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Olivia

PART 1

HIT BY CAR AND LEFT FOR DEAD THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS

On December 26th, I received a call from Sergeant Todd Curtis with the Perkins Township Police Department (located in Sandusky, Ohio, Erie County). He said that he had responded to a call concerning a dog that had been hit on the highway. The dog was lying on the side of the road when he arrived. I was confused why Sergeant Curtis had called S.P.A. as we are a small, grassroot organization located in another county about 35 miles away from Sandusky, Ohio.

Image - Olivia - Sweet and Sensitive. Likes to cuddle and give kisses. Very, Very Gentle. About 3 years old.

Sweet and Sensitive. Likes to cuddle and give kisses. Very, Very Gentle. About 3 years old.

I asked Srg. Curtis if there were any local animal rescues who would be willing to help this dog, and he said he had made several calls to local rescues and no one was willing to help her.

He said he had a real fondness for dogs and that this girl seemed to be in pretty bad shape. He wasn't sure she was going to make it, he said.

I did indeed hesitate for a few seconds, as we had just taken little Bell the Chihuahua (also rescued from Sandusky, Ohio) to Ohio State University to repair her broken leg and her bill there totaled well over $1,300, not to mention after care and boarding.

I needed to make a decision quickly as this poor dog must be in tremendous pain, I thought. Officer Curtis had made several calls and all the while she was in severe pain.

Two SPA members immediately rushed to pick her up while I placed an emergency call to our vet. He met us there, and it was determined that "Olivia" had severe breaks in her upper left leg and a cracked sternum (in the shape of a lightning bolt). She had been hit head on.

Dr. Reineck made a call to Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio to request that Olivia be admitted as soon as possible.

There was no time to raise funds. We simply could not allow her to remain in the tremendous pain she was in until we were able to raise the money needed for surgery.

They repaired her leg with pins and plates, and said that the crack in her sternum will have to heal on its own.

The doctors at OSU were very surprised that she took such a hard hit to the chest without receiving internal injuries.

This sweet dog, who we have named Olivia, is one of the most gentle, loving dogs we have ever rescued.

She must have recently given birth. Her nipples are still filled with milk. Hard telling what happened

to her puppies.

PART 2

UPDATE!

Remember Olivia, the sweet girl doggie who was hit by a car and left for dead?

Image - Olivia and Crew - Srg. Curtis and his wife on left, and Dale and Char, S.P.A. members on right.

Srg. Curtis and his wife on left, and Dale and Char, S.P.A. members on right.

Well Sergeant Curtis, the officer who found her there along the road suffering, and his wife and two children have decided to adopt this sweet girl! They all came to see Olivia at the vet's office today. Srg. Curtis said he just can't quit thinking about her, and that once his wife saw Olivia's picture, it took her all of 3 minutes to say, "We need to adopt this sweet dog." And there is more!!!

The Sandusky Register (Sandusky Ohio's main newspaper) did a really nice story about Olivia and her color photo was on the front page of their paper. Someone recognized her as their neighbor's dog and called and told me the entire story, and that is just this beginning. IT GETS MUCH BETTER!!!

The day before (yesterday), the Sandusky Register printed a short article about the dog warden finding 6 puppies taped shut in a box and placed along State Route 250, a very busy road.

When the woman who called me saw Olivia's picture, she also remembered seeing the article about the pups taped in a box and discarded and immediately went to the pound to identify the pups. She said she realized that Olivia (her neighbor's dog who was kept in the garage and allowed to run the neighborhood) and all of her 6 puppies had suddenly disappeared.

We could tell Olivia had recently given birth. The puppies are about 9 weeks old.

So what does this mean? This means that this couple's neighbor, a single mother, taped up Olivia's six 9 week old puppies in a box and placed them along a busy highway!

I told her that S.P.A. has a special fund that was begun 4 years ago when someone locally taped their pregnant beagles back legs together to try to kill the pups inside of her. We started a REWARD fund to to award to anyone who could turn in the guilty party, and people soon donated over $1,000. The woman who knew who did it was afraid to testify, so no one was prosecuted. We offer this money to anyone offering information leading to the arrest and conviction of an animal abuser. They must be willing to testify.

Well, the wonderful folks who called me today ARE WILLING. The dog warden is aware of this and CHARGES WILL BE FILED!!!

This doesn't happen nearly often enough in these parts. Although $1,000 is one heck of a lot for us to give to this special couple who are willing to

testify, it is money that was earmarked for this purpose to encourage people to get involved and to help stop at least some of the horrible atrocities done to the animal in this area. Horrible things that people get away with. This will send a clear message to others that animal abuse will not be tolerated!

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Good Good news, wouldn't you say?

PART 3

LATEST UPDATE - JANUARY 24th, 2005

Dear Fellow Animal Advocates,

Many of you who are familiar with "Olivia's Story" will appreciate the following headline:

Lea Bullion, Sandusky, Ohio Found Guilty of 6 Counts of Animal Abuse & 6 Counts of Abandonment!!!

