On the morning of March 1, 2013, the Jones family from Chili, NY, was preparing to their children off to school when their pets Rocco, a German Shepherd/Siberian Husky mix, and Chloe, a Siberian Husky, broke a steel tie out in their yard and got loose. Unfortunately, while the dogs were unattended, a cat lost his life. Rocco and Chloe have been accused of killing the feline and faced being put down, but the Jones family fought proving one of their pets’ innocence, Chloe is still on death row.
“As the owners of these dogs, we would like to make it known that we acknowledge responsibility for our dogs’ escape,” said Helen Klimeck-Jones, owner of both dogs. “However, there is no evidence that the dogs tangled with any animal–no blood, no scratches, nothing except the cat owners’ testimony.”
The cat lived 3/4 of a mile away from the Jones’s home. He was a 9-years-old outdoor cat. The feline would come to the property for breakfast but during the rest of the day he ran free.
“After the incident, the cat ran off and disappeared for 24 hours,” said Helen. “The cat owner says that the two dogs were tearing the cat up, but there was no evidence of blood or scratches on either dog.”
After filing a report with Animal Control, Rocco and Chloe were picked up and taken into custody. Rocco was released on April 8, 2013, but according to Helen, the release was only possible after the Jones were “coerced into pleading guilty rather than have both of the dogs executed.”
Chloe is detained at a local animal hospital but fortunately, she receives excellent care by hospital staff and the Jones are able to visit her daily.
Helen said her dog Chloe has been portrayed as guilty even when there is insufficient evidence to support this claim. The cat’s owner gave his testimony at the sentencing hearing and presented a photograph of some fur tufts in his yard. He also showed photographs of the cat’s body taken by the veterinary hospital 24 hours after the incident occurred.
“We do have foxes and coyotes in our area. Anything could have happened in that 24 hour period,” said Helen.
Something else that worries the dog’s owner is the possibility of a bias against her pet and the breed.
“The cat owner is a deputy in the county sheriff’s office and a neighbor of the town supervisor. I feel that he was given some level of preferential treatment,” said Helen. “At the request of the town justice, we hired an animal trainer to evaluate both dogs to determine if they are/were dangerous, but the justice did not listen to the behavior specialist’s report and had already made up his mind to the sentence before we walked into court. The town justice says that the town of Chili is no place for huskies, and the town supervisor says that [Chloe] will never come back to Chili.”
With the help of the Lexus Project, the Jones hope to prove Chloe’s innocence in an appeal yet to be scheduled. They anticipate Chloe will be allowed to go back home, but if the Joneses lose the appeal, Chloe will be executed. Another option is to have Chloe be re-homed, possibly out of state or placed in a sanctuary.
If you would like to learn more and follow the case visit Help Save Chloe and Rocco.