Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pit bull roundup 4/18/2015 An attacking pit bull has to be shot off his owner, the Toledo Blade covers a pit bull attack, llamas mauled to death inside the owner's barn, and more.


I am continuing the effort to clean house and catch up on Ohio pittery.

3/15/2015
Delhi Twp Ohio

A Delhi Twp police officer was forced to shoot a pit bull off its owner in the tiny kitchen of the owner's home.  The owner was attacked by her pit bull when she attempted to intervene in fight between the pit bull and another family pet, a Rottweiler.  It took three shots to drive the pit bull off the victim.  Cathy Doyle, the pit bull owner, was taken to Cincinnati Medical Center for treatment of her wounds. Doyle underwent surgery and is expected to have a long recovery period.

Doyle's neighbors are relieved that Doyle's pit bull will no longer be a threat.  Per WCPO "I'm glad the police shot the dog because now we don't have to fear the dog biting us," she said. "I'm sorry Cathy got hurt, but the dog has been a menace. The neighborhood is afraid of the dog."  

Don't miss the video.  The pit bull has a history of biting and menacing neighbors.  The problem was ignored by the pit bull owner until she became the pit bull's victim.



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3/17/2015
Washington Court House Ohio

Pit bull advocacy made the customary pitch against a pit bull ban in Washington Court House Ohio last year.  The promises were what has become standard, a change to "breed neutral" law (in reality this is one free bite law) would bring peace and tranquility to the community.  Not so much. The Fayette Dog Shelter has seen an increase in pit bulls picked up in the area.  Nine pit bulls are currently being housed in the shelter. The County Dog Warden feels that the pit bull's owners might be "hesitant to pick them up because of a former ordinance that banned pit bulls in the city of Washington Court House."  Not likely, local pit bull owners were very involved in overturning the ban.  One might consider the possibility that these pit bulls were obtained after the ban was overturned and the new owners found out that there is a reason that pit bulls make up the majority of dogs in shelters.  Suspect these pit bulls were abandoned for that reason.    



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3/24/2015
Sylvania Ohio

A wheelchair bound, handicapped Viet Nam veteran was attacked by his 23 year old neighbor's pit bulls.  Larry Wnorowsky was making a quick trip to a local store on his motorized wheelchair but didn't even make it off his own property before he was attacked.  Per ABC13 "They bolted, jumped right onto the wheel chair and grabbed him right by the stomach and  dragged him about 10 feet into the yard" stated the victim's wife.  Wnorowsky told the reporter "I actually thought I was going to die because nobody was coming."  His injuries were severe, he had bites on his stomach, arm, leg, and fingers.  Mr. Wnorowsky is paralyzed on his right side.  The injuries to his left hand, his functioning hand, impact his ability to use the joystick on his wheelchair.  How much can you take from this man?

A neighbor was able to pull the pit bulls off Mr. Wnorowsky and call for emergency assistance.  The attacking pit bull was surrendered to Lucas County Animal Control and was expected to be euthanized after the 10 day quarantine.  A "faulty latch" on the neighbor's gate was given as the reason the dogs were at large.

Don't miss the video.

The Toledo Blade rarely covers pit bull attacks but did so in this case.  The video is moving, please take a moment to watch.   Christie Smith, the owner of the dogs, did not respond to a request for an interview by the Toledo Blade's reporter.  Smith moved into the neighborhood in December.  The Wnorowskys plan to seek compensation for medical bills, pain, and suffering.  This may be an uphill fight, Ohio law no longer requires insurance on pit bulls and most pit bull owners don't simply don't bother with it.

Tonight a handicapped veteran is in the hospital after being attacked by a dog. The Vietnam vet is paralyzed on his right side and relies on a wheelchair to get around. Tonight he is in the hospital after his neighbors dog attacked.

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4/13/2015
Akron Ohio

Alvin Banks, the leader of a nationwide dog fighting ring based out of a home in Akron Ohio pleaded guilty to federal charges.  The list of federal charges is impressive, sponsoring and exhibiting a canine in an animal fighting venture, buying, selling, delivering, possessing, training and transporting canines and attending an animal fight, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession with the intent to manufacture and distribute less than 50 marijuana plants.  Under a plea agreement the sentence is expected to be 2 to 2 1/2 years in prison.
 Alvin Banks
Booking photo for Mr. Banks.

