Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cincinnati breed specific advocates cross state lines.


When we left Cincinnati in the last post, pit bulls were a hot topic in the news and justifiably so.  Cincinnati has seen more than its share of maulings since the breed ban was dropped in 2012.  Just weeks after pit bull advocacy declared victory with the fall of the breed ban Cincinnati had a fatal mauling.  Ronnel Brown was killed by his pit bull designer mix dog.  He owned the dog for several years but kept the dog under the radar. With the fall of the breed ban he had nothing to fear and obtained two more of the same pit bull designer mix keeping all three dogs in his apartment.  Brown's own dog killed him.

Cincinnati saw the serious mauling of a judicial candidate's wife as she was posting election signs.

The near fatal pit bull mauling of senior citizen Beulah Sheafe brought the underwhelming penalties to the the owner of the pit bulls, a $100 fine and an order to never have pit bulls on his property again.  Mrs. Sheafe has stated that pit bulls should be banned in Cincinnati.   

A near fatal mauling of a pit bull owner by her own three pit bulls made the headlines of Cincinnati newspapers.  Police stated that it appeared that Tammy Tucker was being "eaten alive" by her own pit bulls. Police gunfire was required to save Mrs. Tucker.  This was not the first time Tucker's pit bulls had attacked her, and they had bitten her husband as well.   Mrs. Tucker told a reporter that she was aware that her dogs were vicious but she tried to "change herself" but now realizes that it was the dogs that were the problem. 

Since the attack on the six year old Cincinnati child, and the attacks discussed in our last post, things have not been quiet in the Cincinnati area.  Just over the state line, In Covington KY a man was mauled while attempting to break up a fight between two female pit bulls.  The pit bulls were euthanized.    This comment was posted on the news article " Maybe they were walking home from the pro pit bull rally they just had downtown?? Lol here we go again!!"  The public gets it.  So does the media.  Below is the opinion of the Cincinnati Enquirer.





Kathy Wilson writes at CityBeat.com I would ask all pitbull owners to pause all their emotional transference, all their misguided anger, the claims of breed discrimination and hatred, even and especially all their pitbull pride and think for five uninterrupted minutes about the terror, confusion and silence of Zainabou Drame, whose life was irrevocably changed when two pits latched onto her face, maimed her and stole her voice"

More from Kathy Wilson " Irresponsible pitbull owners fit a profileThere is something inherently ominous, mysterious, latently vicious and even irresponsibly deadly about pitbulls and their owners that most people are either afraid of or unable to name."

Here is a letter to the editor with the title "Pit bulls should be eliminated" .  Here is another titled "Reinstate citywide ban of pit bulls."   And another titled "City Council, reinstate the ban immediately."   More opinion from the public, this one is titled "Most attacks by few dog breeds"  (pit bulls are the big winner here.)   Still more "Place strict limitations on the problem breed."  Cincinnati.com asks "Should pit bull ban be reinstated?"   The words on the front page of the Cincinnati Enquirer are a quote from Bebe Wilker as she spoke to reporters after the mauling of her little dog by a pit bull that escaped from the yard of a neighborhood residence.  Wilker had to fight for her pet's life as the owner of the pit bull stood on her porch shouting "that's not my dog."  Per Cincinnati.com  "Bartles spent 10 hours in surgery and recovery and has since returned home. Bite marks from the pit bull's jaws are clearly visible on the back of his neck. "Bartles still has no use of his right front leg," Wilker said. He walks on three paws and "falls down a lot. It just makes me sick."

Pitt Bull part II 5.jpg

While controversy about pit bulls swirls through Cincinnati there is some good news for Zainabou Drame. She is now out of the coma and is now on a feeding tube.  An unnamed organization has offered to pay all Zainabou's medical bills.   This is a stunningly generous offer!

Given the political climate, one would think that Cincinnati's pit bull activists would hunker down and try to quietly ride out the storm. One would be wrong.  Cincinnati pit bull advocates are prancing across state lines to lobby in favor of pit bulls in Ft. Thomas Kentucky, a community with a long standing pit bull ban.  These pit bull advocates have a connection, that connection is the Cincinnati SPCA.


Here is a link to the officers list of the Cincinnati SPCA. Please note the names.   Remember the research we looked at in the last post?  "Ownership of High Risk (vicious dogs) as a Marker for Deviant Behavior" Please review the list of the authors of this 2006 material.  Herald Dates, head of the Cincinnati SPCA is listed. Barbara Boat, trustee of the Cincinnati SPCA is listed.   Andrew Mahlman of the Cincinnati SPCA is listed. Jacklyn Barnes and Frank Putnam are both affiliated with Cincinnati Children's Hospital, where Cincinnati's most recent pit bull mauling victim is being treated, are also listed as authors of the material.

What happened since 2006 to change the viewpoint of these influential individuals?  In 2007 the Michael Vick case brought pit bulls into the mainstream culture of the United States and with that brought the recognition that pit bulls and money are directly connected.  Best Friends Animal Society cashed in big time with millions of dollars donated in support of the pit bulls they accepted from the dispersal of Vicks dogs.    Pit bull advocacy is very profitable.  For example, in 2008 (the 2007 BFAS annual report was unavailable)  Best Friends received $35,763,158 in direct public support.   In 2012 (the most recent annual report available) Best Friends received  $57,473,171. Best Friends is a huge supporter of pit bulls.  The HSUS and ASPCA went into pit bull based fund raising overdrive and were rewarded.  Follow the money.

