VIDEO: Dog owner arraigned in Sandusky municipal court

Donna Hansen was arraigned on charges of having a loose and unlicensed dog in court by Judge Erich O'Brien.
Sandusky Register Staff
Feb 28, 2013


Watch the video by clicking on the player below the photo to the right



Hang in there Donna Hansen!

Just a note.
*A ROTTWEILER running around the neighborhood is kind of like a ST. BERNARD running around the neighborhood--ODDS ARE that it is NOT A STRAY, DOESN'T HAVE RABIES, IS SOMEONE'S BELOVED PET, and IS CONTROLLABLE.


The three Rotts that mauled a child to death while he waited for the school bus were someones pets to . That person went to prison because she let her dogs roam the neighborhood .


Deadbeat dog owners.Repeat offenders,wonder if the dog was wormed had its shots and was fed and watered regularly.The animal thing is getting crazy,loose animals including cats are a big problem.Would the mail carrier lie?Fine them expect prompt payment even if it means asking the Dr. employer for a raise.

No excuse the owner knew the consequences and flaunted the law numerous times.
I am sad for the dog but these people broke the law again and again.

dog lover


i agree with you. She has been cited several times since 2007 i beleive. I saw the video. The dog lunged at the officer and he was in putting the dog down.


It has probably never seen the inside of a Vet's office.


you said the words "ODDS ARE". The cop played the odds as he saw it.


Except in this case her Rott chased three people down the street, one of which had to duck into a strangers house to avoid getting bit. All the while the dog was snarling and baring its teeth. It may not have been a stray, and it may not of had rabies, and it may of been someones baby, but it also posed a threat.

Hoss McGee

The new song parody for who let the dogs out is called " who tipped the dog over bang bang bang!

The Bizness

As someone who runs around the city a lot as exercise, you have no idea how terrifying it is when you see a loose dog. I have one run up to me showing his teeth and looking aggressive, and you know what I did? I stopped running, turned to it and yelled at it as loud as I could. Luckily that worked, but I am sure another dog would have bitten me. I have even seen people walking their dogs without leashes, and an owner never knows when an animal may take off to bite someone it perceives as a threat.

I don't know if the officer was justified as shooting the dog, but if a human comes running at an officer with a knife, than damn right he should shoot the person. I see a dogs teeth, the same way I see a knife.


If you watch the video you will see that he was NOT justified in shooting. He was in over his head (obviously the dog wasn't going to jump in the cruiser, which appears to be the only situation the officer was capable of dealing with) and instead of asking for assistance, he decided to just shoot. The dog was not lunging at him. And what about a freaking taser? Do our law enforcement officers now go straight for the kill shot? Are we, as citizens, going to stand by and allow that to happen? This isn't just about the dog being shot. It is about irresponsible pet owners and LE officers who are not capable of making logical decisions in the field.


From what I saw, he was justified!


Nope we are not going to stand and allow that to happen. I for one say "Good Job Officer" you made the right call in putting down a dog who had been charging at other people, and had a history of doing so, and had charged at you (I too saw the video). The cause of this dog's death is an irresponsible owner who truly did not care about the animals safety or well being.


The Bizness,
I agree with you. I don't oppose the lease laws. In this situation, if I heard it right, according to the btl video the officer was there 3 minutes after they were called. In the car cam video the dog wasn't displaying any aggression.


Yet again, an animal pays the price because humans are crappy. The owners should have cared for their dog better--even if the dog slipped his collar, I cannot imagine my dog barking for a long period of time and not getting up to see what was going on. Oh wait. My dog doesn't get tied up outside w/out supervision, so that point is mooot. So on the one hand, the dog had irresponsible owners.

Then the SPD sends in an officer who acted as if it was his first solo call right out of the academy. He acted COMPLETELY inappropriately and like the owners, should pay a price. He pulled his gun as the dog retreated, then shot the dog for simply sitting in its yard and giving off a "don't approach me" vibe. In the 5 seconds the officer stood looking at the dog and deciding to shoot it for NO REASON, he could have easily made the decision so call for the SPD's animal control officer or asked for the dog warden's office to be called in for assistance. Not only did he make very very bad decisions, he then LIED about it!!!!

The poor dog was surrounded by idiots. It never stood a chance. And because of these idiots, he died a horrible, violent, painful death...alone on a cold city sidewalk. Everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves.


