A Toledo man convicted of felony dog-fighting charges was sentenced today to jail, ordered to pay $12,030 for the care of the dogs, and banned from owning another dog.
Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Gary Cook also ordered that the six “pit bull”-type dogs seized from a South Fearing Boulevard house leased by Carl Steward be surrendered to the Lucas County Dog Warden.
Steward, 21, of 716 Cherry St., was found guilty Oct. 23 of five counts of dog fighting following a bench trial before Judge Cook. The judge acquitted Steward on one charge of dog fighting relating to a young female “pit bull” that had no scars or other evidence of fighting.
Judge Cook said that because the charges were fourth-degree felonies and the convictions were Steward’s first felony convictions, state law supports community control rather than prison.
He placed Steward on community control for five years and ordered that he spend the first six months at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio near Stryker followed by six months at the Correctional Treatment Facility in Toledo followed by three months in the county’s Work Release Program and three months on electronic monitoring. Steward also must perform 100 hours of community service and undergo random urinalysis.
Judge Cook said the dog warden will be responsible for evaluating the six dogs and determining their future.
“If they can be determined by the dog warden to be suitable for some sort of placement with a family, that is up to the Lucas County Dog Warden,” he said. “If the determination is that they must be destroyed then so be it. The dog warden will have the freedom to make that determination.”
The Lucas County Pit Crew has offered to pay to bring in two nationally known experts in rehabilitating “pit bull”-type dogs used in dog fighting. Dog Warden Julie Lyle said she was open to working with the Pit Crew and other “reputable transfer partners” that are interested in taking the dogs.