One might also consider following the blood.  The 31 year summary available at this link is a stunning visual. Since January 1, 2007 one hundred and fifty eight Americans have been killed by pit bulls and their mixes, this includes the two fatal attacks upon children from this past weekend. Please google any of the names to confirm the information.  In the seven year period from 2000 to 2007 eighty one Americans were killed by pit bulls and their mixes.

As usual, I have digressed, back to the Cincinnati SPCA advocacy in Ft. Thomas.  From Ft. Thomas Matters "Another voice from Cincinnati addressed council Monday night, as well. Cincinnati-based attorney Jim Tomaszewski, who was instrumental in overturning Cincinnati’s breed specific legislation two years ago, explained to council that his experience has shown “no correlation between between breed specific legislation and public safety."  Mr. Thomaszewski is a member of the Board at the Cincinnati SPCA and was a driving force in the campaign to drop Cincinnati's breed ban.  As we have seen from editorials and letters to the editor, dropping the breed ban in Cincinnati has become exceedingly unpopular recently.

Why is the Cincinnati SPCA so fixated on bullying Ft. Thomas to accept pit bulls? Possibly the numbers of pit bulls languishing in the Cincinnati SPCA might have something to do with it.   On 7/22/2014 the Cincinnati SPCA has 25 adoptable dogs listed on their website, 23 of them are pit bulls, one is a VERY pit bull looking "Labrador Retriever" and one GSD. The Cincinnati SPCA places animals in "the tri- state area" which includes Ft. Thomas.  

Shana Brockelman, dog trainer for the Cincinnati SPCA, residing in Batavia Ohio made the trip to Ft. Thomas to speak.  Minutes of the meeting do not indicate that Brockelman disclosed her connection to the Cincinnati SPCA. Brockelman was strongly in favor of pit bulls.

Another high profile Ohio resident voicing an opinion on Ft. Thomas law was Cinnamon Dixon DO.

Cinnamon Dixon, DO of Cincinnati is named as an authority on dog bites and she feels that a ban on pit bulls is not necessary.  It is important to point out that Dr. Dixon is a pediatric emergency room doctor at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.  It is also important to remember that Zainabou Drame is a patient at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.  Please note that this letter is on hospital letterhead stationery and dated May 31, 2014, just days before the near fatal attack on Zainabou Drame.


Did Dr. Dixon change her opinion after the attack on Drame, or soften her approach?  Nope, she doubled down and partnered with Dr. Brit Anderson to write this opinion published on Cincinnati.com "  We agree with the American Veterinary Medical Association’s assertion that “a well-planned proactive community approach can make a substantial impact.” This approach does not include breed-specific legislation, but rather a well-organized multidisciplinary strategy tailored to the community. We must move past the breed debate and focus efforts on common-sense, effective strategies that work for our community." 
BRIT ANDERSON & CINNAMON DIXON

Brit Anderson, MD, and Cinnamon Dixon, DO, MPH, are emergency medicine physicians at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

 Please follow the link and read the whole piece.

I find Dr. Dixon's claim to be an "expert" on dog bites as claimed by Councilman Jay Fossett, a stretch.   A google search for Dr. Dixon's research brings up two papers, one of them turns up with two titles but is the same material.  In this paper Dr. Dixon and her research partners surveyed 300 pairs of parents and children in the Emergency Room for non-urgent problems of any kind, only 11% were in the emergency room because they had been bitten by a dog.  The questions related to knowledge of behaviors exhibited by children and how those behaviors might impact the chances of being bitten.  There was no mention of any dogs being simply dangerous and that prevention strategies might be ineffective.  This smacks of blaming the victim.  This research was published in 2012 but Dr. Dixon et al cite material published in 2000 for numbers of fatalities per year, and material published in 2001 for the numbers of dog bites seen in the Emergency Room.  This is deliberate manipulation of data to minimize the problem.

In this paper  Dr. Dixon DO is listed as Cinnamon Dixon MD,  what is her actual title?  Cincinnati Children's Hospital lists her as a DO. Can she make up her mind?  In any case, she partners with  Barbara Boat PhD, if you  go back to the link to officers of the Cincinnati SPCA you will find Boat listed as a trustee of the Cincinnati SPCA.  This paper looks at just 34 pediatric dog bite victims, all non urgent, none injured badly enough to be admitted to the hospital.   These patients were contacted one month after medical treatment and enrolled in the study.  After parents completed a brief questionnaire they were given a book titled "Good Dog! Kids Teach Kids About Dog Behavior and Training," a dog training book written by children.   After interaction with patients and their parents the researchers concluded that children may experience PTSD following dog bites and that more dog bite education is needed.  Still no indication that the bite may not be the fault of the child's behavior but rather the result of an interaction with a simply dangerous dog.

Dr. Dixon made this statement to a reporter for the Dayton Daily News.  “The summertime is definitely are more significant time for dog bites,” said Cinnamon Dixon, DO, MPH, pediatric emergency physician and assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “Children usually are bit by their own dogs or another known dog. They may be walking through a neighbor’s yard and the dog may feel threatened and attack.”  The dog may feel threatened and attack?  This is blaming the victim and for a physician who acknowledges PTSD after a dog attack, a very inappropriate remark.

Just a week or so after the article written by Dr. Dixon and Dr. Anderson appeared, another article appeared, written by another doctor at Cincinnati Children's. This doctor is far senior to Dr. Dixon and he does not share her opinion.  Dr. David Billmire is professor and director of the Division of Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center.   His opinion?  There is no need for pit bulls.  Please read the entire piece but here is Dr. Billmire's conclusion.
Based on my extensive experience, I believe that the risk posed by pit bulls is equivalent to placing a loaded gun with the safety off on the coffee table. In my opinion, these dogs should be banned. I know this is an unpopular stand in some circles, but how many mauled children do we have to see before we realize the folly of allowing these dogs to exist?
The arguments made by advocates of these dogs are the same arguments made by people who feel that assault weapons are an essential part of daily living. There are plenty of breeds available that peacefully coexist with human society. There is no need for pit bulls.
 I expect we may return to Cincinnati and to Ft. Thomas.  Interesting times.



