On November 20, officers called to the home of Joel Ruth discovered a gruesome sight: the family dog was dead, her throat cut. That evening, Joel Ruth’s wife, Monica, called 911 to report that her husband had left the home with a bat and shovel in the car. Monica Ruth said he was going after her brother-in-law.
When LaGrange police arrived, Monica Ruth told them her husband had been drinking. She said when he came into the house, Joel Ruth was carrying a knife. He was covered in blood.
She told police Joel Ruth said he was going to “do to (his brother) what he had just done to the family’s dog,” before he made a throat cutting gesture and left the house, reported the The Elyria Chronicle Telegram.
Police found Ruby the dog buried in a shallow grave. Pools of blood were found on the property where the dog’s throat had been slit.
Joel Ruth’s brother advised police he had been caring for Ruby that day, but had called his brother to come for the dog when Ruby started chasing his chickens. He said Joel Ruth had come for Ruby earlier but had not returned.
Appearing in Elyria Municipal Court, Joel Ruth, 50, was charged with aggravated menacing and animal cruelty, which in Ohio are misdemeanor charges.
All too often, animal abusers in Ohio starve, torture, even kill companion animals, yet they receive no jail time. Goddard’s Law (HB 274) would make animal cruelty against companion animals a felony in Ohio, however the bill has stalled in the Senate Agriculture Committee, where it is expected it will die on December 31, 2014. Nitro’s Law was the first step towards making animal abuse a felony in Ohio, and Goddard’s Law should be next. (See current Ohio animal laws here.)
Time is running out for HB 274 to pass. Ohio Alliance for Animal Cruelty Reform asks people to “Please call Senator Keith Faber at (614) 466-7584. When you are told to call Senator Cliff Hite at (614) 466-8150 please let them know that you will be calling him as well, but that Senator Faber has the ability to move this bill through committee and onto the Senate floor.”
Joel Ruth’s pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. at the Elyria Municipal Court. On the same day, a peaceful rally sponsored by the Nitro Foundation will be held in support of the maximum penalty allowable by law and justice for Ruby. The rally is scheduled at 12:30 p.m. at the Elyria Municipal Court, 601 Broad Street in Elyria, Ohio. Click on the Facebook event page for more information.
Click here to sign petition written by the Nitro Foundation asking that Joel R. Ruth receives maximum sentence allowable by law.
Follow Justice for Ruby on Facebook. The Ohio Alliance for Animal Cruelty Reform, a page set up supporting Goddard’s Law/HB 274, is also on Facebook.