Tempers flare over fate of dogs involved in 2 vicious attacks; dogs’ owner calls bite victim a ‘hypochondriac’ (video)
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Tempers flared at North Olmsted City Hall on Monday over a pack of dogs police say were involved in two vicious attacks.
19 Investigates was first to tell you about the overwhelming fear of those in a local suburb after their city allowed the dogs to go back home with their owner after both attacks.
Monday, the city held a “determination hearing” about the fate of the dogs. North Olmsted’s finance director Carrie Copfer ran the hearing, since the city does not have an acting safety director.
The city’s assistant law director guided Copfer through the hearing as he asked questions of both witnesses who came to testify and the dogs’ owner, Amanda Ramos Martinez.
Ramos defended herself and her animals deemed dangerous and vicious by the city’s animal control officer.
“You know what, I feel like you guys are railroading me,” Ramos said. “I have done everything that you have complied.”
Ramos faces criminal charges in the attacks. Police say five pitbulls got out of her house and attacked people twice in two weeks.
“What you guys want is to take my dogs and put them down,” she said. That’s what you want to be done.”
It is-- according to the Animal Control Officer Mark Adkins. He testified that he does not believe the dogs can be trusted to live with Ramos in North Olmsted or anywhere else.
“I would have the dogs put down,” Adkins said.
Marg Bowden was one of three victims the dogs bit on May 13.
“They are not save-able. They are vicious and dangerous,” Bowden said. “This has got to stop. I mean I have to get my life back.”
Ramos admitted the dogs are not registered with the city, nor does she have the liability insurance the city requires on their breed.
Ten days after the first attack a North Olmsted Police Officer testified he went to Ramos’s home to deliver a letter from the city. He got bit too.
So, why did the city give the dogs back to Ramos after the first attack? Couldn’t the second bite been prevented had the city just taken custody of the animals?
Adkins said the city hasn’t had anywhere to put the dogs, and therefore left them in Ramos’s possession.
“A lot of the boarding facilities are full,” Adkins said. “Our kennel, we can’t handle that many.”
Adkins said said Ramos has not been compliant with orders that came after the second attack. The city asked her to kennel the dogs at her own expense, until the city the determination was made as to whether to put the dogs down or not.
As the meeting wrapped up on Monday, the law director urged Copfer to require all five dogs in the attacks to be kenneled or self-surrendered to the city.
Ramos spoke up saying she only had three of the dogs in her possession. She said she rehomed one of them in Cleveland and the last one belongs to her sister.
Ramos became increasingly angry as officials discussed taking the dogs, and began to storm out of the hearing before it ended.
That’s when one of the victims spoke up from the audience, saying she wanted the dogs put down.
“That’s what needs to be done,” the victim said.
Ramos replied saying, “Oh, yes, because you were bleeding to death.”
As officials tried to restore order, Ramos continues screaming at the victim.
“You acted like you were dying,” Ramos told her. “You asked for an ambulance.”
The victim told Ramos she had gone to the emergency room the day of the attack and is still dealing with medical issues because of it.
Ramos then said, “Oh please whatever. You’re a hypochondriac.”
After the spat, the meeting was adjourned and 19 Investigates followed Ramos out.
She used explicit language and did not want to answer our questions, before she tried to grab the 19 News microphone.
When we asked her where her three dogs were currently located, she said she didn’t know.
As she continued to storm off, she turned around and left us with one more comment about her pets.
“They just might be in your back yard,” she said.
As Councilman Chris Glassburn was leaving city hall, he told 19 Investigates he has a big problem with the way the situation has been handled so far.
“I left that hearing today, and I don’t know where those dogs are,” he said. “And they are clearly threats to residents in North Olmsted or in any other city. It was kangaroo court up there.”
An official decision as to what will happen to the dogs has not been announced.
We followed up with the city after the hearing about what their next step was, but have not heard back.
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