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Death in Dayton for the second time this year. Updated 7/21/2014

7/21/2014 Update.

Jonathon Quarles, Jr.


The baby killed by his step grandmother's pit bull yesterday has been identified as Jonathon Quarles Jr. of Indianapolis Indiana.  In today's report by WDTN News, another violent incident involving the same pit bull has been found.  Per WDTN News "   The United States Postal Service told 2 NEWS that a carrier was charged by a dog at the same address on April 25, 2014.  A postal service spokesperson says the dog tried to bite the carrier’s leg, but the carrier was able to get his mail satchel between his leg and dog.  He was not bitten."


Dayton Ohio, again
7/20/2014

Scene of fatal dog attack gallery

We will take a short break from our discussion of Cincinnati pit bull violence to talk about pit bull violence in Dayton.

A Dayton pit bull has killed a seven month old baby boy today.  The baby was in the care of his step grandmother, the pit bull was hers.  A neighbor called 911 stating "She just knocked on my door, bangin' on my door. She had a baby in her hand and the baby's not breathing. I need you to get here now."

Montgomery County Animal Resource Center records indicate an American Staffordshire Terrier is kept at the residence.  AKC American Staffordshire Terriers can be double registered as UKC American Pit Bull Terriers through the single registration process, they are the same dogs.

The killer pit bull was removed from the home by Montgomery ARC staff.  The dog has a history of attack.  Per ABC 22 News "A Dayton police report indicates police have responded to the address for a control of dogs prior to this incident.
On June 3, 2014 a Dayton woman, Isabelle Crickmore was walking her beagle in front of 2219 Riverside Drive when a pit bull attacked her dog. 
"She had three lacerations, 11 staples," said Crickmore.
There is a criminal misdemeanor complaint against the grandmother for that attack. Court documents show a pre-trial for Crickmore's complaint was post-poned last week.
"It just really irks me because this could have been taken care of," said Crickmore.

family pit bull kills baby in dayton, ohio


Family members state that the baby was visiting from Indiana.  It was also reported that the pit bull was a family dog, "a pleasant animal for the family" that jumped over a gate to attack and kill the baby boy.  It was reported that the step grandmother tried to get her dog off the baby but could not.   Watch the video here and see if you might agree that this was a "pleasant" dog.

Just  what was learned from the death of Klonda Richey last February?  What processes have been improved to protect innocent citizens of Dayton?  It should be noted that there have been no charges filed in the mauling death of Klonda Richey to date.  This dog had a violent history and was in the legal system.

This baby was the 8th dog bite related fatality in Ohio since HB 14 was passed in 2012.  Historical note, Ohio had 6 dog bite related fatalities in the 25 years prior to the passage of HB 14, the bill that "finally gives dog wardens the tools to deal with dangerous dogs."  It is also important to note that Montgomery County Dog Warden Mark Kumpf was instrumental in promotion and passage of HB 14.  

Public opinion in Dayton has been hard on Dog Warden Mark Kumpf, hard on pit bulls at large on the streets, hard on pit bull violence.   Looks to be getting worse.  How long will the  Montgomery County Commissioners protect their failed dog warden?  The citizens of Dayton deserve better.  Type "Dayton" into the search box at the top left of this blog page and see how many hits you get.  This city is a pit bull disaster.

Ms. Crickmore is correct "this could have been taken care of" and should have. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Laws in Ohio, and pit bull violence in Cincinnati. "Bad rap" or simply more of the same?


This post is about laws and politics.  I expect it will wander a bit, even across state lines.

Ohio House

Some good news (I think), the long promised changes to Ohio law regarding dangerous dogs have appeared.  HB 541 is sponsored by Ohio Representatives Winburn and Blair.  Quick review, Representative Winburn was a co-sponsor of HB 14, the bill written by an out of state special interest organization (Best Friends Animal Society) to suit their tastes and agenda.  Representative Blair voted in favor of HB 14.   Since the passage of HB 14, the bill that was sold as "finally gives dog wardens the tools to deal with dangerous dogs" in 2012 seven Ohio residents have been mauled to death by dogs. In the previous 25 years Ohio had 6 fatal dog attacks.  History lesson over.

Here are some highlights of the proposed bill.  Sec. 109.73 (13)" Establishing requirements for the training of dog wardens and deputies for the purposes of division (E) of section 955.12 of the Revised Code."

Some tinkering has been done to the definitions of nuisance dog, dangerous dog and vicious dog.  Please feel free to review the entire proposed law, click here.

Moving along to 955.12 we find that wardens and deputies will now have the authority (if the bill passes) to make arrests.

In 955.13 the Ohio Attorney General is directed to establish and maintain a registry of this chapter and complaints regarding possible violations of it.  The registry will include any dog that is the subject of a complaint, by breed, color, hair type, registration number, and name, the name and address of the owner, gender and DOB.  The registry will also include details of the complaint or possible violations plus name, address, gender and DOB of victims. Descriptions of any enforcement action will be there.  Sternly worded post it notes left on a dog owner's door probably will not cut it. A new section 955.60 (c) states that after posting the the violation notice on the dog owner's door that dog owner must respond within 48 hours, with a bit of wiggle room built in as "reasonable".  Dog owners not responding will be fined $25 whole dollars, after 96 hours the fine jumps to $40 and after one week the courts may issue a summons or warrant for the arrest of the dog owner, keeper, or harborer.  Expect breed specific advocates to hate the registry.

