April 20, 2021

lieverthuis

affection for others

Leetonia man pleads not guilty to felony animal cruelty charges

John Arsuffi, 63, was indicted by the grand jury earlier this month on nine counts of animal cruelty

John Arsuffi, 63, Leetonia, indicted on nine counts of animal cruelty, all classified as felonies of the 5th degree

LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) — A Leetonia man facing felony animal cruelty charges pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday, according to the Morning Journal.

John Arsuffi, 63, was indicted by the grand jury earlier this month on nine counts of the charge.

The indictment stems from an incident in January in which the Columbiana County Dog Warden received a complaint from a power utility employee working in the area about animals living in deplorable conditions. Ultimately, two dogs were found emaciated but alive, and seven were found deceased, all from apparent starvation, according to a press release from the Columbiana County prosecutor’s office.

While previously classified as misdemeanor offenses, the cruelty of companion animals was elevated to the felony level by virtue of “Goddard’s Law,” named after the late Cleveland-area
broadcaster, Dick Goddard, who was a long-time advocate for animals’ rights throughout Ohio.

The Morning Journal reports that Judge Scott Washam will be requesting that the case be moved to the docket of Judge Megan Bickerton to avoid a conflict of interest, as he worked with Arsuffi years ago.

Arsuffi remains free on a $15,000 bond.