Woman complained before fatal dog attack

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – An Ohio woman fatally mauled by two of her neighbor’s dogs had installed surveillance cameras to capture what was happening next door and made numerous calls to authorities about the animals, according to a published report.

Klonda Richey, 57, also built a fence and turned her home into a compound to protect herself and her cats, the Dayton Daily News reported.

Richey was mauled by her neighbor’s mixed-breed dogs on Feb. 7, police have said. She was found unclothed in front of her house, her coat apparently torn off by the dogs. Police said the dogs were shot to death by responding officers.

The dog owners were released from jail without being charged days after the mauling. Police continue to investigate the death.

Friends and co-workers of Richey said she had told them for the past three years that she lived in fear of the dogs and worried especially that they would harm her cats.

Records showed that 13 complaints – mostly anonymous – about the dogs at her neighbor’s home were made to the county’s animal warden and that Richey or someone using her phone number called the county’s dispatch center 23 times about the neighbor, according to the newspaper.

Mark Kumpf, director of the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center, said none of the 13 complaints were about a dog attacking someone. The complaints involved neglect, dogs barking, running loose or chasing people, he said.

The dogs did not have a history of biting anyone or killing another dog, he said.

“This is a tragic accident,” Kumpf said. “There’s nothing that would be foreseeable or doable to prevent a situation like this from happening.”

Investigators made numerous visits to the house in response to the dog complaints, but there was no evidence the owners broke any laws in connection with the complaints, he said.

“Under Ohio laws, for a dog at-large violation to be issued, the officer must actually witness the dog off the property and not under the owner’s immediate control,” Kumpf said.

Richey had filed a civil stalking protection order against her neighbor, but it was denied last April, the newspaper reported. She said her neighbor had threatened her cats and allowed his dogs to chase her.

According to court documents, the neighbor said he never threatened Richey or her cats. He did say that he wished the cats would stay inside because he “would really love not to have my cars scratched.”

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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