Vicious dogs will be defined as any dog has killed a person or any companion animal (955.11 (6)(a).   If a dog has been determined to be vicious via the unwieldy process written into Ohio law by HB 14 and appeals are denied it will be euthanized.

Killing or serious injury of a person by a dog on a first offense will become a fifth degree felony and the dog will be humanely euthanized.  It would be a felony of the fourth degree if the dog owner has been cited previously. Killing or serious injury of a companion animal by a dog can be a felony of  the fifth degree if the dog owner has been cited previously.

As expected, the Toledo Blade is unhappy with HB 541.  The headline of a Blade article dated 6/2/2014 "Proposed law would demand 'vicious dogs' be put to death" the Blade whines " A proposed law introduced after the mauling death of a Dayton woman would create a statewide registry to track dog violations and complaints and give judges no choice but to order a dog destroyed once it’s been legally declared “vicious.”

This is a problem for the management of the the Blade?  No choice?  The Blade would rather return killer dogs to the community?  Or hustle them off to some other town with no disclosure of previous attacks?

Barbara Sears, sponsor of HB 14 voices her opinion on HB 541 “In some parts of the bill they seem to be broadening it and in other parts seem to be narrowing it down,” she said. “Somebody needs to explain that in more detail. I always knew when we did [House Bill 14 in 2012] that there was going to be a rule or jurisdiction that somebody would need to adapt. I’m much more a fan of letting the locals root those issues out.” Sears is reportedly not a fan of the registry which would track vicious dogs but somebody needs to track these things.  At least she has admitted that it is appropriate for "locals to root these issues out" because pit bull advocates meeting resistance to demands for changes in local law in Parma and Reynoldsburg have threatened to take their demands to the state legislature for a bill prohibiting breed specific legislation.  Good to know that Barbara Sears would not support that.   Interestingly, in the Blade article Representative Sears states that she does not own a dog and never has.  

                                                                    * * *

The City of Lima Ohio has revised the wording but not the intent of their local laws regarding pit bulls.  I find this quote notable " “We are adopting pre-aggression legislation.”  “The difference is we are not defining pit bulls as inherently dangerous, but we wanted to have something in place on a rational basis of what goes on in the city.”

Lima will continue to restrict pit bulls.  Last year in Lima there were 19 reported pit bull bites compared to the next closest with five bites by Shepherd breeds.  Per limaohio.com ,  Those concerns were amplified recently when two people suffered injuries from two 6-month-old male pit bulls and were treated at St. Rita’s Medical Center.

                                                                  * * *

Newark Ohio City Council passed a new law giving local judges discretion to order euthanization of a dog the first time it bites someone and causes serious injury.  Councilman Jeff Rath, sponsor of the bill stated "This is about protecting kids and holding irresponsible dog owners accountable."  Can't argue with that.  This brings us to Cincinnati Ohio.

                                                                 * * *



On June 4, 2014 six year old Zainabou Drame was attacked by pit bulls owned by a neighbor.   This attack occurred while the little girl was playing outside with her brother and other children.  Zainabou's injuries are so severe that until 6/20/2014 she was in a medically induced coma in Cincinnati Children's Hospital and homicide detectives were assigned to her case.  During the attack  Zainabou's mother ran from her home to defend her daughter with a baseball bat (note the sidebar article on Ft. Thomas, we are going there eventually) but was unable to drive the dogs away.  Police were called to the scene of the attack and the pit bulls turned on them as well,  both dogs were shot.  911 audio is available at the link (note the sidebar article on pit bull regulations in the Tri State area) we will get to that as well.  Dashcam video of police arrival and reactions are available here.

Reactions from neighbors may be seen at this link.  There has been no history of violence from these pit bulls and they were reportedly at large frequently. While some neighbors stated they were afraid of these it bulls this was the first documented "bite" from them. Cincinnati, having dropped their breed ban in 2012, allows every dog a first bite and this was a stunner.  Zaiabou's face was ripped away, her jaw was "basically ripped off", her tongue was so damaged that it had to be removed. one eye was sewn shut because the muscle below it no longer functions.  She is now alert and awake but has many surgeries ahead of her.  She will never speak without a tongue, how will she eat?  Her life is changed, who can give her back a normal life?

This attack has cost the City of Cincinnati a great deal of money to date,  police, paramedics, homicide detectives,  it is doubtful that the owners of the pit bulls has any insurance to pay for Zainabou's medical expenses, how many surgeries?  How much money?  The sky is the limit.  Rehabilitation costs?  The expenses don't end.  Zainabou will not be able to speak,  she will hear but not speak.  She will likely learn American Sign Language and will require an interpreter whenever she is in a hospital or medical facility and this cost falls to the hospital.  How about school?  Are schools required to provide interpreters?    My guess is yes and I have no problem with this, this child deserves the full protection of the ADA.

The owners of the pit bulls have been arrested on drug and gun charges.  Zontae Irby is a convicted drug dealer and is currently being held on $75,000 bond.  Police have been to the family home in the past.  Irby is the brother of Dierres Lee who admitted to killing a high school student over a drug deal gone wrong. Valores White has been charged with permitting drug abuse, a felony.  Per a judge's order, White is never to own dogs again.  The County is attempting to seize White's home as a public nuisance due to drug activity going back to 2007.  Given the speed of charges in Cincinnati, why is Dayton so slow to file charges against Custer and Nason, owners of the dogs that killed Konda Richey.   But, I digress.


