Last week police were called to a house in Canfield, OH after a woman saw three sickly looking dogs running loose in the picturesque neighborhood. When police arrived, they found Brian Spin, 38, in the yard of the house at 535 Brookpark Drive along with the 3 sick dogs. Further investigation revealed that three sick dogs were only the tip of the problem that turned out to be a house of horrors in this Canfield house!
“The entire house was completely uninhabitable,” Canfield Detective Brian McGivern said. “It was like walking in two inches of maple syrup. That’s how saturated the rugs were with urine and feces.”
Piles of trash, debris, feces inches thick, dirt, mold, human waste were found in the home that was inhabited by Brian Spin, his wife Betsy, 32 and they two young sons, 2 and 7 as well as animals, dogs and cats.
“They were filthy, very poor hygiene, but they were in good health,” he describes the children who were covered in bug bites and found in an upstairs bedroom with Betsy Spin’s mother. “The 2-year-old was still being breast fed by [Betsy Spin] every two hours.”
The children were removed and placed in protective custody where they will remain at least 30-day and be thoroughly evaluated.
“Trash was piled so high inside the house, and the animals were just running wild that he couldn’t just climb over it,” he said.
There were 9 dogs found in the house, all in deplorable condition! It took 4 days to search the 4,596 sq. ft home, worth (at least it was) almost $350k to even find the dogs. The dogs ranged in age from about a year old to about 6 years old and they were covered in mange, open sores, feces and urine. Three of the dogs died en route to the pound and the other six had to be euthanized because they were so sick. Days later yet another dog was found living in a mattress in a pile of debris in the back yard. The little dog was barely alive.
“There was so much stuff in this home, and so hard to see, we had to have air packs and containment suits on. When we did get [the animals] out of there, they were in such bad shape that they had to be put down right away,” said Mahoning County dog warden Dave Nelson adding that the feces was 6-8 inches think is some areas of the house.
Brian and Betsy Spin were changed with 9 counts of animal cruelty and 2 counts of child endangerment, all misdemeanors to which they have pleaded not guilty. They are due to be back in court in December.
As horrific as this whole situation is, what makes it even worse is that the only charges that can be leveled are misdemeanor charges!! Ohio has no provision in place for felony animal cruelty charges even after the the horror at High Caliber K-9 Kennels last year where dead and starved dogs were found, brutalized at the hands of the man who was supposed to be caring for them. Croley got a plea deal and for 7 dead dogs and 12 starved dogs, all Croley wound up being charged with was 4 misdemeanors, a measly 30 days in jail and a fine.
Liz Raab, who owned one of the starved, dead dogs, Nitro, a once beautiful rottweiler that when found could not even be determined what kind of dog he was he was so skeletal, has been lobbying, begging and petitioning for stronger animal cruelty laws Ohio. In March, legislation was introduced but so far nothing has happened and dog deaths continue to pile up with no more than misdemeanor charges!
In August there was another case where a dog was bludgeoned to death for barking. A 71-year-old man, James Mills, grabbed a metal pipe and went into the kennel of his son’s girlfriend’s 9-year-old rottweiler mix and brutally beat the dog to death. He said he was tired of hearing the dog barking. In court he admitted to beating the dog.
He says he was splitting wood and he went to the cage because the dog was running around inside of it making a racket, so he thought Penny needed water.
He says he feared the dog getting out of the pen and if that happened he would be in danger, so he stuck the metal post through the fence and “belted” her to settle her down.
“I tried to get her to slow down so I could give her water” he said.
“She was four feet away from me number one, because she was running alongside the dog house, and when she went by I hit her but like I say i couldn’t hit her too doggone hard because she was four feet away and i only had a six foot post” He Admitted to Fox 8 News.
“I hit her in the hind quarters, hit her in the front quarters and hit her alongside the head, and finally she settled down” he admitted to Fox 8 News.
When asked if he ever considered leaving and not doing any harm to the dog Mills said “No, because she was low on water, and she had plenty of feed and I thought well i don’t know what the problem is, I don’t know why she’s acting like she is but if I give her water maybe she will settle down, maybe that’s what she wants.”
The explanation is not good enough for Penny’s owner who was also in court.
“He always said he hated that dog, yeah always, since the day he met her he said he hated that dog. She didn’t like him very much either.” said Sturdivant. (Fox 8)
Again, a misdemeanor charge for the brutal killing of an innocent dog!
When is enough going to be enough in Ohio? These are only a few of the animal cruelty cases in which misdemeanor charges don’t come close to being justice!! It is beyond time for the laws to change, for Ohio to get serious about animal cruelty. It’s time to stop screwing around and pass HB 70. It’s time for justice!
Ohio is only 1 of 5 states that do not have felony animal abuse legislation in place! Hey Ohio, don’t you think it’s time you got with the times?? Ohioans, contact your reps and tell them, enough is enough!! You can find contact info HERE.