For more information on this story please click here for an earlier blog post.

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4/14/2015
DAYTON Ohio

A man was forced to defend himself with a metal pole when he was chased and menaced by three pit bulls running loose in a Dayton neighborhood. Police were unable to catch or contain the pit bulls so Animal Control was called in.
A man in the 200 block of Garland Ave. was chased by three pit bulls Tuesday. (WDTN Photo/Josh Ames)
Just what Montgomery County Animal Resource Center needs, three more aggressive pit bulls.

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4/6/2015
Toledo Ohio

The Toledo Blade announced with horror that insurance companies "scrutinize" dog breeds. Apparently the concept of actuarial risk is new and difficult to understand for Blade editors and reporters.   The Blade reporter goes on to quote insurance industry spokespersons who clearly define the problem and the insurance industry responses to that problem.

This is the Toledo Blade so the requisite quotes and excuses from Jean Keating appear.  The Blade also gives a human face to the issue, a young couple with three  dogs, one of them a pit bull, are having difficulty finding an insurance carrier.  You have to realize up front that insurance will be a costly proposition when you own a pit bull.  Poodle and Pug owners have no desire to subsidize the choices made by pit bull owners.

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3/25/2015
Madison Twp Ohio

Local residents met with Highland County Commissioners to discuss ongoing dog problems.  Per the Times-Gazette "Rebecca Newsome told commissioners, “Since December, I’ve made numerous calls about our dog problem.” She said she has had as many as seven dogs wander into her yard at one time, including pit bulls.

Newsome said the dogs belong to a neighbor who has received a citation in the past concerning her dogs.

Newsome then described multiple calls to local agencies and officials, including the Greenfield Police Department, Highland County Sheriff’s Office, Greenfield City Manager Ron Coffey, Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and finally the commissioners.

Mrs. Newsome went on to tell commissioners that her own dog had been attacked three times by dogs at large in the neighborhood. After the most recent attack Newsome's dog spent three days in a veterinary hospital.  This is expensive and Mrs. Newsome has every right to demand action from the municipal agencies charged with protecting the public.  Mrs. Newsome made excellent suggestions for improving public safety.  One suggestion came from County Commissioner Tom Horst, write to state legislators concerning dogs at large and Ohio Revised code.  Excellent!

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4/16/2015
Windham Township Ohio

Three of four llamas inside a barn owned by Gerry DeYoung were killed by two pit bulls belonging to a neighbor. DeYoung stated to a reporter that he had two of the llamas for eleven years and the other llama for eight years. The youngest of the llamas was a show animal.  Mr. DeYoung shot one of the pit bulls and was able to save the live of one llama.  Charges are pending against the pit bull owner, he faces a fine of $150 plus court costs.  Wow...

Civil law states that the pit bull owner must pay DeYoung for the cost of the llamas, $3000.  Suspect Mr. DeYoung will have to hire a lawyer to see any of that money.

The surviving llama.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ohio pit bull roundup - A pit bull's worst nightmare might be his owner, a pit bull owner may be the worst nightmare for a neighborhood, attacks on pregnant women,families and children, pit bulls and drug raids, and a normal dog owner bites back.


We are working our way through the backlog of Ohio pit bull news but not caught up yet.  There is no order to this.

2/22/2015
Richland Ohio

The Richland Public Health Department is looking for a white and brown pit bull wearing a collar.  The pit bull bit a person and remains at large.  Authorities warn against anyone attempting to restrain the dog.

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3/10/2015
Trenton Ohio

From the "a pit bull's worst nightmare is likely to be his owner" file.  Two hikers found a dead pit bull tied to a tree in a remote wooded area of a local park.  The pit bull appeared to have strangled himself struggling against the very short cord.   One of the hikers had this to say " "It didn't look abused. It didn't look malnourished at all. It looked like a really good looking dog, a healthy dog, but I guess they didn't want it" 

The hiker went on to tell the reporter that as he and his cousin were on their way out of the woods they met a man with a small, sick dog that he intended to abandon in the woods to die.  The cousins were able to talk the man into taking his dog to a shelter.  What is going on in the Woodsdale Park?


