Cruelty charges dropped against Cleveland cockfighter: Animals in the News

lenny rooster.JPGView full sizePolice confiscated Lenny from men who were fighting roosters to the death in a home on Cleveland’s West Side. He’s a gentle bird who seems to enjoy being petted.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Animal cruelty charges filed against a 53-year-old Cleveland man who hosted cockfights at his West Side home were dropped Tuesday.

Jose Pena, of West 30th Street, pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct and was ordered to pay court costs of $222. More than 60 counts of cruelty and illegal animal fighting were dismissed in the plea deal with city prosecutors.

Pena was arrested March 2, when police raided his home after hearing roosters screaming and men cheering. Officers encountered about 35 men and found three dead roosters and a cockfighting ring in the attic. The officers then found 43 roosters and several hens in a shed in the back yard.

jose pena.jpgJose Pena 

Eight of the roosters had serious injuries and were euthanized at the Cleveland Kennel, where another died on its own. Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary took in the remaining 37 birds. Five of them were treated for illness or injuries.

After three legislative attempts in the last six years to increase the punishment for cockfighting, Ohio remains one of 10 states, and the only Great Lakes state where the blood sport is a misdemeanor.

Cruelty to animals also remains a misdemeanor, though the Ohio Alliance for Animal Cruelty Reform, weatherman Dick Goddard and Rep. Bill Patmon are trying to change that. A bill, known as Dick Goddard’s Act, would make cruelty a felony. Learn more at

Rescued hens: Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary in Ravenna is taking in 300 hens from a California farmer who is getting out of the egg business and giving away 50,000 hens. Anyone interested in adopting white leghorn hens is asked to email the sanctuary’s director, Annette Fisher, at Include a telephone number. Learn more at

Puppy mills: The Ohio Department of Agriculture is accepting public comments on the proposed regulations for high-volume dog breeders until Aug. 29;, 614-466-2732 or 8995 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg, 43068. A public hearing is set for 9 a.m. Aug. 29 at the Reynoldsburg address. The Animal Law Coalition and many other animal advocacy groups are calling the regulations inadequate. Learn more at

Neuter in Euclid: The Euclid Beach Feral Cat Project is offering to pay for 100 cats living in the 44110 and 44119 ZIP code areas to be neutered at the PetFix Northeast Ohio low-cost clinic at 885 East 222nd St. Make an appointment by calling 216-732-7040 and mention the project. Details:

Leo-Lake Humane.jpgView full sizeLeo needs a home.

Walk for pets in Lake County: The Lake Humane Society’s 19th annual Mutt Strut pledge walk starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Mentor Municipal Center, 8500 Civic Center Blvd. Details:, 440-951-6122.

Dogs and wine in Garrettsville: The Candlelight Winery hosts its ninth annual Pug Day from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at 11325 Center Road. All leashed dogs welcome for wine, live music, raffles and a cornhole tournament. Proceeds go to Ohio Pug Rescue. Details:

Senior dogs party: The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs’ 13th annual Summer Scoop runs from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Oak Grove picnic area on Valley Parkway off Ohio 21 in the Metroparks’ Brecksville Reservation. Dogs 7 years old and older are welcome for contests, games, prizes, paw painting, agility course, raffles, food, ice cream and an old-dog Olympics. Dogs compete for best in coolest summer attire, sunglasses, canine couple, goofiest, human/dog look-alike, oldest dog and more. Admission is free. Details:, 216-485-9233.

turtle.JPGView full sizeThe Cleveland Metroparks, which include the West Creek Reservation in Parma, where this turtle lives, will ask voters for more money this year to operate the park system.

Turtles: The fifth annual Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp contest features turtles. The spotted turtle is a threatened species in Ohio, and the eastern box turtle and Ouchita map turtle are species of concern, a step below threatened. The winning photographer receives $500 for a photo of any native turtle taken in the state before the Aug. 16 deadline. Teen photographers can compete in the youth category. Details: Stamp sales have raised more than $84,000 to support wildlife diversity through habitat restoration, land purchases, conservation easements, wildlife and habitat research and endangered-species protection.

Dog walk, swim in Berea: Hand Me Down Dobes Rescue hosts Dog Days of Summer from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Wallace Lake, off Valley Parkway in the Mill Stream Run Reservation. Admission is $10 for a walk with dog trainers, swimming, raffles and doggie ice cream;

CleMetZoo rhinos.jpgView full sizeRhinos at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Great Danes in Fairview Park: Members of Harlequin Haven Great Dane Rescue introduce people to their gentle giants from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Petco, 20999 Center Ridge Road. Other Dane owners are invited to bring their dogs. The group has 17 Danes in Bethel, Ohio, that need homes;, 937-379-2231.

