Police in Cleveland, Ohio are searching for a man who committed a horrifying crime last week against three innocent dogs when he tied them to a secluded section of railroad tracks and attempted to video a train run them over. Two of the dogs were killed by an oncoming train, but the third was able to save itself by crouching off the side of the tracks.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals posted a $5,000 reward Wednesday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. Martin Mersereau, director for PETA, said the reward was offered because the man who tied the dogs to the tracks could “pose a serious threat to all animals – including humans.”
Police said the crime happened in the quiet waterfront neighborhood of Tremont. The shocking event was discovered by chance when a railroad employee witnessed from a distance the dogs being tied to the tracks and someone taking pictures or videotaping the offense.
By the time the worker got to the dogs, the train had passed by and the man was gone. The bodies of two of the dogs were on thetracks, but a two-year-old mix breed dog now called Chessie was alive.
Chessie was taken to the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter. “She’s very lucky and very traumatized, but she is coming around,” said Shelter Kennel Manager Lesley DeSouza.
The deceased dogs and Chessie did not have tags or micro-chips. No one has come forward to claim any of the animals or offer leads to police.
After a ten day waiting period, Chessie became available for adoption on Friday. The shelter said it has been getting three emails or phone calls an hour about adopting her.
“She is amazingly friendly, and she likes to sit on your lap,” said DeSouza.
A Slap On The Wrist For Assailant
Before the weekend is over, little Chessie is certain to begin a new life. If her assailant is caught, he will only receive a “slap on the wrist” because of Ohio’s weak animal cruelty laws. ThinkProgress revealed that first time offenders in the state are sentenced with only 90 days in jail.
The Humane Society of the United States ranked Ohio 36 in its 2011 report, “Humane State Ranking” that assesses state animal protection laws. First time offenders of animal cruelty are charged with a second degree misdemeanor. The same offense is a felony in 44 other states.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund said, “The state’s lack of felony legislation for animal cruelty cases is a ‘substantial flaw’ in the law.”
Take Action: Please sign the petition – 3 Dogs Tied To Railroad Tracks.
Photo Credit: Cuyahodadogs.com