WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Warren Police charged a teen with animal cruelty Wednesday after they say he confessed to having sex with a small dog.
Police said because the crime reportedly occurred a year ago, the 16-year-old boy cannot be charged under the city’s new bestiality law. Instead, he was charged with four counts of animal cruelty.
The police department was contacted by Trumbull County Children Services to investigate the incident, which Children Services said happened at the teen’s former home on Homewood Avenue. The boy is now in the custody of Children Services, and the family no longer lives there.
Police said two dogs lived in the home with the boy at the time, but he admitted to having sexual contact with only one of the dogs. The teen has been in trouble with the law previously, according to police.
Warren became the first Ohio city to make bestiality illegal after the case of a Warren man, Salvador Rendon, who investigators say had sex with two dogs multiple times for six years. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 60 of which were suspended in April.
Under that law, a person convicted of the crime could be sentenced to up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Jason Cooke, who was instrumental in the law’s passage, said more needs to be done at the state level. He said Senate Bill 195, which would make bestiality a second-degree misdemeanor, remains stalled in committee. If not passed by December 31, the bill would have to be reintroduced.
“It’s a shame that people at the local level have to take the initiative to get laws in place when there’s already a bill,” he said of the Warren legislation.