Yeah and in those 5 seconds it takes to call for back up or the animal control officer that dog could have attacked. He was right to put the dog down.

BULLISDEEP's picture

Could have attacked but didn't .


Let me clarify: five seconds of the dog doing NOTHING. And the cop proceeded to LIE about that.


I watched the video and lets see here. 1) Dog running at large 2) dog barking at officer and charging neighbors and the mail carrier. 3) I believe SPD doesn't have and Animal Control Officer (budget cuts and all) 4) Dog barks at and charges the officer. It ran down the side of the house then turned around and charged back at the officer. Its on the video. 5) Completely irresponsible dog owners who let their unlicensed dog run around the neighborhood chasing other people over the span of years. And yet some how this is the officers fault?? Oh how did he lie??

Pastor Ron

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights) and Libel and defamation.


Bad owners (who need to stop playing the victim, btw, and admit their part in all of this) do not mean the dog deserves to be killed (for which the officer should not get a pass).


The dog charging at others in the neighborhood and then officer is what got it shot. That is the result of bad owners.


@Pastor Ron
Are you actually a pastor? Your comments don't seem to be that of a religious man. I agree the owner was at fault for not getting tags but your descriptive, judgemental comments about the owner, her lover and lifestyle are really inappropriate for a man of the cloth.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights) and Personal information.

Julie R.

@ Pastor Ron: If the so-called allegations you are making about this young lady's lifestyle have never affected you in any way, why are you being so judgemental?

"Judge not that you may not be judged. Why do you see the speck in your brother's eye but do not notice the log in your own?"


She has sinned against Pastor Ron's god:

"Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD." - Leviticus 19: 28

Second Opinion

leave it to a failed lawyer to use a scripture out of context...


She didn't fail. The judges screwed her. You hadn't heard?

Julie R.

That Biblical saying more than fits your joke courts, too. That's why I've said many times over that GOD HIMSELF must shudder when he sees some of those hypocrites putting on those black robes.


I have a rottie, she is VERY vocal and does "talk" alot. I also know when she barks/growls and MEANS it in a threatening way. Rotties are known to be vocal, some more so than others. Just like a baby, you can tell by the sound of the cry/growl what it what it means.

Hoss McGee

Absolutely right Pastor Ron! And the Crowbar ( Home of the Strange Rangers) having a benefit for her is a joke. She couldn't pay her past fines now they want to help so she can possibly sue the city. Get real that's probably where she hangs out with all her rift raft friends.


Hoss you are right and any sane judge will see the law suit and throw it out and say this is a waste of my time.


Let is be a lesson for those who walk their dog without a leash and them them run, you will be facing the Judge. It is a good example to learn for those who wish to snub the law and think their dog can run wild. Dogs can be up on you in a minute and you cannot defend yourself and there can be serious bodily injury.

The Bizness

Agree with you 100% I am an animal lover but let's face it people are acting like a human was killed which is crazy. It is a dog, some countries eat dog, just like we eat cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, horses, frogs, and just about any other meat source.

Old Duke

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


If you would have kept the dog on that leash it would be dead. I would have shot it too.


I am the proud owner of two large dogs, one is a male rottweiler, we adopted him from the pound less than a year ago, he has been a wonderful addition to our family. However not everyone is cut out to be a dog owner, you have to tag them and take them to the vet. YOU have to provide them with exercise and a safe place to run and play. It is YOUR job to do what is right by your dog and to follow the law when it comes to your dog. I am sure that this family is very upset about what happend to Lucy, however to find out from the court that this is not the first time the dog got out and she was charged with this crime less than a year ago gives me pause to think that this family was not doing all that it should have to keep Lucy safe. And to hear that Lucy has never been tagged, makes me think that if you can't afford $18 for dog tags, maybe you should not own pets. To many people think that having a pet is all fun and games. It is not easy being a pet owner, vet bills, tag fees, and food can run into the hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year. I would like to say that even though this is a sad situation that ended in Lucy losing her life, may her owner stop and pause and take some of the responsibility of what happend to her. It is not all the fault of the officer, as a pet owner you have to take the responsibility of what your bet does. Just my two cents.


Did I get this right in one of the articles (there are so many now). Did Judge O'Brien say she still owed $70.00 from the last conviction. Why is she not in jail for failure to pay fines. I know I sure would be.




Yes she still owes 70 dollars from a past fine.


