from the Canton Municipal Court, Case No. 2016 CRB 04547
Plaintiff-Appellee KEVIN R. L'HOMMEDIEU TASHA FORCHIONE
Canton Law Department
Defendant-Appellant MICHELA HUTH
Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon.
Earle E. Wise, J. JUDGES.
Defendant-appellant Julie Roth appeals her conviction and
sentence from the Canton Municipal Court on one count of
keeping in excess of 5 dogs or cats. Plaintiff-appellee is
the City of Canton.
OF THE FACTS AND CASE
On September 25, 2016, a complaint was filed alleging that
appellant possessed, harbored or kept more than five dogs or
cats, or any combination thereof, at her residence in
violation of City of Canton Codified Ordinance Section
505.15(A), a misdemeanor of the third degree. At her
arraignment on October 20, 2016, appellant entered a plea of
not guilty to the charge.
Thereafter, a jury trial commenced on February 8, 2017. At
the trial, Shirley Moore, who is employed by the City of
Canton License Bureau, testified that she assisted in
investigating violations of the City of Canton's
ordinances. Moore testified that she investigated a complaint
at a residential address located at 1260 Fulton Road, N.W. in
the City of Canton. She testified that in March of 2015, a
Canton police officer had told her that he had been at the
residence the day before and that appellant might be
violating Canton's animal limit ordinance, Codified
Ordinance 505.15. The ordinance provided, in relevant part,
KEEPING IN EXCESS OF FIVE DOGS OR CATS; PERMIT AND
person shall be permitted to own, possess, harbor or keep
more than five dogs or cats or any combination thereof in an
area zoned residential except that where litters have been
born to a residing animal, after they have been weaned, a
four-month grace period shall be granted to permit the
distribution of such young animals.
The officer indicated that Moore needed to send a letter to
appellant notifying her of the ordinance and informing her
that she was only allowed to have five animals and that
having more than five was a misdemeanor of the third degree.
Moore sent a letter to appellant on or about March 11, 2015.
After receiving the letter, appellant came into the police
department and admitted to having nine cats and four dogs.
According to Moore, when Moore told her that they would give
her thirty to sixty days to comply with the ordinance,
appellant said "Well it doesn't matter, I'm
leaving in July. I'm moving." Transcript at 9. On
September 22, 2016, Moore and a Canton police officer went to
appellant's house and saw seven dogs and two cats in the
fenced-in yard. Appellant, who was still living at the
residence, indicated that she had additional cats inside. No
one else was present at the home at the time. When asked if,
during her investigation, she learned whether anyone else
lived at the house, Moore testified that she had not. She
testified that appellant had never indicted to her that
Michael Roth owned any of the animals.
On cross-examination, Moore testified that the purpose of the
ordinance was to ensure that people were taking care of their
animals and that no one had complained about appellant's
animals. On redirect, she testified that there was no
exemption in the ordinance ...