A Sciotoville, Ohio man claims his neighbors attempted to kill his dogs because they disapprove of his marriage to another man. Did an Ohio couple commit a hate crime against a dog? Joshua Pelfry-Hammonds and his husband, Jeremy, live in an apartment complex in Sciotoville. Just next door is a couple Pelfry-Hammonds told me he’s known basically all his life. He said he never had a problem with them until he moved in next door and they discovered that he was gay. “I’m blown away that somebody could hate like that. Not only hate like that but try to harm a little animal. It’s not okay to try to kill an innocent animal because you don’t like their queer owner.”
According to Pelfry-Hammonds, the manager of the complex warned him about the pair before he moved in. “She said they have a history of trouble.” However, he said he wasn’t too worried. He’d known the couple for years and he says he usually gets along well with neighbors. “I’m 40 years old and I have never had an issue with a neighbor. None. Not one. Until these guys.”
Joshua said it was clear from the beginning that the woman next door disapproved of his family. “When we moved in, I let them know that my husband wasn’t my brother.” He said the man next door told him he had no issue. His wife felt differently. ” She made it very clear that she didn’t like my husband because we are gay.” Despite this, he says the neighbors remained civil. “The wife was never nice. She wasn’t disrespectful but she wasn’t friendly.”
Joshua told me the problem started at the end of May. He and his husband, Jeremy, took a rug out of storage and rolled it out on the patio to straighten it out. The rug extended onto the neighbor’s patio by about twelve inches. He admits he forgot to ask the neighbor’s permission. That, he said, caused her to explode in anger.
That’s when the man next door told Pelfry-Hammonds his wife no longer wanted him to visit or talk with them. In fact, she told him he’d have to choose between her and the neighbors.
Pelfry says two small, decorative rainbow flags that he placed in planters on his patio disappeared, so he ordered a larger flag. While he was outside trying to figure out where to place the flag, his neighbor asked him if he “was trying to advertise his lifestyle.”
This time, he attached the flag to his door inside the storm door to keep it safe.
Tensions boiled over between the neighbors just a few weeks later. Pelfry-Hammonds said he was on his patio with his husband and two dogs and the neighbors were on their adjacent patio with the wife’s sister.
“Her sister called my dog over. And as soon as the dog got her patio, the wife flipped out and said ‘get your effing dog off my patio.'” It got even uglier from there. “They screamed a few slurs at us and said they were going to do everything they could to get us kicked out. They called us queers and faggots.”
Joshua admits things got pretty heated on both sides. In fact, he called the police. But then what had been a war of words, took a more sinister turn. Did an Ohio couple commit a hate crime against a dog?
After the blow-out, cooked chicken bones started to appear in odd places on Pelfry-Hammond’s patio. That set off alarm bells. When he first moved in, he’d noticed that his neighbor’s sister, who also lives in the complex, left out scraps of cooked chicken to feed stray cats. At the time, he spoke to the neighbor and her sister. “I asked them not to put out chicken bones because the dogs might eat them and be hurt. Cooked chicken bones will splinter when a little dog eats them.”
Pelfry-Hammonds and his husband have two very small dogs, a Yorkiepoo and a Shih Tzu-poodle mix. He calls them his babies.
Shortly after the argument, cooked chicken bones began appearing on his patio. “I go out and there are chicken bones littered on the path and behind our apartment. On our patio. Right in the path and in between planters. Both of us have started going out and checking. We find cooked chicken bones.” He doesn’t believe the bones were left there by an animal. “They are placed too well to be accidental. She’s trying to get one of my dogs to chew up cooked chicken bones.
He said the bones have turned up multiple times a week since the argument over the dogs. “We’re finding them two or three days in a row. Sometimes three days a week. I’m not going to stand for it. Those are my babies. We never had that issue with bones until all this blew up.”
Pelfry-Hammonds took this video to document one of the incidents.
It’s Not Okay To Kill An Innocent Animal
Fed up with the situation, Pelfry-Hammonds decided to post about it on social media. He said the messages poured in. “You wouldn’t believe the people that have messaged me today.” He shared screenshots of messages from former residents of the apartment complex who also claimed to have issues with the neighbors.
He also told me he’s concerned because his neighbors have criminal backgrounds. A check of court records showed that the husband has a length arrest history and the wife was also arrested some time back on drug charges.
Joshua said he plans to contact the police this week to file a report.”Here’s the deal. If it had been dropped before the bone thing, I would have let it go. It won’t stop. Before they tried to kill my dogs, I’d be let’s just keep to ourselves.”
“It’s not okay to try to kill an innocent animal because you don’t like their queer owner.”
According to Pelfry-Hammonds, both he and his husband have health issues. Right now, he is taking classes toward a degree in Microbiology and hoping to get back to his job as a server at Ponderosa sometime soon. “We’d like to get back to as close as normal as we can get.”
Ohio dog hate crime