Family Sues After Neighbor Kills Dog

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KIRTLAND, Ohio -- A beloved family pet is shot to death by a former neighbor. Now the dog's owner is filing a civil lawsuit.

The owner said his neighbor, who's currently serving a 45-day sentence in Lake County Jail, shot his dog five times with a rifle at close range.

Last Thanksgiving, Dave Davison found his 14-year-old black Lab named "Thai" lying in a ravine near his home in Kirtland.

"She had been with me since she was small enough to hold enough in one hand. She's been through a lot of personal things with me and now there's a huge hole in my home," said Davison.

Davison's former neighbor, Brent Parker, was recently convicted of killing the dog and discharging a firearm in city limits.

"To kill a family member of ours, that had been part of our family of 14 years, to spend a month and-a-half in jail seems extremely insufficient," said Davison.

This week, Davison filed a civil lawsuit against Parker, seeking compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $25,000 for seven counts including conversion, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and loss of companionship in society.

Davison says if he wins this case, all the money he receives will go towards animal advocacy groups that are pushing for stricter animal cruelty laws.

"It's not about money for my pocket, or anything like that, it's about punishment for the guilty. What he's been punished with so far, it's not good enough," said Davison.

"This lawsuit will not help change the misdemeanor level of those offenses to felonies, but it will help promote awareness to the public and the court system that these matters need to be treated seriously," said Davison's family attorney Michael Brennan.

State lawmakers are considering "Nitro's Law." If passed, this would make animal cruelty a felony for kennel operators. Supporters are hoping this could set the stage for broader penalties.

FOX 8 contacted Parker's criminal defense attorney seeking comment, but he said Parker has not been able to review the lawsuit.