Wine in Rocky River for rhinos: The Cleveland chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers hosts the second annual Winos for Rhinos wine-tasting event from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at the Wine Bar, 1313 Linda St. Tickets are $50 for five wines, appetizers, live entertainment, silent auction and rhino-created door prizes: or call 216-661-6500, Ext. 4452. Proceeds go to the rhino sanctuaries in Africa, Asia and Indonesia.

Walking dogs in Parma: The Parma Animal Shelter, 6260 State Road, needs dog walkers Saturday and Sunday mornings and Sunday and Monday afternoons. Details: or visit the shelter between 10 a.m. and noon or 5 and 7 p.m.

An acre for cats: Holy Cat Whiskers, of Madison, seeks to buy an acre of commercial or agricultural land to build a cat shelter. The 13-year-old nonprofit’s current shelter on Hubbard Road is collapsing. Call 440-796-8801. Details:

Roosters need homes: Township residents are asked to consider adopting a rooster from Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, which still has 17 rescued from cockfighting operations in Cleveland and Ashtabula. The sanctuary in Ravenna took in 37 roosters in March, when Cleveland police raided a West Side home, 19 more from a police raid in early May in Ashtabula County and nearly 80 more from another raid May 16 on Cleveland’s West Side. “This problem will continue until Ohio makes cockfighting a felony offense,” Happy Trails director Annette Fisher said. Many of the roosters enjoy being held and petted. Learn more at or call 330-296-5914.

Cat sanctuary broadcasts live: Caroline’s Kids Cat Sanctuary in Concord Township is streaming video 24 hours a day, seven days a week on Follow the daily lives of the cats in the sanctuary’s kitchen by clicking on the link at

Cleveland dogs: Vaccinated, neutered dogs are available for $61 at the Cleveland Kennel, 2690 West Seventh St., off Interstate 490, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. See photographs of the temperament-tested dogs at, call 216-664-3069 or email The kennel is nearly full.

Dog walk in Parma: The second annual Tails for Trails dog-walk fundraiser for the West Creek Conservancy starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at the West Creek Reservation. Register at 10 a.m. Parma police dog demonstration at 1 p.m. Details:, 216-749-3720.

Car show in Avon for pets: The Friendship Animal Protective League of Lorain County hosts its third annual Wheels for Wags car show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at Avon United Methodist Church, 37711 Detroit Road. Entrants pay $10 and the first 150 get dash plaques and goody bags. Spectators enter free, but donations of pet food and cat litter are appreciated. Music by Frank LaManna. Presents, food, bake sale, door prizes, raffles, Avon police dogs and a pet blessing. Details:, 440-937-4555.

petfix ebfcp.jpgView full size

Horse show in Hinckley: Angels Haven Horse Rescue hosts a horse show at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at Achin’ Acres Farm, 1777 West 130th St. Admission is free for spectators.

Dog wash in Cleveland: The Rescue Inn washes dogs from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at Style Mutt, 3525 Warren Road, for donations of $7 for small dogs and $10 for large dogs. Details: 440-409-0454..

Pizza in Oberlin for pets: Dogs are welcome on the patio at Lorenzo’s Pizzeria, 52 Main St., between 5 and 11 p.m. every Monday through Aug. 26, and 10 percent of patio proceeds will be donated to Partners With Paws of Lorain County. Details:

Pizza in Port Clinton for pets: Dogs are welcome on the patio at the Pizza Hut at 2680 Ohio 163 between 5 and 8 p.m. every Monday through Aug. 26, and 10 percent of patio proceeds will be donated to Island Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary in Port Clinton. Details:, 855-329-5460.

Low-cost neuters in Geauga: The Geauga Humane Society and PetFix Northeast Ohio offer low-cost sterilization of cats and dogs — $30 to $70 based on weight — for low-income owners Wednesday, Aug. 28, at the shelter, 15463 Chillicothe Road, Russell Township; 440-338-4819. You don’t have to live in Geauga County.

CleMetZoo sloth bear.jpgView full sizeThis sloth bear lives at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. 

Senior dogs calendar: The last day to submit a senior dog’s photograph for the Sanctuary for Senior Dogs’ calendar is Tuesday, Sept. 3. The entry fee is $10 to have the photo included in the 2014 calendar and receive a calendar. Details:, 216-485-9233.

