Kathy Sutter, the head of a local animal rescue group, will not be charged with animal cruelty after the bones of a dog who she reported missing in January were dug up in her yard.
Gary Willoughby, exeutive director of the Toledo Area Humane Society, said there was "insufficient evidence to support a finding of probable cause necessary to bring charges at this time" after consultation with the Toledo prosecutor and 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. "If admissible evidence is uncovered, the probable cause determination may be re-examined."
Humane society staff have spent 10 days investigating. The remains of the dog, named Bones, were exhumed by an animal advocacy agency that 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.
"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.
Toledo representatives of The Lexus Project, which originally gave the dog to Ms. Sutter and Northwest Ohio Underdog Rescue Inc., dug up the dog on her property at 4905 Luann Dr. after receiving a tip. The remains of several other animals were also found.
"Our organization is deeply saddened by the loss of these dogs and cats," Mr. Willoughby said. "This is a tragedy to say the least."
Officials from the Wood County Humane Society have visited Ms. Sutter's new residence and found the animals now in her care are in good condition, he said.
"When we met with her [Tuesday], 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.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.