For the past three years, Klonda Richey, 57, had lived in fear of her neighbors’ dogs. Because of her fear, she built a fence and turned her home into a “compound” in an effort to protect herself and her pet cats from dog bites. Unfortunately, her efforts were in vain. On February 7, 2014, Ms. Richey was mauled to death by her neighbors’ two mixed breed dogs. She was found in front of her home, unclothed – her coat apparently torn off by the attacking dogs. Police who responded to the scene shot and killed the dogs.
Friends of the deceased woman reported that Ms. Richey had expressed her fear of the dogs and worried that her cats would be harmed. Records show that at least 13 complaints had been to the Montgomery County animal warden and 23 calls from Ms. Richey’s phone were recorded. While none of the complaints involved actual attacks, the dogs were reported to be running loose and chasing people. Investigators had made numerous visits to the dog owners’ residence in response to the complaints, but there was no evidence that the owners had violated any laws.
Last year Ms. Richey had filed for a civil stalking protection order against her neighbor, but it was denied. According to court documents, Ms. Richey reported that her neighbor had threatened her cats and had allowed his dogs to chase her.
Following the fatal attack, the dogs’ owners were initially jailed, but were released without charges being filed. Dayton police are continuing their investigation.
For the past several years, 30 to 35 fatal dog attacks have been reported annually in United States. More than 350,000 people are treated in emergency rooms each year for dog bites. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year.
The Ohio dog bite attorneys at Clark, Perdue & List have successfully represented numerous dog bite victims. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a dog attack, we may be able to help.