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2/23/2015
Xenia Ohio

More from the "a pit bull's worst nightmare his likely to be his owner" file.  Kane the pit bull is dead, starved (37 pounds roughly half what Kane would have been expected to weigh), heavily infested with parasites, and frozen.  Kane's owner, Jason Michael Smith Jr. was incarcerated and care of Kane was passed to Smith's friend Steven Gale.  Kane was being kept at Gale's house but apparently Gale did not bother to care for a dog in his own yard.  How much effort would have been involved here?

Neighbors brought food, blankets heated in their dryers, and hay for bedding but were unable to save Kane.  Per WHIO "Weeks ago, county animal control agents told the owner to put up tarp to shelter the dog from the biting wind. According to the National Weather Service, record-setting low temperatures registered in the single digits and wind chills were making it “feel like” well below zero."
Xenia is in Green County Ohio.  Both Smith and Gale have been charged in the death of Kane the pit bull.  Wouldn't mandatory neuter and spay be better than this?
 Owner, second man charged in pit bull’s death photo
Jason Michael Smith JR. booking photo

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2/3/2015
Berea Ohio

Zora the deaf pit bull is looking for a special home.  Zora, housed at the Berea Animal Rescue Shelter for the last six months, has been in training with a shelter trainer.  Watch the video, this is a big, 70 pound, two year old, active dog.  The trainer remarked "she does need management when she plays, she doesn't know when to stop."


3/10/2015 Zora found her special home.  Now known as Zoey, the pit bull is the new companion of a six year old deaf child.  Per Cleveland.com "Gilliam had been thinking of getting a dog for about three years, but the right one had not come along. All that changed when Gilliam's mother, Jean Stuart, brought a newspaper article to her daughter's attention. Zoey was the subject of a "Needs a home" feature in the Sun newspapers.  "I said, 'Oh my God, Courtney, this is the dog for you!' Mike's deaf, she's deaf, and so we went and looked at her," Stuart says."  "Both Gilliam and her mother believe pit bulls do not deserve their reputation for being a "bad breed."

  I sincerely hope nothing goes wrong here. 

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3/16/2015    
DAYTON Ohio    

A six year old girl required treatment at Dayton Children's Hospital after she was attacked by a pit bull as she was playing with friends in her neighborhood.  The pit bull, owned by Curtis Jones, ran into the street and bit the child on her thigh, requiring seven stitches.  The girl's father told a Dayton Daily News Reporter that “Her friends try to pull her on top of a car so the dog couldn’t reach her” “But she couldn’t get away.” 

Curtis Jones was arrested and charged with failure to control an animal.  No information was given on disposition of the pit bull.      
Pit bull attacks girl, 6 photo
Curtis Jones booking photo

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4/6/2015
DAYTON Ohio   
 Dayton police were called to the scene of a pit bull attack upon a pregnant  woman.  Per Fox45 " According to the pregnant woman, who police interviewed later at the hospital, she was approached by two pit bull dogs, which became aggressive. She said she used her coat and purse to prevent one dog from biting her stomach. The other dog, however, bit her hand. Police says she had one cut on her right hand and several cuts on her left hand; however, she was not injured elsewhere.

Police spoke to the resident at the home where the dogs were being kept but a friend of the injured woman stated that the dogs the resident showed to the police were not the pit bulls that attacked her friend.  How many pit bulls does the resident have?  Might be something Montgomery County dog warden Mark Kumpf could check out.  
                                              WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: News - Top Stories - DPD: Pregnant Woman Attacked by Pit Bull


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This one is for Steffen              
4/4/2015                          
Hoxie AR

A Hoxie family adopted a pit bull after being told that the pit bull showed no signs of aggression. “She seemed like the sweetest dog I've ever seen,” Hilderbran said. “She was very well mannered and very calm. I'd seen her around other dogs, we watched her around our daughter before, without me holding her and she seemed fine with her.”Three days later the pit bull attacked the four year old daughter. Did relocation change the dog? Apparently not.  After attacking the child the pit bull escaped the home and was shot by police due to aggression toward officers.  See video. 


