Mastiff That Mauled Pomeranian to Death Leaves the City

Owner of bullmastiff was cited for dog-at-large, but no criminal charges filed.

The Bullmastiff that attacked and killed a Pomeranian on the way to the Spooky Pooch Parade has been deemed “dangerous,” but the owner had already volunteered to remove her dog from the city. 

Before a “dangerous dog” hearing on Thursday, the dog owner and the city came to a settlement agreement.

The owner of the Bullmastiff, Lakewood resident Jennifer Wilms, was cited for dog-at-large, and is not expected to contest the citation. She voluntarily moved her dog “Simon” — a dog she’d owner for only two weeks prior to the incident — to stay in Cleveland. 

“She feels horrible that this happened,” said assistant law director Jennifer Mladek, adding that Wilms left city hall before the hearing began. 

She could not be reached for comment.

No criminal charges were filed.

The Lakewood Police Department police report — filed by animal control officer Jack Crawford — noted that the incident took place in the 1480 block of St. Charles Avenue at around 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

The dogs and their owners were headed to the Spooky Pooch Parade, about a block away, when the leashed Bullmastiff (Simon) attacked.

The Bullmastiff “grabbed the Pomeranian and swung it around by the neck,” said Capt. Gary Stone of the police department, adding that the Pomeranian was costumed for the parade.

Michael Bowen, the assistant to the mayor, said he hears about 25 to 30 “dangerous dog” cases per year.

“A lot times the cases are settled before they even get to me,” he said. 

Darwin Dogs October 25, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I'm sorry to see this report, as I was attending the same hearing you did. The dog was *not* deemed dangerous, as the hearing never ensued to determine if the dog is dangerous. Also, Wilms left because she had settled the matter, and the hearing was canceled, which is different than leaving before the hearing began. I'm sorry to see this spin put on the story.
Colin McEwen October 25, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Darwin Dogs: Section 3 of the agreement notes that the "Parties agree that Simon meets the definition of a dangerous dog as defined by the Lakewood Codified Ordinance." It's in the agreement — not sure if you got it, but it spells out several times that the dog is in fact "dangerous." So did assistant law director Jennifer Mladek when I asked. And, as Michael Bowen noted, the hearing was the part where Mladek came in to present the outcome of the settlement, just moments after someone in the meeting (you?) told those in attendance that there was no story and we could all go home.
Steve October 25, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Out of sight, out of mind. Way to go Lakewood, put the problem in another city, just not ours. They should have at least ordered Ms. Wilms to get training for the dog, with her covering the cost. That would seem fair to me, and greatly helps the dog too.
Colin McEwen October 25, 2012 at 02:18 PM
But, I would agree that she didn't need to be at the meeting because the issue had been settled already.
Darwin Dogs October 25, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Honestly, Lakewood seemed prepared to handle it, or at least gave the impression of such. Wilms did not wish to go forward.
Darwin Dogs October 25, 2012 at 02:24 PM
I apologize, my intonation did not come across correctly. It was essentially more of a "no contest" to the dog being vicious as opposed to the dog being declared vicious. You are correct as far as the statement of law goes.
kandysmom October 25, 2012 at 02:28 PM
I didn't see a spin on this story. It read "Before a “dangerous dog” hearing on Thursday, the dog owner and the city came to a settlement agreement." which is what you said and it doesn't say the dog was dangerous, it says she was cited "was cited for dog-at-large". However, regardless of what you say or anyone else, the dog obviously is dangerous to other small dogs, or the owner had no business having him out if she could not maintain control of him. Maybe since she had just had him 2 weeks, she should have muzzled him, as I am sure she didn't know how he would react in circumstances after only 2 weeks of possession. I don't think the dog is to blame as much as the owner is.
kandysmom October 25, 2012 at 02:33 PM
I agree, the owner got off too easy. She should not be allowed to have another dog in Lakewood unless she takes "dog parenting" classes! Too many people get dogs and do not know how to contain them. Especially if you get an older dog. You do not know what kind of life that dog has had or what he is capable of doing in just two weeks time. That dog should not have been put in that situation, then none of this would have happened.
Cheryl Luikart October 25, 2012 at 05:00 PM
while I realize no amount of money can replace the pom who was killed, is the owner of the mastiff providing funds to replace the dog or pay for the cremation of the deceased dog?
SMLakewood October 25, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I am a dog lover. In fact I have an English mastiff. I think this was a really unfortunate accident and I believe the owner of the mastiff does feel terrible. She adopted the mastiff, so she must be an animal lover. She made a mistake and it's something she has to live with. I feel terrible for the owners of the pomeranian. Nothing can bring their pet back. Hopefully the mastiff will be placed in a home where the new owner understands the strength of the breed and takes appropriate measures when the dog is in a public place.
Steve October 25, 2012 at 06:29 PM
"Michael Bowen, the assistant to the mayor, said he hears about 25 to 30 “dangerous dog” cases per year." Having lived here in Lakewood for 50+ years, yet I have never heard of any of these cases. Is the Mayor trying to hide things from us, (sunshine law). Why did none of this come to light when in 2008 they passed the BSL law against owning vicious pit bulls. I would have to say that WE (Lakewood) never really had an issue with pit's, only those that picked and choose what THEY wanted us to hear. It's time to quit BSing the citizens of Lakewood. END BSL in LAKEWOOD, as it serves no purpose according to the Mayors office. People problem, not dog. Get it right...
Hope R October 25, 2012 at 10:36 PM
As a volunteer dog walker for CAC & Rescue owner I am constantly reminded how very important it is to really evaulate a dog before you have them around other dogs or people. I understand she didn't know because she only had her two weeks,but 2 weeks is long enough to evaluate a dog! It's important previous owners rehomeing pets be TOTALLY honest when giving them away. I get not wanting to scare people off but you have to let people know if they have any issues. If this lady had basic behavior training she would have seen the signs BEFORE the dog was close enough to do damage.They clearly give off signs before escalations occur. NEVER allow your dog walk close to other dogs if you don't know dog behaviors. Know what to watch for. I know what precautions to take with my dogs and the dogs I work with. One major rule, keep them far enough away from unfamiliar dogs period! No exceptions. I feel for her, I feel for the owners of the little pup who died , but I REALLY feel sorry for the Mastiff. Untrained and not handled properly she will most likely do it again. She will most likely end up losing HER life. When is EVERYONE including Lakewood politicians going to understand it's NOT the dog. It's the owners who have be responsible if they are going to own a dog, any dog. It's more than just feeding,vetting, walking and petting them. You must receive proper training and be responsible before you are the reason someone's pet or child ends up mauled or dead.
john nafal October 26, 2012 at 04:50 PM
This was terrible,owners fault.i feel so bad for your loss. I have good news though.It seems that the lakewood building department is finally working.It took almost a year but the just closed zappitell's pizza on madison for several code violations.Even if they fix these violations who would want to eat from there after that.thank you lakewood.


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