The owner of a dog training business in Cleveland who was arrested after four dog owners filed complaints against him has taken his own life.
Cleveland Police said Stephen Kinder, owner of Kinder Dog Training in Cleveland, shot himself around 12:30 p.m. at James Ashbury Drive.
He had been charged with four counts of animal cruelty.
Friends said he had been despondent since the charges were filed and threatening messages posted on social media.
An officer had gone to Kinder Dog Training at 3575 Adkisson Dr.
early Monday morning.
A woman from Atlanta said when she picked up the dog in Georgia seven weeks after leaving him at the center, the dog appeared malnourished, injured, and had sores on its body.
Two other dog owners said they tried to pick up their dogs, but were told they would not be ready for another week.
One who was later able to get her dog said it appeared malnourished with ribs and leg bones protruding through the skin.
Cleveland Police said, "On 2-4-2018, Sasha Eastburn filed a report with the Cleveland Police Department in reference to her daughter's dog being neglected at a dog training facility in Cleveland. Mrs. Eastburn stated that her daughter, Abigail Eastburn, arranged a four week training session with Kinder Dog Training for basic obedience training. She stated the arrangement was to include boarding and caring for the dog for the duration of the training. The arrangement was made with Stephen Kinder, the owner of Kinder Dog Training. The dog was dropped off at Kinder Dog Training at 3575 Adkisson Drive on 12-17-2018. Mrs. Eastburn stated at the end of the four weeks, Abigail was contacted by Mr. Kinder stating that he was trying to work through some issues with the dog and would like to extend the training for an additional week at no charge. She stated the training was then continued for two more weeks making the training a total of seven weeks. She stated at the end of the seven weeks, Mr. Kinder tried to extend again, but they did not agree to the extension. She stated Mr. Kinder then agreed to meet her at his home in Dalton Georgia to return the dog to her. Mrs. Eastburn stated when the dog was returned, he appeared to be very malnourished. She also stated the fur on his feet and legs were stained from laying in feces and urine. She stated the dog also had several sores on his legs that had not been there before. She stated the dog was then taken to VCA RIVER in Chattanooga for veterinary treatment. While transporting the dog to the vet, Mrs. Eastburn stated he had episodes of vomiting and diarrhea.
"During the vet assessment, the veterinarian noted concerns of poor nutrition, parasite infection, bacterial/viral infection, maldigestion, and inflammatory bowel disease. It was also noted that there was staining of the dogs feet and legs that appeared to be from feces and urine. The vet also listed the dogs weight at 64 lbs. Abigail advised me that when she dropped the dog off, he weighed approximately 95 lbs. She also provided me with photographs of her dog before and after being left in the care of Kinder Dog Training. In the photos, it is apparent that the dog has lost a great deal of weight. His bone structure is very pronounced through his skin. You can also see staining on his feet and legs as well as open sores. The dog has since been transferred to his regular vet in Atlanta Georgia. Due to the condition of the dog after being in the care of Stephen Kinder, Mr. Kinder is being charged with four counts of cruelty to animals, once for each time he extended the training."