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3/1/2015
DAYTON Ohio   

Back to the "a pit bull's worst nightmare is likely to be its owner" files for this one.  Dayton firefighters pulled a pit bull out of a burning vacant home.  
Dayton firefighters rescue dog from burning home photo

Dayton firefighters rescue dog from burning home
This is a pit bull.

Why is a pit bull left behind in a vacant house?  My guess would be irresponsible owner.  Wouldn't mandatory neuter and spay be better than abandoning pit bulls? Just what Montgomery County dog warden Mark Kumpf needs in his shelter, another abandoned pit bull.  

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2/8/2015
DAYTON Ohio

A pit bull, tied in a backyard in Dayton broke free and attacked a passerby.  The victim required treatment at a local hospital.  The pit bull owner was cited for failure to license his pit bull.  The victim plans to press charges.  Go for it! 

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4/10/2015
Kettering Ohio

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2/7/2015
Columbus Ohio  
I don't even know how to describe this one.  Keep this guy in mind when you read a comment on a pit bull attack news story.  The comment that begins with "well I'm a responsible pit bull owner."  Given England's profession he has lots of time during the day to comment on pit bull attacks. 

We begin with this quote from the Columbus Dispatch "The South Side man who was shot and wounded yesterday morning by Columbus police was wanted on a charge of beating a man into a coma during a road-rage dispute last fall, police said."

Police arrived at the home of James England, age 28, to arrest him for an assaulting two men with a steel pipe during a road rage incident.in October. At that time England went ballistic after three men yelled at him to slow down as he drove through a trailer park. How might one deal with the supreme insult of having people yell at you to slow down?  You jump out of your truck and beat them with a section of steel pipe, as Mr. England did.  The most seriously injured victim was hospitalized for a week.  

Fast forward to February.  When police arrived at the front door to arrest him England ran out the back door of his house.  Officers patiently waiting at the back door grabbed England through the partially boarded up and broken door.  During the struggle one of the police officers was dragged partially into the home and at this point England's dogs, an American Bulldog and a pit bull rushed the police (what else would someone like this own?)  An attempt was made to  subdue England with a tazer but the tazer did not connect.  England, with one wrist in handcuffs, was able to run back into his house.  Police shot at the dogs but found that they had hit England instead.  England was seriously wounded and transported to a local hospital

Neighborhood residents were not particularity upset with this.  Burglaries and theft in the neighborhood increased dramatically after England moved in last year.  England openly admitted to dealing heroin from the house.  

One neighbor stated  “Traffic in and out of there was ridiculous.”  Once while feeding birds and having a cigarette, the neighbor said he was startled by a stranger who ran through his yard carrying a Sony PlayStation. "

England has a police record going back 10 years with convictions for burglary, assault, drug possession, and breaking and entering.   The neighbors will not miss him.  The pit bull and the American Bulldog were not injured, no mention was made of their final destination.  Please watch the video where the neighbor talks about a drug raid at England's house.  Mr. England was sure that his neighbors had ratted him out so he  threatened to shoot everyone in the neighborhood.  A "responsible pit bull owner" for sure.

Booking photo for James England.

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3/17/2015
Lima Ohio

Speaking of drug raids we will move on to this one.  A "no knock" drug raid was conducted at a home in Lima Ohio. A SWAT team entered the home and shouted for the home owner to cage his pit bull. The story gets odd here.  Susan and James Smith claim that after they caged Lulu the pit bull a police officer kicked the cage open allowing Lulu to escape. The Smiths state that Lulu was not aggressive and "would never hurt a fly".  Per the Smiths, the dog ran into a bedroom where she was shot five times by a police officer.  Lulu then ran into a neighbor's yard where she was shot three more times.  "Meanwhile Smith was being beaten by officers."

