(Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct a misspelled name.)
ELYRIA — Police arrested an Elyria man and, along with the Lorain County dog warden, rescued three dogs after a good Samaritan concerned about their well-being flagged down officers Thursday.
The dogs’ owner, Allan Durning III, 55, of 16th Street, was arrested on charges of prohibitions concerning companion animals, one fifth-degree felony and one second-degree misdemeanor, failure to disclose personal information, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, and possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, both minor misdemeanors.
Following his arraignment Friday in Elyria Municipal Court, Durning was being held in Lorain County Jail on $18,960 bond, according to the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office. His next court appearance is set for Monday, according to court records.
According to a police report, two Elyria police officers patrolling the 200 block of 16th Street at 7:11 p.m. Thursday were flagged down by someone who said there were dogs dying in a camper parked at 250 16th St.
The property owner had allowed Durning, who previously was homeless, to stay in the camper on the property for about two years, officers learned. One year into his stay, Durning bought five pit bulls, according to a police report.
Kris Kinsey, who flagged down the officers, said he was one of Durning’s friends and that one of the dogs had died “apparently due to malnourishment and heat exhaustion” about a week before.
He said the dogs never were allowed outside the camper, and that a second dog had died Thursday.
Prior to flagging down the officers, Kinsey had noticed one of the remaining three dogs was breathing heavily, panting and had dried blood around its mouth.
Kinsey told police he had called Durning multiple times to tell him about the dogs but that Durning never answered his calls, according to a police report.
Kinsey also told officers Durning had disposed of the dead dogs at an unknown location, according to the report.
The Lorain County dog warden was called to the scene after officers could not get into the camper. Durning arrived shortly after and refused to stop walking when police ordered him to stop.
When Durning finally stopped, he told officers two of the dogs had died of parvo virus. Asked if they might have died from being kept in an enclosed camper in the summer heat, Durning “refused to acknowledge that possibility,” according to a police report.
Durning also refused to give officers any identification, saying he was “secure in his personal identity,” according to the police report, and refused to give any identifying information except his first name. Officers asked three times before they arrested Durning for failure to disclose personal information.
A search of Durning’s backpack after his arrest turned up less than 1 gram of marijuana and a wooden pipe containing suspected marijuana residue, according to Elyria police.
Kinsey helped a deputy dog warden round up the remaining dogs and they were taken into custody by the Lorain County dog warden, according to the police report.