Paid it yesterday



You act excited that it took her to be in this position to have to pay it. She could have skipped a few meals and used her money for the fine.

LabMan are barking up the wrong tree if that is what you perceived from that post. I quess I could have added some verbiage to make it clear what my post was but I was just clearing up the question.

My stance is if you cannot pay a $80 fine for dog at large the day you are charged you have no business owning a dog. On the side of LE as well.




what a drain on society!


This is a very sad case. The dog had an irresponsible owner who had been cited twice before for having the dog running loose. this means the dog was loose many more times than when the police were called.

The police officer has had no training with dogs, and it was obvious he was not experienced with reading a dog's temperament. He overreacted to a dog that was not showing aggression, and was not a threat to him.

The poor animal paid the price for an incompetent owner and an uneducated police officer.

Toledo recently had a situation where a dog was attacking a woman, and the Dog Warden was able to tranquilize the animal and remove it without a bullet being fired. Toledo officers have training, Sandusky not so much.


"The police officer has had no training with dogs, and it was obvious he was not experienced with reading a dog's temperament."

And his reaction was to shoot before trying ANY OTHER methods. He had plenty of time to call for the dog warden, SPD's animal control officer, pull out a taser, etc. Instead, he opted to fire his sidearm in a residential area, and then proceeded to LIE about the details when the idiot owner came out.

I can't believe that so many people here are willing to give this officer a pass on his extremely poor decision-making abilities. BOTH the owners and this officer should be held accountable for their actions in this incident, imho.


couldn't afford tags or pay back fines..but has money for sweatshirts and a dogs get their tags for Christmas..


It doesn't matter what the circumstances are with the owner and her past history and I know I'm probably going to get slammed again - I did when I posted before about this - I don't know the exact protocol on this but if the officer saw a large breed dog running loose when he approached the scene his first duty was to unholster his weapon to prepare to defend himself. The same would be true if he came up on an unsecure crime scene. Now again I don't know if this is the SOP for any of this and I know I'm going to be slammed for my comments but I don't care!! I feel the officer was within his rights to shoot the dog for coming at him. I had a cocker spaniel - not exactly what you would call a large breed dog or even by any means a "vicious" dog - but I had to take him and have him put down because no matter what kind of training we had done with him he was extremely harsh and rough (for lack of a better explaination) around kids and I wouldn't risk the kids having him around them. I hated having it done but it was a last resort kind of thing. It was the dog or having a child hurt. The child wins every time!! And in this case we need to think about the officer who was just thinking he had a dog coming at him and reacted just as he would have had it been a person with a weapon.


Both parties where at fault IMHO. However, the Judge handled it very well. He was well read and well spoken. In other words, he did his homework.


The officer did the right thing! The owner was irresponsible and did not control her dog. Personally I’m glad the dog got shot.


dogs lunge. dogs protect their territory by barking and lunging and do not pose any real threat. this was overkill. while I agree the owner should be cited and fined, I feel the officer should face disciplinary action as he did not have to shoot this dog.


Enough, Sandusky Register. The comments are being copied and pasted throughout all the posts you have on this. I keep reading the same thing over and over again. Fine. You struck a chord. How many times do you need to hear it before it becomes as stale/rotten as 5 month old bacon sitting in the sun?


It's all about online advertisement dollars. Thus, they will continue to beat a dead horse, or in this case, a dead Rottweiler.


Put yourself in that officers shoes. He did not know this dog or the dogs normal behavior, all he observed and heard from the calls that it was aggressively pursuing people & himself. It is VERY obvious that this dogs owner DID NOT make her dog a priority until it was an issue. That does not mean she or the family did not love Lucy. It is that officers job to protect the citizens and himself in that situation. He was responding to no less than two calls from CITIZENS with problems. If you also note from the video how long the officer was at the house BEFORE the boyfriend even bothered to come out. Again NO Priority. I am very sad for this dog. I am very sad for the coming issues (Undeserved) for the city and this officer. I do not believe in posting blame, but responsibility for this dogs life. It 100% falls on its owner for it's care and well being. Both of those where not taken care of by the owner.

Now The Rest of...