Police reports indicate the dog was shot three times but the location of that shooting is not noted.  No complaints of excessive force by police against Smith or his pit bull have been made to the Allen County Sheriffs Office.  Seems like five shots fired in a bedroom would be pretty easy to prove.  Both Susan and James Smith have been charged with keeping a disorderly house (they can do that?), resisting arrest, and obstructing official business.  Police would not release a statement on drugs found in the home due to the ongoing investigation.  Mr. Smith stated that a pound of weed had been found in his home.
Submitted PhotoLulu, the pit bull owned by Susan and James Smith, of Lima, was shot and killed by the Allen County Sheriff's SWAT team March 9 during a “no-knock” drug raid on the home.
Lulu the pit bull was shot and killed by police.

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3/17/2015
Sandusky Ohio  

This festive St. Patricks Day story comes from the Sandusky Register.  Picture it, there is a discussion between neighbors about couches that had been in the yard of a pit bull owner for weeks.  The neighbors are not pleased with the look.  Per the Register "In response, the men began exchanging words in the neighbor's yard, while the neighbor was holding onto a leash connected to his pit bull, according to a Sandusky police report. The man then asked his neighbor if his dog was licensed.
“Do you want to get close enough to see? Get him!,” the neighbor allegedly said. It was at that point the dog bit the man on his right hip, the victim claimed."
As the dog owner describes it, the neighbor began swearing at him about the couches.  The dog owner stated that he warned the man that his dog was vicious, calling it a Mastiff.  This story gets weird too.  The pit bull owner claims that his neighbor "kept inching closer and making threatening movements."  Somehow this sounds fishy but the pit bull owner went on to claim that he never ordered the dog to attack, the pit bull "only lunged and bit the man because it was protecting its owner."

The prosecutor is reviewing the case.

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4/2/2015
Sandusky Ohio

A civil lawsuit has been filed against Rebecca Hush, who pleaded no contest to a vicious dog complaint but has not yet been sentenced .  Per the Sandusky Register "The lawsuit, filed late last year, seeks at least $75,000 of damages for medical expenses, injuries and related losses and an additional $225,000 in punitive damages. The case has been assigned to Common Pleas Judge Tygh Tone. The lawsuit also names Carol Ann Franks, Hush's mother, as a defendant, stating Hush lives with her mother. 
The plaintiff, Paul Aviles, was walking his Jack Russel Terrier at Battery Park when Scooter the JRT was attacked by two pit bulls that had escaped from Hush's yard.  Mr Aviles was injured when he tried to protect his little dog.  Hush claims that Aviles was tormenting her dogs and trespassing on her property.   * eye roll *  
  
I love this photo of Scooter!     
More about this story can be found near the end of this 2014 Roundup post.   The story came from this Register article.  An interesting note on Mr. Aviles, during the struggle to protect his dog he bit one of the pit bulls " I bit him as long and as hard as I could," Aviles said. "They were like demons."

A passerby called police who "battled" the pit bulls, Tazing one of them.  That pit bull died.  The other pit bull was eventually returned to Hush.  Records indicate Hush pleaded guilty to a dog at large charge in 2000.

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4/16/2015
Columbus Ohio  

A pit bull attacked a young mother, her three year old child, and an 85 year old man in Columbus, The mother was walking her child to school when "the dog came out of nowhere." Shanna Harvey picked up her child to protect her and "took all the pain."  The attack was witnessed by 85 year old John Barnette, Mr. Barnette was unable to assist Shanna Harvey and her little girl because just moments before he had been bitten by the same pit bull.  Per ABC6 "Norma Roberts initially told Humane Agents, neighbors and ABC 6/Fox 28 that the dog wasn't hers. "I'm dog sitting," she said. "Their house in Indiana burned down and I opened up my home."

Roberts will be charged with failure to control a vicious dog, the fine for this is $1000 and/or up to six months in jail. The pit bull was not vaccinated.  It will be destroyed and tested for rabies.
Pit Bull Attacks Woman, Toddler, and Elderly Man in East Columbus story image

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Newark update - Or a man in a three piece suit, silk tie, two tone wing tips, and a fedora has an "offer you can't refuse."


I was sure that I was done talking about Newark's pit bull advocates but new developments bring me right back here.

