I am a “dog foster” and legal advocate for a rescue group known as Joseph’s Legacy in Middletown, Ohio. In October 2018, I wrote to The Lima News concerning what happened to a rescue dog named Evie that was in the Warren Correctional Institution. I was the foster mom of Evie before she entered into the prison dog program.
Since last fall, we have worked hard with Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to create and implement prison dog program policies. With the help of ODRC faculty and a committee comprised of animal agencies, on Oct. 1st these policies are set to be rolled out online. These polices, when I last read them, included some protections for the animals placed in the prison’s care and required a more collaborative effort for animal agencies involved in the program.
Unfortunately, this does not mean that Joseph’s Legacy will return to the program. This tragedy was very hard for our rescue. But this does mean we did our best to ensure protections for others who participate in the program like we promised to Evie, that her death would not be in vain.
Currently, Benjamin Holliday who was indicted for her death, is set for a jury trial in Warren County Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 17 and 18. Spectators are ordered to not wear any shirts “supporting a dog organization or with pictures of the alleged victim.”
We still plan to fill the courtroom as animal advocates tend to do because we are her voice.
Katherine Hartung, Hamilton, Ohio