Juggalos and Followers of the insane clown posse cant even raise pets .
STERLING HEIGHTS — Kadie Russell and Justin Baker desperately want their dogs to come home, but “even if they won’t give them back to us,” said Russell, “we just want them to live.”
The couple’s four dogs — part boxer, part pit bull — are held at the Macomb County Animal Shelter in Clinton Township pending the outcome of a June 28 court hearing in 41-A District Court.
Police confiscated the animals June 1 after the dogs allegedly attacked Warren resident James Stempnik, 59, while he was riding his bicycle near Metropolitan Parkway and Mound around 1:18 p.m.
Stempnik said he was heading to Dodge Park from his home near 14 Mile and Ryan when he spotted the barking dogs in a yard at the corner of Almont and Metro Parkway.
He continued past the fence, assuming they were contained, but he later learned they had gotten loose from Baker and Russell’s house next door and had wandered into a neighbor’s unsecured yard.
Within seconds, he said, they were chasing him, pursuing him for nearly 2 1/2 blocks as they latched onto his right foot and left calf. He eventually halted his bike, fearful of crashing.
“It’s very painful,” he recalled. “It’s just gushing blood. I’m sure I screamed.”
Stempnik said he attempted to fend off the dogs with a camera encased in a plastic grocery bag, but the camera flew out and broke, leaving him with only an empty bag to wave at them.
Soon after, “somebody pulled off of 16 Mile and got out of their car, and people in general started stopping their cars,” he said. “I’m sure they were calling 911. I was very grateful for that, very thankful for that. I’m … very fortunate that I was on a busy road in the middle of the afternoon.”
Passersby gave Stempnik a bath towel and disinfectant to dress his wounds, while another person smacked the sidewalk with a baseball bat to distract the animals.
Police and animal control officers were able to catch two of the dogs near 16 Mile and Mound, and the other two deeper into a nearby subdivision, said Sterling Heights Police Lt. Dale Dwojakowski.
Russell, 20, now faces ordinance violations for vicious dog attack and possessing unlicensed dogs. She said she’s willing to take responsibility for her pets’ escape and feels terrible about the incident — “We feel bad that somebody was bit; our heart goes out to him and his family,” she said — but doesn’t want the dogs, which she deems puppies, to pay with their lives.
She said she’s convinced someone released the animals from her fenced backyard in the 36900 block of Almont. After the incident, she said, she found a latch on the inner part of the gate broken and a wooden stake, sunken into the ground outside the gate, moved.
She said she and Baker, 22, had added the stake and lined the bottom of the fence with chicken wire and bricks to make sure the dogs couldn’t burrow out.
Though multiple “Beware of Dog” signs are taped to their fence and porch, Russell and Baker insist the animals — named Blumpkin, Juggalo Jay, Poopstain and Jamie Madrox — have never been violent.
Baker said they host barbecues almost weekly and frequently have in excess of 25 guests, including children, at their home. He said they’ve gotten letters signed by their veterinarian, attesting that the animals aren’t aggressive.
“They’re puppies,” said Russell, who said she bought the dogs for $300 last fall from acquaintances going through a home foreclosure in Eastpointe. “They like to roughhouse and play.”
Baker and Russell allege some of their neighbors have antagonized the animals in the past by yelling, throwing rocks and spraying water at them. They said a woman recently approached them to say that, just prior to the attack, she saw intoxicated men kicking the dogs near Rosie O’Grady’s, a bar on Mound.
While they’re allowed to visit the dogs at the shelter, as of June 11, Russell said they hadn’t because they wouldn’t be allowed to touch them.
“I just can’t see my dogs without being able to hold them,” she said. “They’re like my kids. I love them just like I love my daughter.”
Russell said the dogs are her constant companions while she’s recuperating at home from chemotherapy treatments for a softball-sized tumor lodged between her heart and lungs.
“These dogs — they’re there when everybody else is gone,” she said, while Baker added, “It’s empty now without them here. The whole house is empty.”
Russell said she believes that fewer people would be concerned with the incident if the dogs weren’t part pit bull.
“If this would have been four pugs, or four poodles, or four Dalmatians,” she said, “it wouldn’t have even been an issue.”
Lt. Luke Riley of the Sterling Heights Police Department said the dogs’ fate will be determined by the upcoming hearing. Had Baker and Russell not been able to supply documentation of the animals’ vaccinations, shelter officials would have euthanized the dogs to test for rabies, he said.
Stempnik — treated by paramedics on the scene and administered antibiotics and a tetanus shot later — said he’s mending slowly. He’s been able to work, perform household chores and ride his bike, he said, but his ankles and wrist remain tender.
He said he’s unsure what outcome he’s hoping for in court.
“I really defer to the officials in Sterling Heights,” he said. “They have a protocol that has to be followed. I’m not asking for any special consideration or anything like that.
“I personally think the dogs were in this pack mentality,” he added. “I was there, I saw them: They were circling. I think the dogs, (in) my opinion, they’re a nuisance because there are four of them. They had this pack mentality that they were not going to stop.”
Stempnik said how the dogs escaped means little to him; the bottom line is, they did.
“What kind of incident do you need — when some school kid is hurt, when it’s a mom pushing a stroller?” he said. “I don’t think (it’s the fault of) the dogs in and of themselves; they’re just doing what dogs do. It’s up to us to control them … us being humans.” (JUGGALOS ARE SUB HUMAN AS THEY CANT RAISE DOGS)
He said he was still in the process of wading through insurance coverage details and hadn’t yet contacted an attorney — and wasn’t sure if he would. At press time, he had not spoken to Baker or Russell about the incident.