When we left Steffen Baldwin, of Marysville Ohio he was negotiating with Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab Utah, looking for hints from a Best Friends lawyer living Massachusetts on how to change law in Newark Ohio.  You may wonder why individuals and organizations with such divergent addresses might trouble themselves about a lawful and thoughtful decision by elected Newark City Council members.  Good question.  Newark Ohio has a population of 47,573 per the last census making it the 20th largest city in the state of Ohio. This is not a huge metropolis, why the hysteria surrounding Newark Ohio?  Mr. Baldwin, as we saw in the last post, has also lobbied in St Marys Ohio (population 8332) after the St Marys City Council voted for a breed ban. Why the hysteria over small towns in Ohio?   Here is my suspicion, dealing with pit bull advocacy is very much like dealing with organized crime. Saying "no" is simply unacceptable.  The man in the three piece suit and fedora turns up with the "offer you can't refuse."  Best Friends is unable to let it go and has posted this Action Alert.  Best Friends wants pit bull advocates from all over the world to send messages of complaint to the Newark City Council.  "Now it's time to let our voices be heard and to send a clear message to these council members that discrimination is wrong for Newark, and it's wrong for Ohio."
Best Friends has made it easy, the system is fully automated for ease in attempted intimidation .

Here are some interesting facts.  In addition to Newark Ohio, Wauseon Ohio and St Marys Ohio have said no to pit bull advocates this year. Reynoldsburg Ohio, Bexley Ohio and Parma Ohio said no in 2014. Cincinnati pit bull advocates crossed state lines in 2014 to bully Ft. Thomas Kentucky.  Ft. Thomas said no to them.   So far in 2015 Best Friends has pushed anti BSL bills in Arizona, Washington State (foreshadowing here with Washington State), Montana, Kentucky and Georgia and lost in every one of these states.  State lawmakers are hearing from their actual constituents concerned about loss of home rule rights.  Despite the brags from professional pit bull advocates their recent legal record is poor.

The phenomenon of out-of-state interference in local control of dangerous dogs is not limited to Ohio.  A recent article from the Idaho Press-Tribune tells us that a pit bullcentric lawyer from Washington state has written warning letters to Fruitland Idaho (population 4684), Payette Idaho (population 7433), and Payette County Idaho (population 22,836).  Per the Press-TribuneFriday’s letters from the Animal Law Offices of Adam P. Karp request the municipalities change their definition of a “dangerous” dog as well as their definition of the dog’s breed. The letters claim the laws do not accurately define the “visual identification” of the dog’s breed, which could lead to unlawful detaining. Further claims say they are “targeting dogs based on speculation and scientifically-indefensible grounds” and the municipality “fails to accommodate those who assist disabled citizens as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Karp said in an email Saturday the letters were not official tort claims. “No notices of claim have been (or need be) filed in this instance,” he wrote. “Rather, the letters provide each municipality an opportunity to make a much belated, and vital course correction before suit is filed. The (letter) correspondence serves as a courtesy warning.”

Well how courteous of Mr. Karp to warn these small towns that from his office in Washington State he demands changes to laws in Idaho.  I find his arrogance absolutely stunning.  Surely Mr. Karp is aware that courts do not find BSL unconstitutional.

Adam Karp and friend.

Please review the ruling of the Ohio Supreme Court  Ohio v Anderson
Ohio Supreme Court Toledo Ohio v. Paul Tellings
Colorado Supreme Court Colorado Dog Fanciers v the City and County of Denver
West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Steve Hardwick and Sharon Nally v. the Town of Cerido
The United States District Court N.D.  Ohio Eastern Division Tarquinio v. the City of Lakewood
United States District Court District of Colorado Colorado American Canine Foundation: and Florence Vianzon v. the City of Aurora Colorado  
United States District Court District of Colorado Sonya Dias et al v the City and County of Denver
United States District Court N.D. California American Canine Foundation v Sun
The list goes on and on but you get the drift here.

Here is another example of lawyer interference in local law, in this case the lawyer does have an office in the community.   Aurora Colorado has a breed ban and is very satisfied with how well it is working.  Pit bull advocates have challenged the ordinance so many times the city council got fed up and put it on the ballot.  Aurora voters supported their breed ban by better than a two to one margin. Done deal, the voters have been heard right?  Nope. Can pit bull advocacy admit defeat and move on?  Of course not. Lawyer Juliet Piccone wants the state legislature to step in and change law for her.  Please note that the Colorado courts (above) have ruled in favor of communities with breed bans.  