These are exactly the type of people described in this 2006 research  "Ownership of High Risk (vicious) Dogs as a Marker for Deviant Behavior."     Please note that everyone involved in this research project is from Cincinnati, and participants from the Cincinnati SPCA are among them.  We may return to this research later.


               Zontae Irby                                     Valores White

A spokesman for the Hamilton County ASPCA blames neighbors for what he calls a "preventable tragedy." He stated that neighbors should have called in complaints about loose dogs.  How many unanswered "loose dog" complaints are made in Cincinnati?  This WKRC reporter indicates that it might take many complaints before action is taken.  Harold Dates of the Cincinnati SPCA makes a statement.

The Cincinnati City Council has responded to the near fatal mauling of Zainabou Drame by asking if state law might be strengthened to prevent drug dealers, gang members, and criminals might be prevented from having "those dogs."    A thoughtful city council member might read existing state law.  ORC Section 955.54 states

955.54 Possession of certain dogs by convicted felons prohibited.

(A) No person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a felony offense of violence committed on or after the effective date of this section or a felony violation of any provision of Chapter 959., 2923., or 2925. of the Revised Code committed on or after the effective date of this section shall knowingly own, possess, have custody of, or reside in a residence with either of the following for a period of three years commencing either upon the date of release of the person from any period of incarceration imposed for the offense or violation or, if the person is not incarcerated for the offense or violation, upon the date of the person's final release from the other sanctions imposed for the offense or violation:
(1) An unspayed or unneutered dog older than twelve weeks of age;
(2) Any dog that has been determined to be a dangerous dog under Chapter 955. of the Revised Code.
(B) A person described in division (A) of this section shall microchip for permanent identification any dog owned, possessed by, or in the custody of the person.
(1) Division (A) of this section does not apply to any person who is confined in a correctional institution of the department of rehabilitation and correction.
(2) Division (A) of this section does not apply to any person with respect to any dog that the person owned, possessed, had custody of, or resided in a residence with prior to the effective date of this section.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.75, HB 14, §1, eff. 5/22/2012.


Cincinnati is not finished with pit bull violence. On June 6th police responded  to a call about a street fight.  A man was using his pit bull to attack other people.  Police shot the dog.  On June 8th police shot another pit bull, it was menacing children but restraint was shown and a taser was deployed, it did not work so the pit bull was shot.

Cincinnati pit bull owners announced an event in response to the very public attack on a Cincinnati child.  The first thing that might come to mind is crowd funding for  Zainabou Drame's medical bills.  Anyone making that guess would be wrong.  The event was a Pit Pride Parade.  As an apparent afterthought a collection was taken and it was reported that $500 was collected to be used for Zainabou's medical costs.

Our next post will explain how Cincinnati's pit bull advocacy crosses state lines.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Roundup 6/1/2014


Things have been pretty much the same in Ohio since the last Roundup was posted on 4/28/2014.  Here we go, hope you have your coffee.

                                                                    * * *

4/30/2014
Springfield Ohio
Residents of the Brentwood Square apartment complex are complaining about two pit bulls at large.  It just  so happens that these two pit bulls come from a household cited four years ago for pit bulls at large.  One resident stated "“It doesn’t matter who, if someone is walking by and they hear you coming, they will come out and chase after you,” said Jamie Watts, who lives in the complex and has five children.
The dogs are fenced in, Watts said, but find ways to get out.
Her children are afraid to wait at the bus stop alone, she said, because they fear the dogs will get out.
She worries even more for her 13-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy.
“If these dogs ran after her, she’d fall. She would fall and they would have her. What can you do? She is 13 and she should be able to play our here like any other child,” she said.

Residents have complained to the Clark County Sheriff's office and to the local Humane Society as well but were told that they need proof before they can take action.   One neighbor stated he has been chased to his car many times and he keeps a baseball bat next to his front door "in case he ever needs it to fight off the dogs."   What happened to Ohio's new dangerous dog law, written by Best Friends Animal Society "finally giving dog wardens the tools to deal with dangerous dogs""?  HB 14 has been a predictable failure and the Ohio Legislature is looking at changes that will actually protect the public.  More on this later.

It is a damn shame that a whole neighborhood is held captive by a pit bull owner who refuses to contain his aggressive pit bulls.

Neighbors concerned about dogs photo
This is the fence that is supposed to contain the pit bulls.

For video please click here.

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4/30/2014
Cincinnati Ohio

Sylvester Forte was found guilty of failing to confine his pit bulls and received a $100 fine plus an order that he never have pit bulls on his property again for the mauling of Beulah Sheafe.  The judge stated that this was toughest sentence Forte could receive under current law.  One of Forte's pit bulls was shot at the scene and the other will be euthanized.  The pit bulls ripped off part of Mrs. Sheafe's scalp and removed a quarter pound of flesh from her leg.  Mrs. Sheafe spoke to the judge and to a reporter.  Please watch the video of this tiny but courageous lady calling for a pit bull ban.   Quick review, Cincinnati had a pit bull ban but dropped it to satisfy the demands of pit bull advocates after HB 14, the predictable failure, gave dog wardens "the tools they need to deal with dangerous dogs."  The Ohio legislature is considering changes to the law since the mauling death of Klonda Richey.  For more information on the mauling of Beulah Sheafe please click here.

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4/23/2014
Cleveland Ohio

From the "a pit bull's worst nightmare is not the safety advocate but rather his own owner" files.  William Congress was arrested for abuse of his pit bull mix puppy.  Around Christmas time Congress texted photos to a roommate showing that he hurt the dog for tearing up the floor.  An investigation by the Animal Protective League revealed the dog had a head injury, broken leg, plus other injuries and evidence of strangulation.  Congress is facing animal abuse charges, the dog is recovering at the APL.




