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Tag: ohio river

Dog thrown off bridge doing well, arrest made

A Louisville man with a lengthy arrest record has been charged with second-degree cruelty to animals for allegedly throwing a pit bull off the Clark Memorial Bridge into the Ohio River.

Damon D. Bledsoe, 39, of 210 E. Ormsby Ave., was arrested Tuesday morning and arraigned Wednesday.

suspectFour witnesses contacted Louisville’s Metro Animal Services to report that Bledsoe allegedly spoke of throwing the dog off the bridge, and allegedly threatened to do the same to a witnesses’ cats.

The dog survived the 80-foot fall to the river and was adopted by a waitress at a nearby Joe’s Crab Shack who witnessed the rescue.

Court records show Bledsoe has been arrested on 99 separate charges since 2002, ranging from domestic violence to disorderly conduct to theft to public intoxication, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Kelsey Westbrook, the waitress who adopted the pit bull and named her Sunny, said the dog has recovered from her minor injuries and is “as happy as she can be.”

“She’s a 60-pound lapdog. … She’s got a little bit of separation anxiety, which I think is expected given what she’s been through. I think she trusts me now and knows I’m not going to leave her or put her in danger.”

Earlier this summer, Westbrook faced the loss of her apartment because she had adopted the pit bull, but she said the building got a new landlord who has let her and Sunny remain.

Dog’s rescuer could lose her apartment

Leave it to lawyers, landlords and insurance companies to screw up a perfectly good story.

Last week we told you about Kelsey Westbrook, the University of Louisville senior who helped rescue a pit bull that had been thrown off a bridge, then went on to take the dog, who she named Sunny, home with her.

Now comes word — in the Louisville Courier-Journal — that, if she keeps the dog, she may lose her apartment. The company that owns the building has a policy against “vicious breeds,” and has told her that she is violating her lease by having the dog on her property.

Westbrook, a waitress at Joe’s Crab Shack, ran with other employees to the shore after the dog was seen being thrown off the bridge and hitting the water roughly 80 feet below.

As the employees attempted to call the dog to shore, Louisville firefighters arrive and pulled her from the Ohio River.

Westbrook also owns a 2-year-old German shepherd mix named Nala and pays a monthly fee to keep Nala in her apartment. Westbrook said apartment officials told her she can’t make the same arrangement for Sunny because they consider the pit bull a “vicious breed.”

Westbrook said apartment officials gave her two days to remove Sunny from her apartment, and told her they will be conducting random inspections. Her boyfriend is keeping Sunny at his house until she decides what to do.

Since the property company is only following it’s own addle-brained rules, most likely designed at the request of its insurance company, we won’t go so far as to compare their behavior to that of the soulless, heartless wretch who threw the dog off the bridge.

But we will provide you with an email address, in case you want to:

Arete Real Estate, which owns Westbrook’s apartment, can be contacted at Apartments@areterealestate.net.

Waitress helps pit bull thrown from bridge

louisvilleAn unwanted pit bull who was thrown off a bridge and into the Ohio River survived the 80 foot drop and was showing no ill effects other than a swollen belly.

Now Sunny, as she’s been dubbed, is temporarily lodging with Kelsey Westbrook, a server at a nearby Joe’s Crab Shack, who was one of those who coaxed the plucky dog towards shore.

Witnesses said a white Chevy Malibu had stopped on the bridge moments before the dog was tossed, according to a report in the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Westbrook, a University of Louisville senior, said it appeared the dog had recently given birth.

Workers at Joe’s Crab Shack said the dog made a loud smacking sound as she hit the water. Westbrook and two other servers ran to the riverside, encouraging the dog to swim to shore. As the dog got within 20 feet, Louisville firefighters at the river for dive team training launched a boat and pulled her to safety.

“I wanted to give her some hope, to let her know somebody was waiting for her,” Westbrook said. “I was afraid she would give up and drown.”

Diners erupted into applause as the dog came ashore, then wolfed down three three hamburgers before going home to Westbrook’s  apartment.

The dog, which Westbrook named Sunny,  appears less than two years old. The red pit bull quickly became friends with her  two-year-old German Shepherd mix. Westbrook said she hoped to help the dog find another home.

“I took the dog because I just wanted to help her,” the English literature major said. “I don’t ever want her to feel pain again.”

(Photo: By Scott Utterback, The Courier-Journal)