state law, Croley would have certainly been charged accordingly.  The saying " well done is better than well said" can also apply to proposed legislation: proposing legislation is THE BEGINNING of the  work - PASSING LEGISLATION is completing the job.

There's more 'a miss' here. Where was Croley's probation officer???I KNOW that many,MANY calls were made to the Youngstown probation office and the courts. Some calls were annonymous, some not...some from residents, some from area humane organizations.

I am told that two of the three dogs that Croley has (Hannah and Peanut) are two of the dogs he had prior to the raid.

PLUS, Croley's case is what's called a "high profile case", something I know only too well.

So the dysfunction lies, not only with our legislators, but with some one or ones in the city probation department.

On air, I often ask ' what does it take for a government  employee - one of OUR employees - to lose their job ?

We cannot forget that Steve Croley, for whatever reason or reasons, caused HORRIBLE  deaths , deaths by starvation, the deaths of family members. One would think that at the VERY LEAST, he would have been closely supervised during his light sentence.



1ohioanimallover(18 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

"I am told that two of the three dogs that Croley has (Hannah and Peanut) are two of the dogs he had prior to the raid." This alone should be enough to throw him in jail, in my opinion.

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2ferrell(1 comment)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

I also called his probation officer. I saw him in transport. Is it because it is only an "animal thing" that legislators are not concerned? Why, why, why is Nitro being failed again???? Stop passing the buck ... probation officers, judges, legislators, police officers are all failing Nitro and our own pets - again.

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3rabbit66(20 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Why aren't the "officials" being held accountable?

OF COURSE Croley "got away with it" (or nearly did anyway) because "Our officials" LET HIM.

And, we, as voters, allowed them to.

ENOUGH. Where is the accountability? Where are the answers? WHEN will justice be served for REAL?

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4acain1017(2 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

You stated that in your opinion, the fact that he has Hannah and Peanut still should be enough to throw him in jail.

The fact remains that one portion of his probation stated that he was not to harbor dogs. BY LAW, this should be enough to put him back in jail. But of course, he sneaks by again and will be spending his Christmas at home.

I'd like to know -- where are the dogs now?! Are they still in Croley's home? Did the judge truly release him and say "Oh, you violated your probation by having these dogs but go ahead and go back home to them"? It's insane. One thing is clear, this man believes he is above Ohio law. He needs to be punished with maximum sentencing, and Nitro's Law needs passed immediately so that situations like this one can be responded to with more appropriate punishments.

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5rabbit66(20 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

@acain1017 yes, both Hannah and Peanut are still at Croley's home.

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6AOSPCA(14 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

I for one am waiting to see how the probation department tries to worm their way out of this one. No people to go to the field, oooooo kkkkkk, and then denying potential witnesses to come to their office for the sole convenience of the probation officer? Probation was an utter failure (emphasis added).

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7AOSPCA(14 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Did probation officer even know Croley was in Alaska for a week this month and more importantly, did she even care?

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8rennie(2 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Nothing changes if nothing changes. maybe we should consider more radical ways of getting the point across.
I'm sure if someone got fed up with croley (and the system that enables him) and just put a bullet thru croley's head, that person would be doing some serious time. So unfair. What do the legislators have to say about it?

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9AOSPCA(14 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

It is important to note, the dogs, Hanna and Peanut initially belonged to Croley and his FORMER wife, (Donna?), but somehow ended up registered under his current wife, Renee McCalpin Croley, for the year 2010. What a coincidence, she adopted the same dogs he used to own? I say charge her for abetting.

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10MichelleGladney(2 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

If Croley does not go to jail over this then our justice system in Ohio is completely BROKEN! He and his current wife belong in jail! and his probation officers must be held accountable! Thank you Louie for not only talking to me on your show but sticking with Nitro's Law! I live in Toledo and I listen to you daily on my computer! We need more people like you in this world!

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11LoveaLee(5 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

If there was some money to be made, then he would be in jail. So, Ohio, either get rid of the ones not doing the job they were hired for, or contact them and explain what the job they were hired for is.