Juliet Piccone with client Zona, a pit bull mix implicated in an attack upon a small dog, with a history of running at large, and hints of previous "incidents."  You can get Ms. Piccone's version of how Zona got in trouble with the law by clicking here.   Ms. Piccone raises funds relentlessly for her "pro bono work."   I'm not even going to get into that.

I find the arrogance of pit bull advocates in general stunning.  Local law is local business.

                                                           * * *

But yet again, I digress.  Back to Mr. Baldwin.  In a thread on his personal Facebook page he posts on a recent incident in Lakewood Ohio and he again calls on the Best Friends lawyer Lee Greenwood residing in Mattapan Massachusetts and the Huffington Post Animal Welfare Editor Arin Greenwood living in Gulfport Florida for assistance.






















Please google the Huffington Post articles and blogs about pit bulls.  A pit bull puff piece is published after every fatal pit bull attack and after pit bull attacks making national news. Over-the-top does not begin to cover it, the Huffington Post has a whole separate division for pit bull news but not for Pugs or Poodles, or Beagles.  I wonder why?  Possibly because no other breed requires this insane level of advocacy, but back to the central point.  Local business is local and pot stirring by professional pit bull advocates should be considered attempts at intimidation of local officials.

Mr. Baldwin proudly announces on 4/9/2015 that he has made the big time.  He not only confers with Best Friends(motto - Bullying City Councils and State Legislatures in Order to Deny Home Rule Rights for Self Determination and Public Safety Everywhere) lawyers and Huffington Post editors he has been accepted as an intern at the Animal Farm Foundation (mission statement - Securing equal treatment and opportunity for "pit bull" dogs) but there is no concern for the victims of pit bull dogs, both human and animal.  Steffen has won the trifecta.






















For those who may not be familiar with the Animal Farm Foundation, this is where the money starts. The New York heiress Jane Berkey spends her fortune to promote pit bulls.  Lots of wealthy folks might build a children's hospital, or fund a cancer research project, give a couple of million to their Alma mater.   Not Jane, it's pit bulls, she is the primary donor to the AFF.  If you like to read tax forms here is the 2013 Animal Farm Foundation 990. Ms. Berkey contributed $2,850,000 in 2013, $1,500,000 in 2012, and $1,500,000 in 2011.

Please page through to the section covering gifts and contributions made by the AFF.  Lots of entries for neuter and spay surgeries. This is a very good thing and I support it fully.  You will also see multiple entries for AKC CGC testing, the AFF pays $150 PER DOG for pit bulls passing the test. You will also see payments made to shelters for placement of pit bulls. Nothing for Beagles though.

Here is an interesting section from the AFF website Best Practices Adoption Policies and Procedures.  Keep in mind that pit bulls kill more Americans than all other breeds combined by a long shot.  The AFF feels that it is wrong to require experience with the breed, or a fenced yard, or adult adopters, or home ownership.  Insurance? Never mentioned.  Got children, other pets?  Should not be a consideration.  Background checks?  Mandatory training classes?  Good heavens, no.

Do not miss the Policy and Procedure section's glowing review on Longmont Humane Society. Longmont partners with the AFF, we discussed this particular shelter in our last post.  Here is a quote from the AFF Best Practices material "Sarah (Clusman, Training and Behavior Coordinator for Longmont) explains that the staff and volunteers are well aware of breed discrimination, and they hope to educate the public that dogs should not be judged by their breed, but rather by their individual personality."   Here is what happens in the real world, in 2012 16% of dog bites in Longmont were from dogs adopted out of the Longmont Humane Society.  

Congratulations Steffen.  Enjoy your four days at the Animal Farm Foundation intern program.  The grounds are lovely.  You will learn a lot.  Look what the proper Animal Farm Foundation training of dog wardens and animal control officers did for Montgomery County Ohio dog warden Mark Kumpf.


Mark Kumpf and Jane Berkey at one of Ms. Berkey's pit bull centric events.

