Dog attack victim was animal lover, active volunteer

Published: Saturday, February 08, 2014 @ 1:51 PM
Updated: Saturday, February 08, 2014 @ 8:53 PM

The decorative welcome sign and mailbox on the front of Klonda Richey's white clapboard home on Bruce Avenue reflect a homeowner who loves animals. Cats are everywhere.

Behind the attractive wood-and-glass door lived a 57-year-old Dayton woman and 20 of her beloved cats.

Richey, 57, was found naked on the sidewalk in front of her home on Friday morning, fatally mauled by two mixed-breed neighborhood dogs. When police officers arrived, they discovered that Richey's coat had been torn off, and they were forced to kill the two male dogs who charged them.

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An autopsy was done Saturday but officials with the Montgomery County Coroner's Office did not release the preliminary cause of Richey's death. They said her body is being held for further testing. More information will be released Monday.

Richey's next-door neighbors, Andrew Nason and Julie Custer, were taken into custody on Friday and are being held on a charge of reckless homicide, pending the filing of formal charges. The Montgomery County Coroner's Office said Saturday no results of the autopsy will be released until Monday.

Those who knew Richey described their friend and colleague as a caring and artistic person with a friendly, effervescent disposition.

"It's so ironic that this devout animal lover would be killed by animals in such a brutal aggressive way," said Ann Stevens who worked with Richey for 16 years at the Montgomery County Job & Family Services Administration Services Division. "Every conversation I had with Klonda included cats — she was very passionate about animals and their well being and because of that she always had a special place in my heart."

An active volunteer

Richey was also active volunteer for the Republican party.

Rob Scott, former chairman of the Montgomery County Republican party, said he had heard about the fatality on the radio Friday morning but it wasn't until he was watching WHIO-TV later that night that he heard the victim's name.

"I looked up and couldn't believe it, I was shocked," said Scott, who first met Richie on the day he became chairman of the party in April 2012.

"She was always smiling and upbeat and positive, I never heard her say one negative thing about anyone," he said. " She always looked on the positive side of life."