Police find Moreland Hills woman and 31 of her dogs dead in her car

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    MORELAND HILLS, Ohio – A Moreland Hills woman and 31 of her dogs were found dead earlier this week in her garage.

    The incident happened around 5:30 p.m. Monday in the 31000 block of Jackson Road.

    Police said the 62-year-old Sandra Lertzman was a known animal lover and the executive director of the Animal Rights Foundation.

    A man came to the house to check on his cats when he found a car running in Lertzman’s garage in what police described as a “tragic scene.”

    The man alerted police to the scene. Officers said Lertzman was found deceased in the vehicle with 32 dogs, one canine survived and was able to escape from the vehicle to get air. The surviving dog was placed with a family member.

    Police described Lertzman’s death an apparent suicide, but the case remains under investigation.

    Her body has been handed over to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office.

    Read more: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/oh_cuyahoga/Police-find-Moreland-Hills-woman-and-31-of-her-dogs-dead-with-her-car-running-in-the-garage#ixzz2khHcCMgD


    April 19, 2006

    CLEVELAND — A woman was caught on tape taking the Public Animal Welfare Society’s donation receptacle from the Miles Market in Solon, Ohio, according to police.

    Officials said the woman has been identified as Sandy Lertzman of Moreland Hills. A warrant was issued for her arrest.

    Lertzman is the executive direct of the Cleveland-based Animal Rights Foundation group.


    Richard A. Lertzman studied as a film student as an undergraduate at Case Western Reserve University and sought his masters degree in film at the University of Southern California. As a film historian, Mr. Lertzman was the publisher and editor of Screen Scene Magazine and Film World. Mr. Lertzman has studied and has contributed to several tomes on film comedy teams.

    He is also the Chairman of the Quest Media Group that has worked to legalize casinos in Ohio. The Quest Gaming Group are partners (with Quicken Loans and Caesars) in the casino resorts in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Rick is the co-author (with William J. Birnes) of a new book, Dr. Feelgood that was published in May 2013 by W W Norton/Skyhorse Publishing.

    He is also creating the Classic Television Network with his partner William J. Birnes in conjunction with NBC/Universal. This will be the first 24/7 streaming internet television network featuring many programs from the “Golden Age” of television. Rick has also contributed a chapter to the Stooges book, Stooges Among Us, by Lon Davis (Bear Manor). Rick’s upcoming book is a biography of the amazing a sad life of actor Bob Cummings. Rick and his wife Sandy have two sons and founded the AnimalRightsFoundation.com that rescues distressed animals. Mr. Lertzman and his wife reside in Moreland Hills, Ohio and Marina Del Rey, CA.


    MORELAND HILLS — The death of an animal activist is sending shock waves through the animal rescue community.

    The executive director of the Animal Rights Foundation took her own life Monday evening — taking 31 of her rescue dogs with her.

    This story has such a tragic ending for both the family who lost a wife and mother — and also all the rescue dogs that were given a second chance at life.

    Sandy Lertzman left a suicide note for her family. Without knowing what was inside, many are wondering why this had to happen.

    Police found the body of Sandy Lertzman inside her garage. Police say the car was running with Sandy and 31 small rescue dogs inside.

    “It’s absolutely one of the most tragic stories because she had all the right intentions of helping those puppies,” said Gina Lutes-Finley, Director of Dogs Unlimited Rescue.

    Gina saves neglected and abused animals. Gina knew Sandy and understood her compassionate heart for rescuing animals but also knows how overwhelming it gets caring for so many needy pets.

    “She wanted to continue to rescue and save these animals but, unfortunately, nobody can take care of 30 animals, properly, by themselves,” said Lutes-Finley.

    Sandy made it her mission to fight pet auctions and puppy mills where animals are poorly cared for leaving many with serious and often fatal health conditions.

    The question is — why would someone who was so passionate about saving a life take it away in a garage?

    Gina can only speculate that Sandy felt her dogs were better off dead than back in unsafe conditions after she was gone.

    “I can see why it would be so hard to walk away but you can’t do it alone, and that’s the bottom line,” said Lutes-Finley.

    Sandy also leaves behind 20 cats. Gina is helping to find all of them homes. As for the dogs that died inside the car, one survived and is now with Sandy’s husband Rick Lertzman..

    Source: http://www.wkyc.com/story/news/local/2013/11/08/animal-rights-foundation-animals-killed-suicide/3479001/

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