Last week, Crystal Luli, the director of Ohio Pet Placement, was in the limelight when she was honored by Cleveland City Council for her part in saving the 27 pit bulls rescued from a Cleveland dog fighting operation in December of 2011. The Ohio Pet Placement Foundation finds homes for lost, abused, abandoned, unwanted and neglected animals.
- Dogs Seized in Suspected Dogfighting Ring Held at City Kennel
- Update: Cleveland Dog fighting case, "Hope for the 27"
Local Cleveland News stations reported today that the Lorain County Sheriff's Office has charged Luli with identity theft, a first degree misdemeanor, and forgery, a fifth degree felony.
Crystal Luli is accused of using the name of a veterinarian who worked at her rescue operation to open a credit account with a medical supply company. The veterinarian, Cathryne Wittlinger, met with police on February 14 after receiving invoices for the supplies Luli allegedly ordered. Luli told police she’d had the veterinarian’s permission, but Wittlinger denies it.
This is another chapter in the continuing saga of the Lulis legal problems since 2010.
- November 2011, Jeremy Taylor, a volunteer, broke into Luli’s facility and stole the cash register.
- August 2011, Luli and her husband, Michael, found themselves in trouble over treating animals at their Animal House vet clinic. The Veterinary Medical Licensing Board had voted to deny a business facility license to the clinic – a license that is required when a veterinary facility is owned by someone other than a veterinarian. Although the clinic had to stop treating animals brought in by the public, they were permitted to continue to treat animals they rescued and put up for adoption.
- July 2010, Crystal and Michael Luli filed a complaint against pound employee Carol Brailer, who they said had slandered their organization. Their complaint jump-started work on a set of policies to dictate the behavior of volunteers at the pound. Mrs. Luli thought that Brailer’s attitude was because she disapproved of the adoption fees OPP charged. Luli said those fees go toward spaying, neutering and other veterinary bills, and that it simply isn’t feasible to adopt dogs out for $50. Brailer isn’t the only person to comment on OPP’s $250-$400 adoption fees.
- June 2010, Michael Luli was charged with restraining a teen volunteer in a March incident at his home and kissing her. Luli denied the accusation and in January of 2011, the complaint was dropped.
When contacted today, Crystal Luli emailed the Examiner that counsel has asked her not to comment publicly on the current charges.
“The only think I can say, is that those questioning the well being of the animals staying at OPP can rest assured they are receiving the same love & care they always have and should they question that, our doors are open to the public 9-9 seven days a week. See for yourself before you pass judgement on that at least.”
Luli was arraigned and released on$ 2,500 bond. She is due back in court March 6.
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