Dyson the dog was killed after being in the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center for five days in 2016. Owners Josh and Lindsey Glowney have sued Kettering and county officials. CONTRIBUTED

Frozen dog kept as evidence now missing from embattled animal shelter

The body of a frozen dog ordered preserved by a judge as evidence in a court case has disappeared from the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center (ARC), court documents reveal.

The dog, Dyson, is at the center of both a criminal case against its owners, which is on appeal, and a civil case that the owners, Josh and Lindsey Glowney, brought against the ARC after the dog was euthanized there in 2016.

MORE: Lawsuit filed after couple’s dog seized, killed by animal control

Paul Leonard, an attorney representing the Glowneys, was notified Dec. 10 by Montgomery County’s legal counsel representing Mark Kumpf, the ARC’s former director, and Kelley Meyer, the facility’s veterinarian, that Dyson’s body could not be found at the shelter, according to a motion Leonard filed in the civil case two days later.

“Plaintiffs’ counsel wants an opportunity to investigate the sudden disappearance of this important evidence, and to reserve the right to ask this court to approve the filing of an amended complaint adding additional civil claims,” Leonard’s memo reads.

Leonard has asked the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the disappearance of the dog’s remains.

A county spokeswoman declined comment Thursday, citing pending litigation.

MORE: County commissioners officially fire animal shelter director

Ten-year-old Dyson was euthanized at the shelter five days after the dog was picked up out of the Glowney’s Kettering yard in 2016, according to the civil complaint filed in September.

The Glowneys were prosecuted for misdemeanor animal cruelty/neglect. They pleaded no contest and were found guilty. They have since appealed the decision in the case in which Kettering Municipal Court Judge Fred Dressel ordered Dyson’s frozen body kept as evidence.

In September, the Glowneys filed a civil lawsuit against the ARC, its then-director Kumpf and other defendants, alleging 20 counts including negligence, constitutional violations, trespassing, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other tort complaints.

“All of this is very wearing – especially on Lindsey Glowney … The one thing she wanted was the remains back,” said Leonard, a Wright State University professor who was once Dayton’s mayor and Ohio’s lieutenant governor.

“This has just been one more screw up somewhere along the line related to the Animal Resource Center,” Leonard said. “It just seems like it’s one thing after another.”

On the heels of an independent examination of the shelter in late November, Montgomery County Commissioners voted this month to terminate Kumpf’s employment with the county. He was ARC director since 2006.

RELATED: County animal center report: ‘Avalanche of negative consequences’

In a separate civil case involving the ARC, Montgomery County has been accused of destroying “truck logs,” potential evidence related to the 2014 dog-mauling death of Klonda Richey, who made numerous calls to the ARC about her neighbors’ dogs.

The suit brought by Richey’s estate alleges Kumpf refused to act to protect Richey and that the Animal Resource Center “willfully and with malicious purpose destroyed highly relevant public records with intent to disrupt plaintiff’s existing lawsuit against defendant Mark Kumpf,” a complaint updated in August reads.

Truck logs from 2013 and 2014 — during the period just preceding Richey’s death — had been destroyed in November 2017, according to a handwritten list produced by ARC supervisor Robert Sexton during a March deposition. Sexton also testified that the truck logs for 2011 and 2012 had also been destroyed but provided no documentation.

MORE: Dog-mauling lawsuit: County accused of destroying records

The recent assessment of the ARC by Team Shelter USA identified dozens of “emergency action steps” to be addressed. The report described a facility short staffed with employees suffering from burnout and unable to provide appropriate care for animals.

A malfunctioning freezer received special mention in the consultants’ final report: “Deceased bodies thawing in freezer with strong stench smelled in euthanasia room and nearby hallways.”

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