Bones the Mastiff buried in secrets

Bones was entrusted to Kathy Sutter; Sutter claimed the dog was stolen while she attended a funeral, but the Mastiff was later found buried in the backyard of her former residence.

The Lexus Project, a New York-based legal canine advocacy group, is known for taking on tough cases involving dogs who have been wrongly impounded. The husband-wife team took a special interest in the case of Bones, a Dogo Argentino, who was seized during a murder investigation, and worked hard to find him a rehabilitative rescue placement once he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Lexus Project president, Robin Mittasch, ultimately placed Bones in the care of Northwest Ohio Underdog Rescue, where she received regular updates on the 130-pound dog for more than nine months. However, when NOW Underdog Rescue’s Kat Sutter claimed Bones was stolen in a home burglary, which resulted in only the dog, his toy, and blanket being taken, the Lexus Project became suspicious. Allegedly, Sutter did not file a police report, but became involved in search efforts for the missing dog.

After she reported Bones missing, Sutter moved to another residence.

Tragically, a tip that came into the Lexus Project recently revealed a gruesome truth. Bones was not stolen. He was buried in the backyard of Sutter’s former home. Necropsy findings on Bones have yet to reveal his cause of death, but his and the bodies of six additional animals were also exhumed, including of Sasha, an Alaskan Malamute who Sutter also reported missing last year. The identities of both dogs were confirmed by microchips, leaving no question as to who they were but making thousands of people wonder how they got there. Compounding the horror was Sasha’s necropsy shows she was apparently shot in the head.

However, in spite of the fact at least two dogs Sutter reported missing were found buried on her former property, no criminal charges have yet been filed against her. As of yet these acts have not been deemed a criminal matter by local authorities. While questions persist as to the exact sequence of events that led to the secret burial of seven animals in a suburban yard, one of the biggest questions of all is, why would Sutter claim Bones and Sasha were lost or stolen, when they were both buried on what was once her property?

In an interview, Mittasch admits the case keeps her awake at night. “I’m so afraid that this will die away. That no one will tell his story and no one will stay on this. The way he went was unbelievable and he was such a happy dog. We cannot let this die away.”

Bones did not deserve this. Sasha and the five other yet-unidentified animals did not deserve it either. But we cannot let an unmotivated legal team think their deaths do not matter.

As of October 9, the Toledo Humane Society believed there was insufficient evidence to bring charges against Sutter and the Toledo prosecutors office has apparently determined a deceased animal with an apparent gunshot wound buried in her legal custodians yard is not worth pursuing, even when that person claimed the dog was lost or stolen.

Please contact the Toledo Prosecutor’s Office at 419-245-1975 and kindly ask them to open an official investigation on NOW Underdog Rescue and Kathy Sutter. Be polite. Be professional. But do not let these animals be forgotten.

As for Bones, he at least can rest in peace. After the necropsy is complete, Mittasch intends to have the dog cremated. “Someday he will be buried with me along with the ashes of my other pets.”

Let’s make sure she is not the only person who will never forget Bones.