                                                                 * * *

5/1/2014
Huber Heights Ohio/Dayton

The pit bull that attacked a utility worker last month was euthanized.  The pit bull owner stated that she was unaware that the utility worker was on the property when she let the dog out.  The decision to euthanize was made at a meeting between the pit bull owner and Montgomery Animal Resource officers.  Mark Kumpf has one less pit bull in his shelter.

For additional information on this attack please click here.

7600 block of Sebring Drive, Huber Heights April 16, 2014 photo


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5/2/2014
Dayton Ohio

Another story from the "a pit bull's worst nightmare might just be his own owner" files.  Almost two years ago a pit bull was abandoned in the basement of a home.  The dog was found and taken to the Humane Society of Greater Dayton to recover.  "We found Alex in the basement, completely emaciated, not moving, very close to death in fact probably just a day or so away from death," said Brian Weltge, President of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton.  
"He was just bones, they say he was living on a mattress, eating a mattress for food and no water," said Drescher.
It took Alexander three days to have the strength to lift his head and a week for him to be able to walk.

A kind couple has chosen this pit bull, now known as Alexander the Great, after two years in the shelter . Please click on the link for video of Alexander shortly after entering the shelter, his condition was shocking.

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5/3/2014
Dayton Ohio - again

A postal worker was bitten by a pit bull.  Per WDTN Channel 2 News "The victim told police he was delivering mail in the 600 block of Huffman Avenue around 11 a.m. Friday when a large pit bull came running through  the front screen door of a home and charged at him. The dog bit his right calf."

The pit bull's owner stated that the pit bull was not vaccinated or licensed.  The pit bull owner was issued a citation for a minor misdemeanor for failure to vaccinate.  WOW, current Ohio law, written to "finally give dog wardens the tools to deal with dangerous dogs"  is really working, a minor misdemeanor citation... wow! Given the no follow-up policy of the Montgomery County Dog Warden this citation is an insult to the residents of Dayton.

Dayton-Police-Car


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5/5/2014
Dayton AGAIN

A nine year old girl was bitten in the face by her grandparents pit bull/Shar-Pei mix dog.  The girl was in the home with the 2 1/2 year old dog while her grandmother worked in her garden.  Per WHIO "  Police tell us the girl suffered two gashing wounds to her face, each believed to be four to five inches in length. One of the wounds was from her ear to her jaw. The other was from her nose to her jaw, according to police at the scene.
Joshua Cusick, with the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center, said the child may have been playing with one of the dog's toys when the incident occurred.
The grandparents were given a citation because "Felony" was not properly licensed, police said.

Dog bites child, Grafton Avenue, Dayton, May 5, 2014 photo
The girl's grandfather attempts to load Felony into the van.   It was reported that the dog will likely be euthanized.

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5/6/2014
Springfield Ohio

A three year old boy, attacked by a leashed pit bull, required more than 200 stitches.  Ricky Preston (also identified as Ricky Conley) was playing in the backyard of his grandmother's home when the leashed pit bull broke free and "charged into the yard" and grabbed the child by the head, shaking him and had to be beaten off the child.   Rickey was transferred to Dayton Children's Hospital .  The Clark County Humane Society quarantined the dog. The pit bull's owner, a neighborhood resident,  was cited for failure to control, failure to vaccinate, and failure to license, all minor misdemeanors. The pit bull owner, Robert Rife, attempted to simply walk away from police but was taken into custody. Per WDTN News "Officers say Rife was drunk and walking with the dog to a nearby convenience store for more beer."  " The Springfield Humane Society took the pit bull, but Rickey’s mom Crystall says Rife needs to be punished. “I think they need to give him a child endangerment because he knew the dog would bite because he tells everybody that the dog bites and it’ll tear somebody up. He shouldn’t have had it coming down here with it.”  
Dog attack sent a 3-year-old child to a hospital gallery

How is  HB14, written by  Best Friends Animal Society working out for Ohio residents?  A spectacular and predictable failure.  Remember the phrase given to us by Representative Barbara Sears who partnered with Best Friends Animal Society to bring this mess to Ohio  HB 14 "finally gives dog wardens the tools to deal with dangerous dogs."

The charges against Rife were upgraded to fourth degree misdemeanors in a 5/27/2014 report.  Each charge carries up to a 30 day jail sentence.    It is hoped that he receives the max.  Rife is a repeat offender.  Per WDTN News "2 NEWS checked with the Clark County Humane Society who told our reporter that Rife has been prosecuted several times for animal cruelty.  Most recently in 2012, he was found guilty of charges that he confined and abused 12 dogs in a small garage he was living in.  He served jail time and was ordered not to own any animals for at least a year, but that order expired when he got this new pit bull."

The pit bull was euthanized and found to have rabies.  PLEASE click here for video that shows some of the dogs taken from Rife on the previous abuse charges, and video of Rife in court.  Don't miss Rife in court!

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5/5/2014
Cleveland Ohio

Petey the pit bull mix has gone missing.  Petey was out for a walk with his foster family when he saw a deer and broke free.  The dog was last seen near Stafford Road in Chagrin Falls, wearing a black and red collar and dragging a blue leash.  Per Fox 8 News "The staff at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter is desperate to find the dog.  “We are devoted to this dog, he’s like our dog. He hasn’t had a family. We’ve been his family. Now he is out there missing, and we don’t know how he is, and it is very nerve-racking and we are scared for him and we just want him back. The foster family is devastated and they want him back.”

