A St. Bernard, accused of killing two cats and possibly attacking other cats in the same neighborhood, has been relinquished to the Butler County Humane Society and the owner faces charges, officials said.
On Monday afternoon, Baker Ideis, of Middletown, and the father of the dog’s owner, Steve Crawford, was charged with two counts of failure to confine, said Kurt Merbs, supervisor of the Butler County Dog Warden. Merbs said Ideis has the power of attorney over Crawford, who’s in the military and stationed out of the area.
The St. Bernard and another dog found running loose, an Australian Shepard, either will be available for adoption or euthanized, Merbs said. Ideis will appear in Middletown Municipal Court at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 7 for the two misdemeanor charges, Merbs said.
On Sunday night, Middletown police were called to a home in the 2100 block of Fernwood Street on a report that a dog had killed a cat, and while en route, police received another call of a similar incident one block down the street.
Jim Pressler, who lives in the 2100 block of Fernwood, said he found his 18-year-old cat, Sophia, who belonged to his late daughter, dead in the side yard of his residence. Pressler, who was watching a football game Sunday night, said a neighbor told him the cat was killed by a large, dark dog. Pressler said after the attack he was concerned about the safety of the small children in the neighborhood, especially if they were holding a cat.
A few minutes later, around 9:15 p.m., Sandy Nickell, who lives in the 2000 block of Fernwood Street, said she was sitting on her front porch, when a large St. Bernard, already covered with blood, came into her yard, jumped onto her porch, and pulled one of the two cats that were in a kennel on the porch.
Nickell, 59, said she wrestled with the 200-pound dog, but couldn’t stop him from mauling her 15-year-old cat, Pearl. During the struggle, Nickell said she grabbed the dog’s leash, but he threw her to the ground, and broke the leg off a wooden table on the porch.
She called the dog “a monster…he was all over the place.”
Her husband, Ernie Nickell, a retired lieutenant at the Lebanon Correctional Institution, came out of the home when he heard her yelling, and told his wife to call the police. When officers arrived, the cat was dead, he said. Her husband said he tried to wash the blood off the porch. He buried the cat in the back yard.
She said the cat “didn’t have a lot of time left, but this wasn’t the way to go out.”
After killing the cat, the dog also lunged at the glass window where two inside cats were sitting, but he was unable to get inside, Sandy Nickell said.
Pressler said he also planned to bury his cat in the back yard.
Police secured the St. Bernard and an Australian Shepard seen running lose along with him. Authorities were unsure if the Australian Shepard attacked any cats in the neighborhood, but both were found on Nickell’s porch. Neither dog was tagged and they were transported to the Butler County Humane Society, according to police.
Ernie Nickell said he doesn’t want the dog released to the owner because the dog has “demonstrated” violent behavior. Two months ago, a similar incident was reported in the 3200 block of Keays Avenue, according to Middletown police.
“How many times do you have to see accidents at an intersection before you put up a stop sign?” he asked.
By Rick McCrabb - Middletown Journal, Ohio (MCT)
©2013 the Middletown Journal (Middletown, Ohio)
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