Officials will take case against operator of local dog rescue to prosecutors

The body of a large dog found Wednesday has been identified as "Sasha".


The Toledo Area and Wood County Humane Societies, and a Toledo Veterinarian, have gathered new evidence following the discovery of more than a half dozen dogs and cats found buried at the former site of an animal rescue in West Toledo .

On Monday morning, the Executive Director of the Toledo Area Humane Society (TAHS) will take the information gathered, this week, to the City of Toledo's Chief Prosecuting Attorney Dave Toska for the potential prosecution of Kathy "Kat" Sutter.

Six days ago, the body of 'Bones' the dog was the first to be found buried in a shallow grave next to a garage that once served as a make-shift kennel for "Bones", and other animals, during their time at Sutter's Northwest Ohio Underdog Rescue.

"Bones" was sent to Toledo, by an animal welfare group called The Lexus Project, after he was cleared of involvement in a New York state criminal investigation.

In January, Sutter allegedly told the Lexus Project that the dog was stolen from her West Toledo kennel.

Wednesday evening volunteers, with the Lexus Project, returned to Sutter's Luann Avenue property after an examination of Bones' corpse revealed that he was severely underweight at the time of his death and may have succumb to the effects of starvation or malnourishment; no official cause of death has been determined.

WNWO was the only station there, on Wednesday, when volunteers recovered the remains of one more large dog and several more cats found buried under a shed on Sutter's property.

WATCH: WNWO shoots exclusive video of the animals bodies being found

An autopsy of the large dog's body found on Wednesday identified it as "Sasha", another animal Sutter had allegedly said was missing after breaking out of a kennel.

Instead, the Lexus Project says a source has told them that "Sasha" was shot in the head and buried on Sutter's property.

Dr. Steven Graber, the veterinarian performing necropsies on the animals found at Sutter's Toledo property on Wednesday, told the Lexus Project "1 wound that could be significant...a through & through wound-fairly circular in her neck region. This hole appeared to go into the tissue...I just find it odd that this big dog did not have her head attached to her body"

Sutter now operates her Northwest Ohio Underdog Rescue at her Perrysburg residence and because of that the Wood County Humane Society initiated a welfare visit on behalf of the animals currently in her care.

'We were able to do a welfare check today, at this point in time all the animals in Kathy's current care are being well taken care of," said Wood County Humane Society shelter manager Erin McKibbon.

After talking with Sutter on Thursday, and coming to an agreement that she would meet with TAHS at some point, the Toledo Area Humane Society says Sutter did not return their calls on Friday.

TAHS executive director Gary Willoughby says despite that set back he is moving forward with the case.

Willoughby said Thursday that he was concerned about the evidence they had against Sutter because no TAHS investigators were at the scene on Wednesday, when most of the animal remains were recovered.

Volunteers have told WNWO they had to do the search Wednesday because the occupant at the property, who gave them permission to search the grounds, was being evicted by Sutter on Thursday morning.

On Friday, Willoughby also told WNWO that he knew Sutter could not be charged with making a false police report on the theft of 'Bones" because she never filed one.

The only report filed was submitted by a member of the Lexus Project , in January 2013, because they suspected Sutter had lied about filing the necessary paperwork.

The Lexus Project says that Sutter also posted a missing poster of Sasha on her rescue's Facebook page but never followed up with an organized search effort.

Sutter has refused two in person attempts by WNWO reporters to obtain a comment on the allegations against her.

Willoughby did tell WNWO that he's now been told that Sutter is trying to lay blame, for the demise of the animals found at her property, on her son who recently died in a motorcycle accident.

The Lexus Project is now in the process of collecting donations to fund the necropsies and testing done on Bones, Sasha and the other animals found on Sutter's property on Wednesday.