New York

Bones,  was a 7 year old neutered 130 lb Dogo Agentino, from the New York City Department of Health and the NYCACC. As Bones had certain behavioral quirks as a result of his earlier training, at the recommendation of a number of Ohio rescue groups, we contacted and arranged for the dog to trained with Kat Sutter, at NWO Underdog Rescue.

Ms. Sutter appeared to be achieving positive results in addressing his behavioral issues and we received regular updates until sometime in September 2012, when all contact ceased. The arrival of Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath (we had some 42” of water in our house and no electric or cell service for 22 days) intervened, making the lack of contact much less noticeable.

In January, 2013 we received a call from Ms. Sutter to the effect that, while she was attending her father’s funeral someone broke into her garage and stole Bones, along with his favorite toy. Ms. Sutter’s story lacked credulity in numerous ways, including the fact that a police report was never filed and Ms. Sutter was taking no steps to search for him or put up flyers seeking his return. Notwithstanding our misgivings regarding her behavior, The Lexus Project, through its volunteers in Ohio, undertook to report the dog missing and put up flyers and sought to find him.

It was during this period that much anecdotal knowledge was conveyed to us regarding Ms. Sutter’s refusal to allow anyone to see Bones or visit her facility during the months immediately prior to his disappearance, and we also learned that another 100+ lb dog named Sasha had also gone missing in September 2012 prior to Bones, with no explanation regarding where she was and no attempt to search for her by Ms. Sutter. After tracking down numerous leads regarding purported sightings (all of which were unsuccessful) the trail went cold.

Late September 2013, we received an email telling us that she knew what had happened to Bones and where his body was (as well as Sasha’s body). According to this person Bones had been sick and rather than take him to the vet Ms. Sutter abused and neglected him and failed to provide proper sustenance and left him in a feces filled crate to slowly starve to death. After he died she forced her adult son to bury the body in her yard. We followed up on these emails and as a result arranged, (with consent ) for our volunteers to disinter Bones' remains. The remains were exactly where we told us they would be found. As it was raining, we did not have the ability to similarly disinter Sasha’s remains (we are informed that there was a dispute over $500 Ms. Sutter sought for training Sasha and as a result of the dispute, she put a bullet in her head and buried her under one of the sheds). The yard had an extreme odor of decomposing bodies and it seemed like there were other bodies buried on the property. Based upon what our contact told us, Ms. Sutter regularly failed to provide food, water or care for the dogs, even to the extent of not removing feces from their crates. As it appears there were a number of dogs that simply ceased to reside with Ms. Sutter, without any explanation of where they went, it is thus our belief and fear that similarly neglected them and  their bodies are similarly buried on the property.

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