RECAP:

1. Srg. Todd Curtis, a Perkins Twnsp. Police Officer, called me (Barbara McGrady) in Fremont , Ohio (Sandusky County) and asked our organization to pick up this dog to attempt to save her life on December 26. No local rescues (in Erie County) would help this dog, who was hit by a car on Milan Road in Sandusky, Ohio (Erie County) and left for dead. Srg. Curtis was very worried that she was not going to make it. He had stopped traffic along Milan Road, covered her with his coat and called for backup.

2. Two members of S.P.A. drove immediately to Sandusky to pick Olivia up and rushed her to our vet's office here in Fremont. We then drove her to Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine for emergency surgery to repair broken bones.

3. I called the Sandusky Register (Sandusky's local paper) and informed them of the rescue by Srg. Todd Curtis of this dog. I thought it would make a good human interest story for their paper since Curtis was an officer in Sandusky, and also thought that maybe the good citizens of Sandusky might be willing to send in donations to help our small organization pay the estimated $2,000+ bill at OSU.

4. Mary Ann Leone, a resident of Sandusky, saw the photo of Olivia in the register and immediately called me. She said she recognized the dog and that she had belonged to her neighbor and was neglected for a long time. They had fed her on occasion and knew it was only a matter of time until she would be hit by a car.

She also told me that the day before there was an article in the Sandusky Register stating that 6 pups had been found along Milan Road, TAPED SHUT IN TWO BOXES, she put two and two together and thought that maybe these were the six pups that seemed to be missing from her neighbor's residence along with Olivia. She said the pups, according to the article, had been taken to the pound.

I asked her to go to the pound to identify the puppies, and that if she were willing to testify, and if her testimony led to the arrest and conviction of these pups, that S.P.A. would award her $1,000 from our special ANIMAL ABUSE AWARD FUND for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone guilty of animal abuse.

5. Mary Ann Leone immediately went to the dog pound and indeed identified the puppies. She told the warden that she was willing to testify that these pups were indeed Olivia's puppies and were under the care of her neighbor, Lea Bullion, 100 block of E. Iroquios Trail, Sandusky, Ohio.

6. Srg. Todd Curtis went to pay Ms. Bullion a visit, and Lea Bullion finally admitted to taping the puppies shut and setting them along this busy road's edge.

7. On Friday, January 21st, 2005, Bullion pleaded no contest to six counts of cruelty to animals and another six to abandonment, and was found guilty! Each count is a second-degree misdemeanor and punishable by 90 days in jail and a $750 fine. Her sentencing is February 3rd (ONLY 10 DAYS AWAY!!!!)

8. Once she is sentenced, a $1,000 check will be awarded to Mary Ann Leone. Ms. Leone has said that she will then be giving the check back to SPA to help with Olivia's expenses. I plan on talking to her and asking that she allow us to place this money back into our ANIMAL ABUSE AWARD FUND so that in the future, others might be more encouraged to report animal abuse.

The other animal welfare organizations in Sandusky, Ohio (Erie County) said they were not willing to help unless they knew the owner of the dog. You see, many rescue organizations in Ohio say that, "Only their dog pound is legally able to take in stray dogs." BALDERDASH!

An attorney who is an incredible animal advocate that we are good friends with checked this out with the State of Ohio. It is only the "Attorney General's OPINION" that dogs wardens be the only ones that can take in stray dogs.

You know what they say about opinions. This OPINION was never taken before the supreme court and written/enacted as law.

A few years ago, S.P.A. received a letter from our county's prosecutor (Tom Stierwalt) instructing us to discontinue taking in stray dogs, stating that they were to go exclusively to the pound. How much sense does that make? My neighbors can take in a stray dog, but we, a small rescue organization that takes in stray dogs, fully vets them and places them in loving homes are breaking the law?

To make a long story short, our prosecutor received a letter back from our attorney stating that S.P.A. WILL CONTINUE TO TAKE IN STRAY DOGS, and that anyone who challenges us is more than welcome to take the issue to the Ohio Supreme Court.

So, even though we are a small, grassroot organization, I told Srg. Curtis that we would indeed drive to Sandusky and take full responsibility for Olivia (an unowned, stray dog at that point) and take full responsibility for any and all medical expenses, as well as her placement once healed. She needed help, regardless of who had been responsible (and I use that term loosely) for her.

S.P.A. is asking that you take a few moments to email The Honorable Judge O'Brien who will be sentencing Bullion on February 3rd at 11 am. Implore him to impose the maximum sentence upon Lea Bullion, who was found guilty of disposing of Olivia's six 9 week old puppies by taping them up in two boxes and tossing them out along a very busy Milan Road without giving there well-being a second thought.

As everyone knows by now, there is a strong correlation between animal abuse and human violence, and anyone who performs heartless acts of cruelty and abuse without any regret or feeling of conscious should be regarded as a dangerous member of our society and most certainly punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Please let Sandusky, Ohio's Municipal Judge O'Brien know that you feel very strongly that Lea Bullion should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, not only in judgment of her unthinkable act which resulted in Olivia being struck by a car as she searched for her puppies, but to also impose the maximum sentence to serve as a reminder to others that animal abuse is a serious crime and one that should be taken seriously.

