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County fires pound worker charged in dog cruelty case

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Former Lucas County Dog Pound employee Aaron Nova is arraigned in Toledo Municipal Court.

The Blade/Lori King
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An employee of the Lucas County Dog Warden’s Office who was placed on administrative leave because of an animal-cruelty case involving a dog at the shelter has been terminated by the county administrator.

Aaron Nova, who had been employed for six years at the shelter, was fired on Friday following a disciplinary hearing on the work-related charge in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement, county and union officials said on Wednesday.

Mr. Nova, 26, of 2635 Moline-Martin Rd., Lake Township, was charged Aug. 7 with misdemeanor animal cruelty after a video surfaced that showed him allegedly picking up a dog in a chokehold, slamming it against a kennel door, and throwing it into a kennel at the shelter.

He has pleaded not guilty in Toledo Municipal Court.

A trial date has not been scheduled.

Peter Ujvagi, the county administrator, upheld the recommendation from a hearing officer that Mr. Nova be removed from his job, said Steve Kowalik, staff representative for Local 544 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Ohio Council 8, the group that represents dog warden employees.

Mr. Kowalik said the union plans to appeal the decision to the county commissioners, which is the next step in the disciplinary process under the union contract.

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