It is believed that Petey was shot in the head before he was rescued which left "some markings" on his head.
Anyone sighting Petey is asked to call the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter or the Sheriffs Department.  I would think twice about approaching Petey.  Here is some information on him from a Kennel manager "He even hangs out at the front desk, and it’s not just because he’s a shelter favorite, but because he needs socialization.
 petey

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5/7/2014
Powhatan Point Ohio

A delegation of 10 residents approached the Village Council about pit bulls posing problems in their neighborhood.  A Saint Clairsville woman was commended for quick action regarding these dogs.  The balance of the article is behind a pay wall at this time.

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5/11/2014
Columbus Ohio

Patricia Cooley went for a walk with her dog on Mother's Day.  She was attacked by a pit bull and rescued by a neighbor.  Cooley states she has bites all over her body except for her face and neck.


Per WBNS News "Cooley says as the dog began to tear the flesh and clothes off her body, she wondered if anyone would hear her screams as the pit bull chewed a hole in her calf, biting her inner thighs, back and buttocks.  “Had it not been for the neighbors (to) shield me to get the dog off of me, I thought I was gone", she said.  Putting herself at risk, neighbor Charlyne English she says it was all she could do to convince the dog to stop.  “He would take big chunks; he was actually going for blood," said English."

The owner of the pit bull is incarcerated and the dog was in the care of another.  The dog has been euthanized, it had not been vaccinated.  For news video of this attack please click here.   Note the Total Designation by breed from the Franklin County Dog Warden  available at this link.  Pit bulls are the big winners in Nuisance, Dangerous, and Vicious dog designations in the County.  Which leads us to the next attack.

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5/11/2014
Columbus Ohio

A Columbus grandmother was also attacked on Mother's Day.  Paula Chatman was unloading her groceries from her car which was parked in her garage when she was attacked by her neighbor's pit bull.  Chatman's son heard her screams and came to her rescue, scaring the dog away with a pole.  Mrs. Chatman has bites from her toes to her knees, she has 35 puncture wounds.

The pit bull owner had no comment for reporters.  His dog is now designated as dangerous with all the restrictions that come with the designation.  This was the first reported bite from this pit bull.  Please note that statistically speaking this is "one bite" but the victim has 35 puncture wounds.  This is the problem with pit bull advocates who endlessly blather about "bite counts."  An attack like this, or an attack that kills a human with a hundred bites noted at autopsy is one statistical "bite."  



A side item that might be considered here is the high profile attempt of Columbus breed advocates to force the community of Reynoldsburg to drop their breed ban and embrace breed neutral law.  Non-resident pit bull fanciers from Columbus and Dayton have been speaking at Reynoldsburg City Council meetings since last year in hopes of ending the successful breed ban.  They are led by a Columbus resident who has made the same demands in other communities.  The pit bulls for Reynoldsburg group is represented by Dayton lawyer Tammy Nortman, formerly with the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, who has testified that the definition of pit bulls does not exist and she points to the AKC for backup on this.  It is true that the AKC does not recognise pit bulls, they register American Staffordshire Terriers. The UKC was founded for the purpose of registering pit bulls as American Pit Bull Terriers.  If one has an AKC American Staffordshire Terrier they may double register that dog as a UKC APBT under the single registration process.  If you can double register the same dog as a AKC Amstaff and as a UKC APBT then the dogs are the same breed.  But I digress, Nortman considers the Reynoldsburg breed ban unconstitutional.  Lawyer Nortman might review the Ohio Supreme Court ruling State of Ohio v. Anderson for both a definition and verification of constitutionality.  Nortman also states that the Reynoldsburg breed ban violates the ADA even though there are have been no service pit bulls in the community.  For video of Nortman claiming that visual identification of breed can't be done please click here. The AKC should be made aware, every dog show ever held is based upon visual identification of breeds and this travesty must stop.

There are no pit bull victims in Reynoldsburg to voice an opinion because the dogs are banned but right next  door in Columbus things are very different.  Columbus has had three serious attacks since the ad hoc committee, formed in response to demands made by the Pit bulls for Reynoldsburg group,  began to meet.  The two above and the April 27th attack on child and four adults.   The boy lost an ear in the attack.  His father and three other adults were also attacked by the same pit bull.  Animal Control removed three adult pit bulls from the residence and six puppies.

How is breed neutral law working out for Columbus and Dayton?   It would seem logical that breed specific advocates from communities with breed specific problems would keep a low profile and quietly work on preventing attacks their own towns.

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I offer this one without comment.  Mostly.  Columbus Ohio ranks 9th in the nation for dog attacks on mail carriers.  Dayton is in a tie for 28th place.  I do not find Reynoldsburg on the national list.  

Here is a map.

Ohio is ranks third in the nation for dog bite claims.  Ohio had 948 claims with a cost of 19.9 million dollars. 
Montgomery County Dog Warden Mark Kumpf stated "  “We hope to reduce the number of dog bite incidents through education,” 

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5/17/2014
Cincinnati Ohio

A 10 year old boy was bitten by a neighbor's pit bull.  The boy was playing in his own yard when he was attacked.  The child was treated at Children's Hospital Medical Center for a severe bite to his leg .  The pit bull owner was cited.