Stuffed animals at the zoo: Children 2 through 11 who bring a stuffed animal to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo enter free Saturday, Sept. 7, for special activities. Details:, 216-661-6500.

Senior safari: Adults 55 and older get free admission to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for Senior Safari from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6. Details:, 216-661-6500.

Dogs swim in Westlake: Dogs are invited to swim from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at Peterson Pool at Clague Park, Clague Road and Hilliard Boulevard. Admission is a $2 donation to the Westlake Animal Shelter. Last year, more than 400 dogs participated.

Dinner in Grafton for horses: Angels Haven Horse Rescue hosts a dinner and bake off from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at the North Park Community Center, Novak Road and Elm Street. Tickets are $20. Send checks to AHHR, 13297 Durkee Road, Grafton, 44044, or call 440-781-5060.

alpacas-magical-farms.jpgView full sizeThe huacaya alpaca on the left at Magical Farms in Litchfield in May 2009 still has its fleece, while the others have been sheared.

Picnic in Lorain for pets: The Erie Shores Humane Society in Lorain County celebrates its 30th year of rescuing pets from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at St. Lads picnic area, 4221 Clinton Ave. Tickets are $20 for a steak or vegetarian dinner, raffles, silent auction, entertainment and cash bar.

Summit pets: The Humane Society of Greater Akron hosts its 13th annual Pawsibilities Ball at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Hilton in Fairlawn. Tickets are $125 a person for hors d’oeuvres, dinner, dessert, live and silent auctions, entertainment and a cash bar: 330-487-0333, Ext. 232,

Woofstock in Geauga: Geauga Humane Society’s Woofstock 2013 festival runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at Holden Arboretum. Pet blessing at 9:30 a.m., one-mile dog walk and dog contests. Details: Parking is $5.

alpacas in sun.JPGView full sizeAlpacas sunbathe at Melody Lane Farm in Valley City.

Alpaca care: Learn how to take care of alpacas from 2 to 4:30 p.m. any three weekdays through September for $50 at Melody Lane Farm, 5546 Hartneck Road, Valley City. Register by calling 330-460-2274 or 440-570-6292.

Calendars for Lorain County pets: Send a pet photo and $10 before Oct. 5 to Partners With Paws, and it will appear in the 2014 Pet Pin-Up calendar. Proceeds go to rescue groups. Details:, 440-775-2056.

Farm tours in Ravenna: Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary offers tours every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 26 at 5623 New Milford Road. Admission is $20, free for children 5 and younger, to meet and pet pigs, horses, roosters, goats and hear how they were rescued. Call 330-296-5914 or email

Pasta for pets: The Public Animal Welfare Society of Ohio sells pasta through Dec. 1 at Details:

spotted salamander stamp.jpgView full sizeA spotted salamander graces the 2012 Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp.

Salamanders: Ohio State University offers a 22-page booklet, “Getting to Know Salamanders in Ohio,” with color photographs to learn how to find and identify Ohio’s 24 species of salamanders during “strolls through the woods on cool, rainy days.” Details:, 614-292-1607.

Labels for pets: Heaven’s Homeless Angels in Wickliffe seeks the weight circles from Purina pet food labels to help pay for food and veterinary care for the shelter’s elderly or disabled dogs and cats. Mail labels to Box 654, Wickliffe, 44092.

Volunteers needed in Euclid: Euclid Pet Pals needs volunteers Wednesday and Thursday mornings to help clean the shelter at 25100 Lakeland Blvd.;, 216-289-2057.

Dog bathers needed in Lorain County: Volunteers are needed to bathe dogs at the Lorain County Dog Kennel, 301 Hadaway St., Elyria. Contact United for Animal Justice;

parrot hope rescue.jpgView full sizeParrot Hope Sanctuary rescues parrots and offers them to good homes.

Garage sale items needed: Parrot Hope Rescue seeks donations for its garage sale in September. Drop off in Mantua or Warren by contacting

Farm animals need food: Stearns Homestead, 6975 Ridge Road, Parma, needs donations of canned and dry cat food, apples, lettuce, Cheerios, carrots and cash, mailed to Box 29002, Parma, 44129. Donations can also be made to the farm’s account at the Wilson Feed Mill, 7604 Canal Road, Valley View. Details:

North Collinwood cats: Waterloo Alley Cat Project volunteers neuter and feed feral cats in Cleveland’s North Collinwood neighborhood. Donations are needed. Checks made out to Northeast Shores Development Corp., with WACP in the memo line, can be mailed to Box 19246, Cleveland, 44119. Details:, 216-481-7660.

