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Mahoning residents terrorized by 2 dogs

Published April 12. 2011 05:01PM

A roomful of Mahoning Township residents came to complain about two large pit bull dogs owned by Joseph Frey of Orioles Drive that continue to roam the township freely terrorizing residents and killing livestock. The residents told supervisors neither the police nor the county K-9 unit have done anything to resolve the situation.

"We wanted to start here with our municipal officials [you] and ask that something be done to deal with this," said Mahoning Drive East resident Shawn Everett who lives more than a half mile away from Frey.

Everett told supervisors her son raises livestock and he watched helpless as the dogs killed four chickens. Her son had to deal with the horrible site that was left after the dogs broke into the pen. She said a complaint was filed with the police but nothing was done to deal with the dogs.

Supervisor George Stawnyczyj asked if a complaint was filed with the County K-9 Unit. Everett said, "The K-9 unit told us the police have to deal with it."

Another resident, Christine Steigerwalt said she thought there was a statewide dangerous dog act to deal with animals like them.

Mahoning Township resident Elaine Hughes, who lives two miles away from the dogs' owner, told supervisors she was at the meeting last June when the dogs destroyed two of her peacocks. "The last time this happened they came and promised to pay $50 which I accepted even though that would not replace even one of the dead birds. They never paid me and then one of them came back and smashed my mailbox. At that point K-9 told me we would not have another problem later and a week later both of them were back and tried to kill my cat."

Supervisor George Stawnyczyj told the residents, "There is a second amendment right in this country to defend yourselves and your property."

Chairman John Wieczorek quickly interrupted Stawnyczyj and told the audience he did not advocate any vigilante tactics to deal with the dogs, but did say he believed the township should meet with the police and the County K-9 officer Bruce May to discuss the issue and how it can be remedied.

Stawnyczyj said, "Your son has a right to defend his livestock and property if it is threatened." But Everett said she could not see her son trying to hurt the dogs. She said, "This is my son's passion and it is upsetting as a parent to see what these two dogs have done to him."

Hughes told supervisors the residents have pursued the issues with police and with the K-9 officer and no one has been able to do anything to solve the problem.

Resident Connie Christman said she has a six year old child who plays outside and it terrifies her to know these dogs are roaming free and could attack her child. "When we complained to the K-9 officer, he said that if they took those dogs from Frey, he would probably just replace them."

Wieczorek reiterated that they are now on the record and he would let the residents know when they can schedule a meeting among the county officer, the police and supervisors.

Supervisor Travis Steigerwalt said, "It's time we take this on and stop making these people jump through hoops. This is a problem and I think its reached the level that we should deal with it."

These dogs were originally reported to supervisors a year ago at a township meeting as part of a litany of several complaints about property conditions and possible violations of building and property codes.

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