State Rep. Dave Wolkins provided this photo of Daisy Mae, the dog Kosciusko County animal control officer Jerry Clase shot June 19. “Animal advocates think that this picture was not taken at her place and are trying to say that Clase came in, drug it out, took the picture and put it back. That absolutely didn’t happen,” Wolkins said. “This was definitely taken at her place.”  Photo provided.
State Rep. Dave Wolkins provided this photo of Daisy Mae, the dog Kosciusko County animal control officer Jerry Clase shot June 19. “Animal advocates think that this picture was not taken at her place and are trying to say that Clase came in, drug it out, took the picture and put it back. That absolutely didn’t happen,” Wolkins said. “This was definitely taken at her place.” Photo provided.
Animal rights advocates are planning to storm the courthouse lawn Tuesday morning with their picket signs and bullhorns with the goal of getting Jerry Clase fired.

Clase is the county's animal control officer who recently was the target of the advocates after they alleged he illegally and inhumanely stole an Etna Green woman's dog from her home while she was at work and shot it.

Clase is an employee of the county who reports directly to county administrator Marsha McSherry, with employment decisions made by the county commissioners. Clase was cleared of any wrongdoing in the June 19 shooting. The public backlash after the incident was made public prompted the commissioners to set protocol guidelines for animal control. There had previously been no set standards, and Clase, according to the commissioners, was allowed to shoot animals with a gun if he deemed it appropriate.

But animal rights advocates say that is not enough, and they want Clase's "wild west style of reign" to end, in what they say is long overdue.

They think protesting at 8 a.m. Tuesday on the courthouse lawn, before the commissioners meet at 9 a.m., is a good idea to get heard.

Phaedra Chaney will be leading the pack and said she'll be the “big loud redhead with a bullhorn.” She was licensed by Indiana Department of Natural Resources for 12 years as a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation rescue volunteer. Chaney said she's not involved with any animal group, she's "just pissed off."

Chaney also said she and likeminded people don't plan to stop at the courthouse lawn if Clase doesn't get the boot.

"We'll take it to the attorney general," she said. "We're not letting this continue. Enough is enough."

Kosciusko County Sheriff's Office requested the June 19 shooting incident be investigated by Indiana State Police. However, ISP Sgt. and Public Information Officer Ted Bohner said it wasn't an investigation, but an inquiry. ISP had basically little to no knowledge of the circumstances when the Times-Union asked specific questions about it, like where the dog was shot, and neither did Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton. Hampton said he looked into whether Clase's entry into the Etna Green home where the dog was housed was legal or not, and Hampton said it was.

State Rep. Dave Wolkins said Sunday he’s known Clase his entire life and thinks the backlash about the dog has gotten out of hand.

“I’ve known?Jerry for all of his life, and Jerry is pretty rough, no question about it,” Wolkins said. “My beef is not about all the people yelling at him. My beef is that animal and that it should have been put down.”

Wolkins said while he admits he feels bad for the dog owner, he believes the animal clearly should have been put down long ago. According to the photo Wolkins has, which appears censored with this article, open wounds with the dog’s insides hanging out can be seen and the skin around the rupture is blackened.

“I don’t have really any feelings either way. Jerry, he made his bed and he’ll have to lie in it, I’m not gonna be out there defending Jerry,” Wolkins said. “But he saw that dog and thought it needed to be put down, and I think it did.”

Sherry Koser is the owner of the dog at the center of this dispute. After the shooting, she vowed to hire legal counsel and proceed with a civil lawsuit. Koser has since declined further comment.

A call to reach Clase on Sunday for comment was answered by his wife, who said, "Let 'em protest all they want. That's their right as a U.S. citizen. They're entitled to their opinion, right, wrong or indifferent."