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12eaglespirit(5 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Our lawmakers ARE definitely working without tools .....Brains!!! Almost all the other states have felony laws against animal cruelty. I don't know what it is about Ohio that it is so difficult to get proper legislation passed!!! What's the big deal about passing Nitro's Law?! Why can't they just pass it and be done with it?! Common sense tells you that the punishment has to fit the crime!!! A slap in the hand is obviously ineffective!!!! What is it going to take to get them to WAKE UP!!!?

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13lbf(220 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

additional comments from Vindy's newswatch

1 [geturpetzfixed's avatar] geturpetzfixed(2 comments)posted 4 days, 7 hours ago

i think he should be starved to death. please help pass nitros bill so trash like him will be held accountable for killing precious animals.how can he sit and watch tv while there were dogs right outside his door starving? what a piece of work he is.garbage


2 [AOSPCA's avatar] AOSPCA(7 comments)posted 4 days, 3 hours ago

Remove the animals, charge the new wife with abetting. He owned 2 of those dogs before he married her and they were removed from him in 2008. There is no "magic" number of years he should be prohitted from owning animals, it should be he be prohibited from "ever" owning animals, harboring them or even being near them. His earnings are directly related to animals, he needs a job in a convenience store as a check out clerk or goods stocker, not be allowed to train, transport, harbor, own animals, for life.


3 [LovesYeshua's avatar] LovesYeshua(2 comments)posted 4 days, 1 hour ago

Maybe now, the state Representative will listen to our voice about HB108. Steve Croley needs to be the example of not how to treat animals and needs to spend many long months if not years in jail reflecting on what he has done. Does this man show remorse?? I think not.. put him away! before he hurts more.


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14lbf(220 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

additional comments from Vindy Newswatch

4 [huskymom1's avatar] huskymom1(1 comment)posted 4 days, 1 hour ago

This is so appalling. He got off easy with his original offense, had pals secure his dogs so he could violate the terms of his parole once he served his piddly sentence, and then tries to pin things on his new wife (whose decency must be questioned, and loudly). This sorry excuse for a human being needs to serve serious prison time and be banned from owning animals for life. The thought that he could do so after wantonly allowing dogs left with him for care and training to die is so very wrong. Come on Ohio. Start acting like a decent state and pass laws that protect companion animals from scum like Croley.


5 [PARbigdogs's avatar] PARbigdogs(6 comments)posted 4 days, 1 hour ago

Animal Advocates in the State of Ohio have been fighting for felony Animal Cruelty Laws for DECADES; our Ohio Representatives continue to fail our companion pets in this State ... and our Judges and Prosecutors continue to make a mockery of crimes against animals.

Steve Croley KILLED 8 dogs, starved them to death. The remaining dogs were emaciated and near death. After arriving LATE to court, in a plea deal Steve Croley was sentenced to only 120 days (less for 13 days served). He was ordered to pay an insulting amount in restitution (that probably didn't cover the cost to care for ONE of the surviving dogs that he starved) and ordered not have ANY animals for the duration of his probation ... only 3 years. Now he blames his spouse that he is in possession of 3 dogs and 2 cats?

Steve Croley continues to thumb his nose at Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr, Prosecutor Jay Macejko, and Ohio State Laws. I only hope this won't be a replay of January 23, 2009 and that justice will finally be served.

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15humanity(2 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

When everything "blew up" with the recent arrest-it wasn't long before Hannah and Peanut were moved. Where are they now? Steve, Renee, and the probation officer should all be held accountable. In school, children are taught that their actions lead to consequences. When consequences are not enforced-another lesson is taught. Steve must be punished for what he did and for his disregard for his probation. Steve and animal abusers like him are likely abusers of mates, children, elders and others. We must stop those who hurt animals not only because it is sick and wrong, but because animals are a pictures of those who can not protect and care for themselves. Judge Douglas-please do what is right and just.

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