Lexus Project volunteers John Gibbs and Carissa Curry carry bones of a dog they dug up in the backyard of a home on Luann Ave. in Toledo, Ohio to his truck.
The Blade/Lori King
A group calling itself “Justice for Bones and Sasha” is planning to hold a candlelight vigil Saturday evening in front of the Perrysburg home of Kathy Sutter, the head of a local animal rescue group who they accuse of being responsible for the death of a dog in her care.
The Toledo Area Humane Society announced Wednesday that Ms. Sutter will not be charged with animal cruelty after the remains of a dog named Bones that she reported missing in January were dug up in the yard of her former residence by an animal advocacy agency. They had searched for the animal for nine months after Ms. Sutter reported that he had been stolen from her house while she was at her father’s funeral.
Gary Willoughby, executive director of the humane society, said there was “insufficient evidence to support a finding of probable cause necessary to bring charges at this time” after consultation with Dave Toska, Toledo prosecutor, and Adam Loukx, Toledo law director.
“In particular there is inconclusive evidence as to the cause of death of the animals and, moreover, no clear evidence of wrong doing by any particular individual(s) that would support the filing of charges,” Mr. Willoughby said in a written statement.
The “Justice for Bones” group is calling on supporters to flood Mr. Willoughby, Mr. Toska, and Mr. Loukx with calls and letters registering their disappointment in the decision.
Linda Boyle, one of the group’s leaders, said she is “extremely disappointed” with the outcome.
“There was a necrospy performed on both dogs so I don’t know why there is not enough evidence to convict. You can delete this so your followers don’t know about this situation, or you can choose to give us honest answers. Either way, we are not going away,” she wrote on the Toledo Area Humane Society’s Facebook page.
Humane society staff spent 10 days investigating, Mr. Willloughby said.
“We gathered evidence, interviewed witnesses, talked with veterinarians, reviewed applicable laws on the books, and presented our findings to local prosecutors to find out if charges could be brought forward or not,” Mr. Willoughby said, adding that if more evidence is uncovered that charges could be filed.
Toledo representatives of the Lexus Project, which gave the dog to Ms. Sutter and Northwest Ohio Underdog Rescue Inc., dug up the dog at 4905 Luann Drive after receiving a tip. The remains of several other animals were also found.
Ms. Sutter told Mr. Willoughby that she did not know how Bone’s remains ended up in her yard. She said the dog might have been buried there by her son, who was recently killed in a motorcycle accident, and had been living at the house.
Ms. Sutter could not be reached for comment.
Officials from the Wood County Humane Society have visited Ms. Sutter’s new residence Tuesday and found the animals now in her care are in good condition, Mr. Willoughby said.
“We did make the offer to help with any of the dogs in her care, but her attorney assured us that she has resources in place to care for them in her Wood County home,” Mr. Willoughby said.
Bones created a sensation in New York in November, 2011, when its owner, Shaun Dyer, allegedly killed his roommate. The victim, David Shada, had bite marks, leading to allegations that its owner sicced Bones on Mr. Shada.