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Tag: columbus

Police believe animal lover died trying to rescue lost poodle

watts2An Indianapolis woman found dead on a river sandbar Saturday may have died while trying to help catch a lost dog

Police and witnesses say Jacqueline “Jackie” Watts, 33, was found in the Flatrock River, where she was last seen chasing a poodle who had gone missing a few days earlier.

The poodle, named Ringo, was also found dead along the river.

Watts dropped her own pets off with a friend in Columbus Friday in preparation for a trip to Washington. Likely, she spotted the missing dog on her way home.

Her car was found with its flashers on and her purse inside, leading to a search of the area along the river.

Crews found her body Saturday morning on a sandbar in the Flatrock River in Columbus, just north of Noblitt Park.

Police say they don’t suspect foul play.

An autopsy completed Monday established that the cause of death was accidental drowning, according to the Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office.

The family of Ringo had posted on social media about his disappearance. They said the poodle had cataracts and was almost deaf.

After finding the body of Watts, police found the body of a small white dog on the river’s banks, just south of Noblitt Park. Police confirmed that it was Ringo with the animal’s owners, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Watts, an esthetician, served as teaching assistant in Indianapolis Public Schools and was known as an animal lover.

“The bottom line is we lost a very special person,” said Columbus Police Lt. Matt Harris. “It’s my understanding that Jackie was the type of person that when there was an animal that was sick, she would take that animal in and provide hospice care… That she was trying to help a lost dog and sadly appears (to have) lost her life doing so, that doesn’t seem out of character for her.”

Family members says she fostered dogs and rabbits. She volunteered with Kentuckiana Boxer Rescue and Indy Claw Animal Rescue.

“She cared deeply about the well-being of animals. If she believed she could help an animal in need, she was going to do so without hesitation,” the family said in a statement. “We know that Jackie gave her life for what she believed in.”

“That’s how we do it in the country”

chickenA woman who duct-taped a dead chicken to a dog’s neck to teach it not to kill chickens defended the practice by saying that’s how they’ve always done it “in the country.”

The unidentified 74-year-old woman was cited for animal cruelty after a neighbor reported her to authorities and posted images of the dog on Facebook.

The woman is from Phenix City, Alabama, but was house sitting for a daughter in Columbus, Georgia, when the incident occurred.

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said police went to the home Monday after a complaint from a citizen.

The mayor described what happened this way: “The dog kills the chicken … So she said that she duct-taped the dead chicken to the dog to, quote, ‘Teach it a lesson not to kill her chickens.'”

The woman told police that’s what people do in the country to train dogs not to kill chickens, the mayor told the Ledger-Enquirer.

Apparently, the woman had brought the live chicken with her from Alabama.

It wasn’t immediately confirmed if the dog, described as a pit bull, belonged to her or her daughter.

The incident set off a lengthy Facebook debate after Columbus resident Hannah Gillespie posted pictures of the dog:

Gillespie said in the post that the dead chicken remained taped to the dog’s neck for at least nine hours.

The ongoing Facebook debate took a dramatic turn when a someone claiming to be the woman in question posted, in a message to all the critics, that she had taken the dog to be euthanized.

Gillespie later commented on Facebook that the dog was still alive, and remained in the woman’s custody.

Fired firefighter walks out of appeal hearing

An Ohio firefighter who was fired for executing his two dogs walked out of an appeal hearing yesterday in which he was seeking to get his job back.

As a result, the Civil Service Commission dismissed David Santuomo’s appeal of his firing, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Santuomo, 43, was waiting for the hearing to begin, but left after a television news crew set up a camera in the commission’s hearing room.

“He came here with the intention of going forward but changed his mind,” said Barbara McGrath, the commission’s executive director. The commission had agreed to postpone the original hearing in the fall and informed Santuomo that his appeal would be dismissed if he didn’t attend today’s hearing.

Santuomo was fired in July after being convicted of two counts of animal cruelty and one count of possession of a criminal tool. Prosecutors say Santuomo tied his two mixed-breed dogs to a pipe in his basement and shot them so he wouldn’t have to put them in a kennel while he went on a vacation cruise with his girlfriend. He dumped the bodies in a trash bin behind his fire station

He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and fined $4,500.

Now he can have a nice long vacation

An Ohio firefighter sentenced to 90 days in jail for killing his dogs has now lost his fire department job.

Columbus Public Safety Director Mitchell Brown said today that he has decided to terminate 43-year-old David Santuomo on the recommendation of the fire chief, according to an Associated Press report.

The thousands of messages the department received demanding the firefighter be stripped of his job probably played a role as well.

Santuomo pleaded guilty last month to three misdemeanors, including two animal cruelty counts. Prosecutors say Santuomo tied his two mixed-breed dogs to a pipe in his basement and shot them in December so he wouldn’t have to put them up in a kennel while he went on vacation.

Firefighter who killed dogs gets 90 days

A judge in Columbus imposed a 90-day jail sentence on an Ohio firefighter who pleaded guilty to killing his dogs to avoid boarding them while he went on vacation.

David Santuomo, 43, of Columbus pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of animal cruelty and one count of possession of a criminal tool — a homemade silencer he used on the end of a rifle, the Associated Press reports.

Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor Heather Robinson said Santuomo shot his two mixed-breed dogs, Sloopy and Skeeter, on Dec. 3 after tying them to a pipe in his basement. He dumped the remains in a trash bin behind his firehouse, she said.

Prosecutors have said he bragged about the killings to colleagues.

Firefighter shoots his dogs, takes vacation

A 12-year veteran of the Columbus, Ohio fire department is under investigation for allegedly shooting and killing his two dogs.

Dave Santuomo is accused of shooting the animals several times and dumping their remains in a Dumpster outside his fire station, 10TV in Columbus reported. An anonymous tip led officers from the Capital Area Humane Society to the Dumpster, behind Station 27, where they found two bloody bags containing the dogs’ bodies. 

Investigators believe Santuomo killed the dogs inside his home, and were looking into reports that Santuomo strung the dogs up on a beam in his basement before shooting them.

“This is a very grave, very horrific situation,” said Kerry Manion of the Capital Area Humane Society.  “We’re treating it very seriously.” Read more »