Liverpool woman’s bench trial postponed

EAST LIVERPOOL–The planned bench trial for an East Liverpool woman arrested after interfering with animal welfare employees trying to remove seven dogs and 21 cats from her condemned Russet Lane home, didn’t go forward as planned Tuesday morning in East Liverpool Municipal Court.

Instead Peter Horvath, the defense attorney for Dorothy Eddy, asked for the matter to be set for pretrial at 2 p.m. August 13.

In April, Eddy was arrested on obstructing official business and resisting arrest charges, after city officials evicted residents, including herself, from the family’s duplex in the 1500 block of Russet Lane. After finding the conditions “horrendous” they called the county dog warden to remove six dogs from the residence, and Eddy allegedly locked the door and refused to bring the last of the dogs out.

After refusing to cooperate, a police officer took an allegedly combative Eddy to the ground face down in front of the porch and handcuffed her, as other city officials had to step in to prevent her son from interfering as well.

She ultimately was charged with obstructing official business and resisting arrest by East Liverpool police. On Tuesday morning, she was arraigned on prohibitions concerning companion animals in East Liverpool Municipal Court.

Amy Dowd from the Columbiana County Dog Warden’s office explained that this was a second chance for Eddy, after officials had responded to her home in May 2018 and tried to educate her in the hopes that she would do better. Things were much worse when she was called to the residence by city officials that day in April, though.

The animals not only suffered from fleas, urine burns and bite marks but also were feral, Dowd explained of the home, which had no running water. “They had no fresh air or exercise,” she noted, adding the animals had never seen a vet and that some of the cats had lost eyes in Eddy’s care. “It was really bad.”

The Columbiana County Dog Warden doesn’t oversee the cats, so those were forwarded to another entity to assist with.

When asked about the decision to pursue the misdemeanor count instead of the felony, which has successfully been prosecuted in Ohio under Goddard’s Law, Dowd explained that the animals suffered from neglect compared to outright intentional abuse. “It was more about the environment. Humans can choose to live like this. Animals cannot,” she said.

All the dogs have been successfully placed except two beagle mixes, the one of which was the mama dog and is 5 years of age, and a son that is 4. Pound employees are still working with the hope that they can be successfully rehomed.

East Liverpool Municipal Court Judge Melissa Byers-Emmerling has rescheduled for all three of the second-degree misdemeanor charges facing Eddy to be addressed during an August 13 pretrial.

If convicted, Eddy faces up to 270 days in jail and $2,250 in fines. The county dog pound also is asking for $990 in restitution for the care of the dogs.