Is O'Brien up for election soon, the most unprofessional arraignment I have ever observed. Whats the deal with a group with the defendant, it should only be a the defendant and or their attorney only, without his life experience advice. It was an arraignment, explain the charge, take a plea an move on. If he would have taken last years charge seriously maybe this situation would not have happened. He never left the the public defender mode. Time for a change at Sandusky Municipal.He is one of the reasons Sandusky Has its problem with crime due to his flipped attitude.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Judge O Brien is one of the most respectful and caring people who happens to sit on the bench today IMHO. He is not arrogant or flippant at all with people who are respectful toward him.

I don't know if you are an attorney or what, but I am sure that your comments must be coming from some form of confrontation with a courtroom, however, IMHO, it is unfair to blame the situation in Sandusky on his "flippant" attitude is pretty unfair as well.

Obrien does what he is allowed to do according to the law. If you or others do not like that he cannot sentence people to longer time in jail, see the Feds: they set the rules. If you think he was too hard on this defendent, look at the record, which stands about her very loudly. He cannot make case law up as he goes and believes that people deserve a chance to make good. This lady simply chose not to. It is not he that is at fault here, but her.

Julie R.

@ wiredmama: I don't know Judge O'Brien but if what you say is true --- that he is one of the most respectful and caring people who happens to sit on the bench today --- then I'll be the first to applaud him. He must be one of a very few.

Now The Rest of...

The feds don't set municipal court sentencing, the state does, we must agree to disagree if he sentenced people accordingly the repeat offenders might take their offense more seriously. Look at the record of the recent homicide defendants, they were given minimum sentences for previous acts of violence by this judge.


"Judge O Brien is one of the most respectful and caring people who happens to sit on the bench today IMHO." <<< wiredmama222

I agree.
Felonies go to the big court.

Pastor Ron

About a month ago they did an article about him and he was complaining about having to share an office with a bailiff. Maybe if he actually collected all of the fines and court cost....... he could make that happen. So many cases are court costs only. His court has become a joke and not a very funny one at that.


I believe has HAS the money to make more room for himself and his court. It is the commission that has held this up by a proposed move of the city building. His court is not a "joke" of any kind. He has done what is allowed in any court. It never ceases to amaze me that the judges get the brunt of what the Feds set up and the local judges must administer. Perhaps if we would all pay closer attention to what the State and Federal government mandates about overcrowding and fines, we wouldn't be blaming the local judges but put the blame squarely where it belongs....higher up.

Rod Farva

This crap is getting really, they just want to make money out of this


Thank you Officer Brad. Being a cop in must be a challenge.

Now The Rest of...

I am a huge dog lover but lets get serious, how many different articles on the same subject do we rely need? Once again we see the anti law enforcement/SPD bias of this alleged newspaper.


After watching the latest video, I thought it was inappropriate for the police officers to stand at the door entrance and as the dog owner approached, they harrassed her and held up a sign. Secondly, I thought the Judge could have left his comedy act at home and his wise cracking dog comments. The judge was highly unprofessional.

Now The Rest of...

Darkhouse, The folks outside has the same rights as her supporters, don't you think she was trying intimidate the city. She clearly succeeded with the judge and his media comments. I do agree with you on the judge attitude, that's how he is, he always thinks he the funniest person he ever meant, which is why many repeat offenders don't take him seriously. Current case the last time she was cited for dog running at large April 2012, she only received the minimum fine, didn't bother to pay it, what legal incentive did she have to keep the dog under control? If you are not part of the solution your are part of the problem.


It was refreshing to see this woman bring her child to court ... drag out the sympathy now .. to avoid this happening next time ..just taser the owners a few times , and then maybe doggie killings can be averted .


Leash Law! Period!


Do you even have a dog? I have 2, and they are protective of my family, and I'm grateful, this town has gone to crap! My dogs would do anything to make sure me and my children are safe!!!!!


I think it's sooooo wrong! The dog didn't even advance at the cop. The dog was only protecting what it thought that was his. I have 2 dogs my self and they would do the same thing. The cop killed the dog for no reason!!!!! The dog didn't even move to the cop at all.....I'm so pissed about this!!!!!

Swamp Fox

Cdcarter11, you should be "pissed off" do you allow your dogs to run at large throughout your neighborhood even after you were cited last April. Would your significant other hide in the house to avoid a warrant instead of trying to contain your dog? Did you ever give your dogs training? Yes, I agree any responsible dog owner should be pissed off about this women who doesn't have a clue about dog ownership. My large dogs are leashed, contained, trained and more important family members.