Animal advocates react to alleged dog-shooter in court

11:29 PM, Jan 17, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Convicted felon Ramone "Raymone" Clements was arranged in U.S. District Court Thursday.

Clements, 42, of Cleveland, is facing up to ten years in prison for felony possession of ammunition. He's accused of the Nov. 25 shooting of a bull mastiff dog, now named Forrest.

Forrest was tied to a tree in Cleveland Heights' Forest Hills Park, shot and left for dead. 

In court Thursday were Forrest's adoptive owners and PAWS animal rescue workers who helped care for him following the shooting. Robin Stone, of Solon, has adopted Forrest. 

She's disappointed that the misdemeanor animal cruelty charges have been dropped against Clements.

"It's basically like Forrest really handed him on a silver platter and now he really doesn't get his justice. The nice thing is he's a dog and he doesn't seem to know that," said Stone.

"What happens to the next Forrest whose abuser is picked up but he doesn't happen to be a convicted felon with bullets in his pocket? He's going to face a $250 fine? A slap on the wrist?" asked Patti Harris, Forrest's other adoptive parent.

Stone is hoping Forrest's story will bring about a reform in the law when it comes to animal cruelty. She calls a change of that kind a win-win situation.

"The thing that we need to remember is that the people that hurt animals tend to hurt children, elderly and people too," Stone.

In this case, Stone's theory isn't far off.

Clements' felony charges go back to rapes committed on victims, under the age of 13. He pleaded guilty to the crimes in 2006. He was released from prison in 2011. The crimes disqualify him from legally having a weapon.

Clements' pleaded not guilty on the ammunition charge.  He will be back in court on Jan. 25.


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