Woman charged with offenses involving dogs

YOUNGSTOWN — A city woman is the first person in Mahoning County charged under a state law that makes beastiality illegal.

Tiffany Riley, 40, of Waverly Avenue will be arraigned July 20 in Youngstown Municipal Court on three misdemeanor charges, one of which accuses her of having sex with a mixed-breed Shih Tzu on Feb. 19. The charge was filed Tuesday.

The state law making this illegal went into effect in 2017.

The alleged conduct was discovered because it was depicted on video, said attorney Jeff Holland of Medina County, who prosecutes animal cruelty cases in Mahoning County, including the charges against Riley. The case was investigated by Animal Charity.

In addition to the bestiality complaint, Holland filed two other animal charges not involving bestiality allegations. Instead, they relate to the care the animals received.

One is called prohibitions involving companion animals and involves both Shih Tzus. That charge makes it illegal for someone to negligently torture, torment or commit an act of cruelty against the companion animal.

Holland also filed a charge of cruelty to companion animals, which makes it illegal to knowingly torture, torment, needlessly mutilate or maim, cruelly beat, poison, needlessly kill, or commit an act of cruelty against a companion animal.

At the urging of local animal-rights activist Jason Cooke, Warren became the first city in Ohio to create its own bestiality law in June 2016.

It was prompted by the April 2016 arrest of Warren resident Salvador Rendon, 61, who was charged with animal cruelty after allegations surfaced that he had sex with two boxer dogs at his Ward Street Northwest home.

Rendon pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Warren Municipal Court to 90 days in jail, but 60 days were suspended and he was given credit for 18 days served at the Trumbull County jail.

In May 2017, Amber Finney, 33, of a different Ward Avenue Northwest address, was sentenced to 180 days in jail, 120 of those days suspended, and credit for 33 days already served after she was convicted under Warren’s bestiality law. Finney’s crimes were discovered because of a video.



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