Lindsey Glowney left her thin, 10-year-old dog “Dyson” outside in her yard with water on what she called a perfect afternoon in October 2016.
Neither she nor her husband Josh ever saw Dyson alive again.
The Glowneys said their dog was seized by a Kettering animal control official after a neighbor’s call, detained on a “hold,” and euthanized five days later without any meaningful conversation between the couple and anyone at the Montgomery County’s Animal Resource Center (ARC).
They also were prosecuted for misdemeanor animal cruelty/neglect in Kettering Municipal Court. They pleaded no contest, were found guilty and the criminal case is in an appellate court.
The Glowneys recently filed a civil lawsuit in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court alleging 20 counts including negligence, constitutional violations, trespassing, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other tort complaints.
“I asked the County Commissioners to please investigate Dyson’s killing long before the lawsuit was filed,” said the Glowneys’ attorney, Paul Leonard, a Wright State University professor who was once Dayton’s mayor and Ohio’s lieutenant governor.
“I did not even receive the courtesy of a reply. The Board of Trustees, which is supposed to provide oversight, is inept. The administration of ARC is dishonest.”
County attorneys Anne Jagielski and Collin Showe did not return messages seeking comment. The complaint has not been answered in court documents.
“From the information that we have, the Montgomery County Resource Center and its employees acted properly and according to the law with respect to the disposition of the dog, which clearly was of poor health, malnourished, and neglected,” Greg Flannagan, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office, said in a statement.
Leonard wrote that after Dyson started losing weight in 2015, the Glowneys took their pet to a veterinarian who did routine testing and found no evidence of disease. Leonard wrote his clients were told that older dogs can lose muscle mass and weight.
“Dyson was eating all meals, was active and playful, and showed no evidence of pain or suffering,” Leonard wrote, and that although very thin despite nutritious food and special meals, the dog “deserved to continue enjoying life.”
The lawsuit comes on the heels of a complaint against Montgomery County dog warden Mark Kumpf of destroying evidence related to the 2014 Klonda Richey fatal dog mauling. County commissioners have approved at least $165,000 for a private attorney to defend the county from actions arising from Richey’s death.
The named defendants in the Glowneys’ lawsuit are the City of Kettering, police officer Shelly Davis, Kumpf, Kelly Meyer, Elizabeth Maimon, neighbor Deborah Smith and various Jane and John Does.
In the complaint, the Glowneys said Dyson’s body has been kept in an ARC freezer after an unauthorized necropsy was performed.
“Companion animals are someone’s personal property,” Leonard said. “Although those of us who are advocates on behalf of animals do not like the legal designation of personal property, if that’s the law then we want people’s property handled with care — not killed, stuffed in a trash bag, and thrown away or stored in a freezer, which was Dyson’s fate.”
The complaint said Deborah Smith called Kettering police after seeing a thin dog. That is when, according to the suit, Davis went into the Glowneys’ yard without a search warrant or permission, snagged Dyson — a rescue dog as a puppy — and took the dog to a personal friend/vet and then to the ARC.
Dyson wore a recent dog license and was micro-chipped, according to the complaint. Leonard said dog owners have a legal right to contest a seizure and be afforded a court hearing within 10 days.
The lawsuit said the Glowneys and Lindsey’s sister left multiple messages with the ARC but received no responses. On Oct. 15, 2016, Dyson was euthanized by Meyer. Four days later, the complaint says, Davis called Glowney to say Dyson had gained two pounds.
On Oct. 20, 2016, the complaint reads, Davis came to the Glowney residence to say they were being charged with animal cruelty and said that Dyson had been destroyed and that Meyer said “he was an old dog.”
The suit said Davis has admitted to the seizure of more than 200 dogs in her tenure with Kettering police — including 100 from private property — without securing a search warrant.
In a Facebook post on a page entitled Justice for Dyson, Lindsey Glowney wrote, “We are fighting for the rights we had ignored by Shelly Davis, animal control, in the hopes that nobody else must endure what we have.
“We are fighting for justice for the unprofessionalism of the ARC; from the director, supervisor, and veterinarian. We are fighting for justice for Dyson, and for the other animals this has happened to, and to prevent it from happening again.”