Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ohio: Police say Tameka Smith moved out of her rental house and left her chained dog to die

Update: Tameka Smith pleaded not guilty to leaving her dog to die; trial set

OHIO -- Campbell police are investigating after a dog was found frozen to death on Tuesday with no food or water.

The dog was found halfway inside the doghouse on a short chain, malnourished and frozen at a home on Reed Avenue. There was no sign of food or water.

Campbell Police Lt. John Rusnak said there is no excuse for an animal to be left behind to die.

“There are free places, there are shelters. I mean, Mahoning County has plenty of them and you can even contact the dog warden or the humane officer and they will give you places to take the animal so it is not like there are no resources out there,” Rusnak said. “I just can’t believe that somebody can take an animal that can’t care for itself and disregard it in that way.”

He said the dog’s owner TAMEKA SMITH moved out of the house and left the dog behind. She is expected to face charges.

Police said a former roommate of the dog’s owner returned to the home to retrieve some personal property when he made the discovery.

The case is prompting officials to move forward with plans to toughen animal laws in Campbell.

“You’re going to have two choices in Campbell: Don’t own a pet or take care of your pet in accordance with the law,” Campbell Police Chief Drew Rauzan said.

The police chief said the city is drafting an ordinance to make it illegal to keep dogs outside on a chain that is too short.

“It is a slow process, but we are going to make laws where if you are caught, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent and you are going to have to take charge being the owner of that animal,” Campbell Mayor William Vansuch said.

Police are also in the process of installing kennels in their garage for cats and dogs that are found wandering the streets or abandoned, like a cat they found Tuesday night. If no one claims the animal within 48 hours, they will be taken to the pound.

(WKBN - Jan 14, 2015)

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