008PITBULLS.jpg

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5/18/2014
Cincinnati Ohio

Tammy Tucker was attacked by her own three pit bulls, raised from puppies and they slept in her bed.  She stated that "it was her fault" and that the trigger for the attack was stating the lawn mower.  Family and neighbors were unable to beat the dogs off Tucker.  Police were called and the responding officers described the attack as "she was being eaten alive" by her own dogs.  Shots were fired into the ground to scare the pit bulls away but one pit bull would not release the victim/owner and was shot.  Unbelievably, per the neighbors, the dogs have attacked both Mrs. Tucker and her husband in the past.  Equally unbelievably, while his wife was still in intensive care Art Tucker tried to get the dogs back.   A spokesman for the SPCA said during an on camera interview that this may be a precedent setting case, the owner/victim may be cited for the dogs being vicious because of the seriousness of her injuries.  The primary consideration is the safety of the neighborhood and these dogs may not be returned.     Video is available at this link.

Mrs. Tucker spoke with a reporter from her hospital bed stating that she had concerns about her pit bulls behaviors and worked with a trainer to "change herself" but now she realizes that it was the dogs.  The two surviving dogs were euthanized.  Tucker is recovering from one of the most severe maulings ever seen at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.


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5/19/2014
Miamisburg Ohio

Miamisburg police shot a charging pit bull.  Police were investigating a break in when a neighborhood resident let their two year old pit bull out. The dog ran at police officers standing in front of the house.  Per WHIO "Officers were on the sidewalk using a police canine to track possible suspects who broke into a storage room of a house in the 800 block of Seibert Avenue. They were able to track the suspects for about two blocks. "

The pit bull was shot but not seriously injured.  The dog owner received a summons for failure to control.
Dog charges at police, officer fires shot photo


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5/21/2014
Colerain Township Ohio

Per Cincinnati.com "According to court records, Brown let his pit bull "Tank" loose as a weapon on Sgt. Scott Owen and Lt. Mike Owens as they attempted to arrest Beard on open warrants.  Beard ran upstairs into a residence, passing Tank, who bit Sgt. Owen on the left arm and then attempted to attack Lt. Owens, police wrote in a sworn statement.  Lt. Owens was forced to fatally shoot the animal to stop the threat."
beard
Courtney Beard
dewaynebrown
Dewayne Brown
                                                   
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5/23/2014                                                                                                                          Dayton Ohio - again
Dog fighting equipment and cocaine were found in a Dayton house.  Per WHIO "Two dogs believed to be pitbulls were taken from the home on Weaver Avenue. Police said dog fighting equipment and blood were found in the garage, and dog fighting has possibly taken place at the home. 
Just what the Montgomery Animal Resource needs, two more pit bulls, taken from an apparent dog fighting location.  No arrests have been made.

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5/22/2014
Columbus Ohio - again

A recent Ohio State graduate filed a complaint that Columbus Police wrongfully shot her Lab/pit bull mix. Police tell a different story, they state that they acted in self defense as they were attempting to execute an arrest warrant against her boyfriend for domestic violence.  Per WBNS10TV "A charge, she says she now wishes she could wipe away because when police moved in, her dog, Nala, became an unintended target."When I came to the door, I cracked it like this and looked out, then Nala came beside me and stuck her nose out here," said victim, Cartier Townsend. 
"They said put your dog away. I will shoot your dog. Those two statements. That is all that they said to me," said Townsend.
A spokesperson for Columbus police tells 10TV the officers, at the time, told her to secure the dog.
"I tried to put her away and  even when she ran out of her cage, I told them, don't shoot her. She's not going to try to bite you guys," said Townsend.
Police say, after they repeatedly told her to close the cage, Townsend jumped in the officer's way and the dog ran toward them growling.  Police deployed a taser prior to shooting the dog. Neighbors have made statements to police and the shooting is being investigated.  The boyfriend was arrested.


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5/23/2014
Akron Ohio

Two stray dogs, appearing to be pit bulls and "appeared to be foaming at the mouth" were noted in the vicinity of Smith Elementary School, a parent notified the school and the school went into lockdown for nearly an hour until the dogs were picked up by the dog warden.  The dogs also chased two people just outside the school.

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5/24/2014
Dayton Ohio - who would think?

A pit bull bit a woman's wrist.  The pit bull's owner stated that the victim is a friend of his wife. She came to the door and the pit bull jumped on the door, pushed it open, bit the woman's wrist and refused to release.  The victim was taken to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment of a large laceration, she had lost a significant amount of blood.  Wait for it... the dog has a history of biting, it had bitten a small child.  Wait for it... the actual owner of the dog is incarcerated and has been for the last year.  The pit bull was surrendered to the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center.  Just what Kark kumpf needs, another biting pit bull.    

    Dayton-Police-Car                 

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5/31/2014
DAYTON Ohio

An attack that no one will ever hear about.   A labrador attacked a Yorkiepoo.  The Labrador was beaten by his owner and was apparently fearful of his owner.  The owner of the Labrador was given a court summons for the bite.  The Yorkiepoo suffered a three inch gash in his neck.   Nobody died.

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Now for some good news.  There is an effort to fix the mess left behind when Barbara Sears partnered with Best Friends Animal Society to create and pass HB 14 two years ago.  HB 541 has been introduced by Representative Terry Blair and Representative Roland Winburn.  Per WHIO "  The proposed legislation would revise state law on vicious and dangerous dogs to do the following:
* Require the destruction of dogs that kill humans or companion animals;
* Require investigators to notify the dog's owner that there has been a complaint, even if no citation is issued for a violation;
* Mandate that the dog owner respond within 48 hours of receiving notice of a complaint or be fined $25. If the owner fails to respond within seven days, a court may issue an arrest warrant for the dog owner;
* And, require the owner to keep a dog leashed or penned regardless of whether the dog is on the owner's property.
The bill also would allow owners accused of violating the dog law to assert in their defense that the dog was teased, tormented or abused by a person or that the dog attacked while the person was trespassing or committing some other criminal act on the dog owner's property."