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Published: Thursday, 8/12/2010

Dog owners sue couple accused of shooting it

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Josh Luck and his mother, Kelly, filed the complaint Wednesday against Eric Skowron and Alisha Marie King. Mr. Skowron and Ms. King also face misdemeanor animal-cruelty charges in Toledo Municipal Court.

On Wednesday, Mr. Luck said his family has endured thousands of dollars in veterinary bills to care for their nearly 9-year old dog, Tyson. He said the suit is to recoup that money and raise awareness of his efforts to strengthen animal-cruelty laws.

The complaint seeks in excess of $25,000 for Tyson's care plus $150,000 in punitive damages.

"We got a lot of vet bills," Mr. Luck said. "I think he deserves to pay for all the damage he did to our dog, and … for what he's done to our family."

Mr. Skowron, 34, of 1108 Rochelle Rd. and Ms. King, 29, of Lambertville have pleaded not guilty to animal-cruelty charges for a shooting incident June 23, partially caught on surveillance video, in which the Lucks' shepherd, Lab, and Rottweiler mix dog was wounded by two 45-caliber bullets. Mr. Skowron is charged with animal torture, killing or injuring animals, firearms discharge, making a false police report, petty theft, endangering, and criminal trespass.

Ms. King faces charges of animal torture, killing or injuring animals, petty theft, and criminal trespass. They have a Sept. 14 court date scheduled.

The two are accused of stealing the dog from the Lucks' yard. Video surveillance footage appears to show Ms. King leading the dog by a leash to Mr. Skowron's yard, where prosecutors say he shot the dog in the left eye and chest. Mr. Skowron then called 911 to report his own dog had just been attacked by another dog, although police said they found no evidence of injury to Mr. Skowron's dog.

In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, the Lucks' attorneys requested both Mr. Skowron and Ms. King answer questions as part of preparation of the case. The interrogatories ask the couple to admit they participated in the taking and shooting of Tyson.

Mr. Skowron's attorney, Don Cameron, said Wednesday his client probably will fight the civil lawsuit with a similar defense to his criminal charges.

"The defense of the criminal case would cover the defense of the civil case as well. They're one and the same," he said.

Mr. Luck said his dog continues to recover but still has medical issues, including the loss of one eye.

"I want to turn the emotions, all the anger, the fear, the sadness, into motivation for change, to strengthen the cruelty laws," he said. "We need to definitely get some of those laws changed."

Contact Erica Blake at:

eblake@theblade.com

or 419-213-2134.



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