COPLEY, Ohio - A local woman has been sentenced to the harshest penalty possible under Ohio law after admitting she tried to kill her dog then threw it in a dumpster where the dog was found alive.
Copley police say they were called to the Foxtail Glenn Apartments on Copley Road in December after a tenant thought he heard something inside the dumpster.
An employee of the apartment climbed into the dumpster and rescued the animal that police say appeared scared and malnourished.
"A very scared, terrified dog that whenever someone went to pick her up she would be very fearful of anyone touching her," said Copley Police Officer Chris Santimarino, who offered to adopt the small chihuahua mix.
Police say they identified Diamond Owens, 22, as the dog's owner by an employee who had seen the dog before.
"When we first spoke with Ms. Owens she tried to be deceitful and indicated that she only had one dog," said Copley Police Chief Michael Mier.
"When the officers pressed her further he learned that she had two and she admitted that she tried to kill the one because it had bitten her boyfriend a couple of times," added Mier.
Police say Owens appeared surprised that the dog had survived, admitting that she thought she had broken it's neck.
"First time that I have ever heard that in several years of doing this job. I think she made a comment, something to the effect of she felt the dog needed to be euthanized but she didn't have the money to do that so she figured she would do that on her own," said Mier.
On Tuesday Owen appeared in Barberton Municipal court where she entered a guilty plea to a charge of Cruelty, a first degree misdemeanor.
She was sentenced by Judge Jill Flagg Lanzinger to 180 days in jail, nearly six months. Under Ohio law it is the harshest penalty for a first degree misdemeanor.
Owens is also not permitted to own a pet of any kind following her release.
Judge Flagg Lanzinger declined comment Wednesday on why she felt the maximum penalty was deserved.
"It's very hard for courts to sentence anybody to any length of time but obviously the court felt in this case that this was a pretty serious crime and needed to be addressed and hold Ms. Owens accountable for her actions," said Mier.
Officer Santimarino ultimately was successful adopting the dog, who he has named 'Honey.'
"She's just a very loving dog, loves our kids and our family. She is part of our family and has blended in very well," said Santimarino, who owns another rescue dog.
Santimarino says he is a proponent of Goddard's Law, named after Fox 8 Meterologist Dick Goddard, which would make the penalties for abuse of a companion animal even more severe.
"It's just very disheartening and I can't think that a human being would want to hurt an animal like this or any animal that is so loving. And I just it really hurts my heart to know that someone would want to do that," said Santimarino.