YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Youngstown man insists he’s not doing anything wrong with his dogs. Local humane agents and the city’s law director seem to agree with him, but that hasn’t stopped animal rights activists from targeting him.
Demetrius Rogers is tired of harassment from animal activists over his dogs.
“They said that I was mistreating them but as you can see, my dogs are healthy,” he said. “I have dog food, I have their shot records, I have all that.”
Rogers said he’s been a target for years because he keeps his animals outside.
Last week, activists took to social media about him. He just wants it to stop.
“To leave me alone,” Rogers said. “To find something else to do with their lives. There’s people out here starving.”
“It was portrayed on social media that we don’t respond to calls, that we don’t go out and do our job, we don’t do any of this,” said Mary Louk, with Animal Charity. “When in reality, we were there. There were no violations.”
On Monday morning, Youngstown Law Director Jeff Limbian took a look for himself at the situation and said he’s in agreement — Rogers isn’t breaking the law.
“Most people don’t like to see animals kept outside — it doesn’t mean that it’s illegal,” Limbian said. “As long as there’s protection from the elements and it seems as though this gentleman is doing that.”
By midafternoon, Rogers had put in a new kennel for his mastiff, Moose. He also bought straw for the doghouse so Moose can stay outside in colder weather.
“I just want to be left alone,” Rogers said.
In the meantime, directors with Animal Charity said the misinformation about this case and others like it hurts their ability to raise donations.
“If they continually do this, eventually, they could actually put us out of business because we will no longer be able to operate,” Louk said. “If we can’t operate, there will be no one out there saving animals.”
For now, Limbian said the city will investigate claims of abuse, but would rather see activists call with their complaints and not take matters into their own hands.