Low-cost sterilization: Valley Save-A-Pet and 20 veterinarians in Greater Cleveland offer low-cost pet sterilization to low-income owners. More than 1,200 pets were sterilized last year in Greater Cleveland through the Have A Heart program. Call 440-232-CATS (2287) between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays.

Neuter in Parma: The Northeast Ohio SPCA offers low-cost pet sterilization by appointment Monday through Friday; $26 for male cats, $45 for females, $55 for small male dogs, $65 for small females. Vaccinations are given between 9 a.m. and noon, Monday through Friday, at 9555 Brookpark Road; 216-351-7387,

Cat sanctuary in Lake: Caroline’s Kids Cat Sanctuary in Lake County needs cash to help pay its veterinary bill. Mail a check earmarked for vet bills to Box 24068, Mayfield Heights, 44124, or use PayPal at: The sanctuary cares for 270 cats at 7394 Morley Road in Concord Township and is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., or call 440-449-3496 to make arrangements to send a check directly to a veterinary clinic.

happy tails cats.jpgView full sizeHappy Tails Cat Sanctuary offers these cats for adoption.

Cat sanctuary in Geauga: Happy Tails Cat Sanctuary needs Purina dry cat food, Friskies or Nine Lives canned cat food, scoopable cat litter, cat beds, towels, blankets, paper towels, bleach, trash bags, gift cards and cash, which can be mailed to Box 581, Chesterland, 44026. Call 440-759-0076 or email to arrange a time to drop off donations. Volunteers and foster homes are also needed as the shelter is full.

Collies, shelties: Almost Home Dog Rescue of Ohio seeks foster homes. The group pays for veterinary care and food for its rescued collies and shelties. Details:, 740-369-6600.

Golden retrievers: G.R.I.N., Golden Retrievers in Need Rescue Service, seeks members interested in fostering and fundraising; 216-229-0295,

Dog fighting: Anyone with information on dog fighting in Cleveland is asked to call the city kennel, 216-664-3069, or police, 216-621-1234. The Humane Society of the United States offers $5,000 rewards for information on animal fighting; call your local police or sheriff’s office and the Ohio attorney general’s office at 1-877-244-6446 (1-877-AG4OHIO). If the animal fighter is convicted, ask the law enforcement agency involved to write a letter to the Humane Society stating that your tip helped lead to a conviction. Send it to Reward Program, HSUS, 2100 L St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20037, or fax 301-721-6414.

puppy mills.jpgView full sizeA puppy mill protest in Millersburg, Ohio.

Puppy mills: The Humane Society of the United States offers $5,000 rewards for information leading to animal-cruelty convictions of puppy mill operators. Call 1-877-645-5847 (877-MILL-TIP). You can remain anonymous.

Pet food pantry: The People Care Pet Pantry in Portage County provides free pet food to Ohio families facing hardships and is seeking donations of pet food, toys, collars, blankets, beds, cat litter, gasoline cards, index cards, printer paper and cash. Details:, 330-389-5116.

Paying for vet care: The Jake Brady Memorial Fund, named after a beloved Dalmatian, helps low-income families pay for veterinary care for pets with serious injuries or illness;, 440-937-4000. Since May 2006, the group has raised more than $80,000 and assisted more than 85 pets. Donations are welcome.

fairminded fran.jpgView full sizeFairminded Fran sees three black cats looking for food in her school’s Dumpster, and she becomes determined to help them.

Feral cat book: Children can learn about caring for feral cats by reading Linda Elder’s new book, “Fairminded Fran and the three small black Community Cats.” The 47-page paperback follows Fran’s successful campaign to neuter and feed three cats living near her school’s Dumpster. Elder is an educational psychologist and president of the Foundation for Critical Thinking. Order it at or call 800-833-3645.

Ohio rescue: Rescue Me Ohio shares information on rescued dogs, dogs in danger of being euthanized at county pounds, legislative updates, fundraising events, links to pet transportation and financial assistance for pet owners and more; and on Facebook.

Free soothing shelter music: Rescue Animal Mp3 Project, founded by North Canton veterinarian Pamela Fisher, gives MP3 players loaded with music to animal shelters and rescue groups to calm caged pets and boost adoptions. Details:, 330-266-2500.

Send animal news to; fax 216-999-6374; 216-999-4852. Get more animal news at and

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