Also, please remember to thank Judge O'Brien and his court for finding Lea Bullion guilty of this heinous act.

Please send all emails to lkias@ci.sandusky.oh.us.

Each and every email will be forwarded to Judge O'Brien.

Latest developements

UPDATE on LEA BULLION: the woman who taped Olivia's 6 puppies up tight in two boxes and threw them along Bogart Rd.

Keep in mind that Lea Bullion admitted that she did this to Srg. Curtis and to the probation officer Lesa Kias.

She pleaded NO CONTEST and was found GUILTY of 6 Counts of Animal Abuse and 6 Counts of Abandonment!!! Each count is a second-degree misdemeanor and punishable by 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.

Once she discovered the possible maximum sentences, she asked to obtain the services of a public defender, which she did at that time (AFTER she was found GUILTY). She has asked to retract her plea of NO CONTEST and has changed it to NOT GUILTY. So her sentencing has been delayed.

It seems to me, though, that she is on record as admitting her guilt, and was found guilty by Judge O'Brien. I believe her request to obtain legal council at this point was made only in an effort to reduce her sentencing.

I am not an attorney, but my hunch is that in the end, the Judge will be more apt to not look favorably on Lea Bullion's retraction of her original admission of guilt to Officer Curtis and to Lesa Kias, a probation officer who helps the judge by conducting all pre sentence investigations.

We feel so strongly that Lea will be charged, that we awarded Mary Ann Leone her check, for $1,000 for her willingness to identify Lea Bullion.

She, as you know, handed it back to us.

We then gave her a $50 Gift Certificate to Applebee's, and the special notebook that I put together of the email letters of PRAISE AND THANKS that I received form over 45 of you.

Her eyes immediately welled up with tears. She was so moved. She said she hopes others have learned that

it is VERY IMPORTANT to be willing to speak up against perpetrators of animal abuse crimes.

I had called the court ahead of time to ask if it would be ok to bring Olivia as a special surprise to Mary Ann. It worked out PERFECTLY! You see, she works at the court house. I asked where her office was while my husband and Olivia waited in the lobby. I asked her to come to the lobby so we could get photos of handing her the $1,000 check.

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She followed me and when she turned the corner and first saw Olivia, I had my digital camera ready... Here was that shot:

Olivia immediately recognized Mary Ann. Remember, Mary Ann was Lea Bullion's neighbor. Lea allowed Olivia to run free all around the neighborhood, and Olivia was often neglected, according to Mary Ann.

She and her husband Mike often gave Olivia treats when she came to their door to visit.

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Here is another shot of my giving Mary Ann the special notebook comprised of your letters of praise and recognition...

Keep in mind, that the entire time, Lea Bullion and her mother stood in the lobby, waiting for her newly appointed public defender who went into the Judge's Chamber to speak with the Judge.

Many people who work at the courthouse came to the lobby to meet Ms. Olivia and to give her a big hug.

It was really something. She made a big fuss over everyone, and really loved the attention!

In fact, they are taking up a collection at the courthouse to help pay for Olivia's bill.

Following is a detective who works at the courthouse with Mary Ann, Olivia and the canister that they made.

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I kept my eye on Lea, watching her behavior. She was only about 20 feet away. It was amazing, she glared at me with hate beaming from her eyes.

We left the courthouse after the presentation to Mary Ann, and after everyone had a chance to personally meet Olivia, and went to Meadowlawn School to receive the $612.71 check that the staff and kids had collected

for Olivia's Fund throughout the month of January!

We were so surprised and delighted! What a nice thing for them to do!!!

Image -  - Yours truly accepting check from Principal Andres.

Yours truly accepting check from Principal Andres.

We didn't take Olivia in at that time as Srg. Curtis will be taking Olivia to meet the kids in each of their home rooms in two weeks. All of the kids are really excited to meet her, Principal Andres said. Principal Andres did want to come to the car to personally meet sweet, loving Olivia, so he did. So did his secretary.

Don't worry, WILL BE CALLING THE COURT TOMORROW and promise to keep you posted of events as they unfold.

I was told that essentially, Lea's obtaining the services of a public defender will simply delay the sentencing. The judge did receive all of your emails asking that the maximum sentence was imposed. It was reported in the Sandusky Register that the court received over 40 emails, most asking that Judge O'Brien impose the maximum sentence.

If you haven't written asking that the maximum sentence be imposed, you may still do so at: lkias@ci.sandusky.oh.us.

Please let Sandusky, Ohio's Municipal Judge O'Brien know that you feel very strongly that Lea Bullion should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, not only in judgment of her unthinkable act which resulted in Olivia being struck by a car as she searched for her puppies, but to also impose the maximum sentence to serve as a reminder to others that animal abuse is a serious crime and one that should be taken seriously.

Also, please remember to thank Judge O'Brien and his court for finding Lea Bullion guilty of this heinous act.

Hopefully, the fact that she has obtained a public defender and changed her plea to not guilty

(after admiting guilt) will not affect her sentencing.

Each and every email will be forwarded to Judge O'Brien.

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