Mr. Kumpf was all in for changes to Ohio law written by Best Friends but under the new law Ohio saw nine fatal dog attacks by dogs of several breeds in just the first two years.  Montgomery County, Mr. Kumpf's district, had TWO fatal dog attacks within six months.  At this point I should restate the connections between the Animal Farm Foundation and Best Friends Animal Society.

Best Friends Animal Society is outrageously committed to pit bull advocacy.  Best Friends employs Ledy Vankavage Esq to head their legal department.  Ms. Vankavage is a lifelong pit bull owner and registered lobbyist.  She has her fingers in every state.  Just google the Best Friends Pit Bull Initiatives or anything pit bull related on the Best Friends website.  This is too well documented to even bother with linking anything.  Ms. Vankavage is a close associate of Jane Berkey and serves on the board of directors of the Animal Farm Foundation (see tax records linked above).  Ms. Berkey supports Best Friends efforts to push laws that benefit pit bulls,  Berkey pays for faux Tobacco Institute style "research" proving the safety of pit bulls through the National Canine Research Council, a subsidiary of the Animal Farm Foundation (both owned by Jane Berkey), which is then given to Best Friends for use in campaigns to change law.  This incestuous and circular connection keeps the money moving and the pit bull propaganda machine humming.

Show of hands, does anyone still doubt the connection between smoking and cancer?  The federal government finally saw through the tobacco industry lies and regulated the stuff.  The same has come to pass with chemical industry trade groups.  Possibly the tide will turn against professional pit bull advocacy as well.  




You are in good hands Steffen.

                                                                       * * *

One last update.  Remember the four year old child attacked by a pit bull recently adopted by the family?  We talked about this in the last post. The boy is off the vent and back home.  Per The Olympian "On April 1, Gavin was mauled by Smash, the family’s newly adopted pit bull, while they were in the backyard. The boy has several broken bones, including his jaw, cheekbone and the bridge of his nose. He underwent two surgeries at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle before he was able to come home.
“They had to take a piece of his rib and fix his eye sockets,” said his mom, Alissa Evans, 29. “But you can’t tell. The plastic surgeons up there are miracle workers.”

Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2015/04/09/3670106_four-year-old-mauling-victim-returns.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Gavin's mother has covered the mirrors in her apartment with towels so Gavin can't see the damage to his face.  In addition to the eye socket injuries, broken jaws, and broken nose, Gavin lost five baby teeth and four permanent tooth buds.  He has only two teeth on top now, he can eat only soft foods until his permanent teeth come in. This will be a long process.  Gavin will require extensive dental work in the future, likely implants.   For breed advocates who might like to make a contribution, there is a gofundme page.   Somebody please ask Jane Berkey for a donation.

Gavin's mother has made it abundantly clear that the dog is a "blue nose pit."



Gavin Tobeck returns home.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A rescue rising star with resume problems, lawmakers who read the news, attacks, shootings, and hysteria. Your average pit bull roundup.


In no particular order, we will begin.  The first story takes a detour that I did not expect.  Please enjoy the scenery.  


1/31/2014
Newark Ohio

"Mixed breeds, pit bulls, Labs bit the most in 2014." This is a stat filled article published last January in the Newark Advocate before the final vote on possible repeal of Newark pit bull regulations.  (Spoiler alert, pit bulls will continue to be regulated in Newark). Here is the quote that sums it up "Newark police took reports on 71 dog bites throughout 2014, with 12 of those attributed to unidentified mixed-breed dogs. Another 10 were attributed to pit bulls or pit bull mixes." Keep in mind that at the time this article was written pit bulls were banned in Newark unless certain conditions were met.

Here is a second quote from the Newark Advocate article "So far in 2015, Newark police have taken reports of three bites, all of which were by pit bulls"  More on the three pit bull attacks logged Newark in January.  From the Newark Advocate, dated 1/30/2015 we find that a bite was reported 1/29/2015.  The victim told police that his neighbors dog had bitten him unprovoked and that he believes the dog to be a pit bull.  On 1/20/2015 a man was reported to have been bitten in the face by a pit bull.  On 1/12/2015 a man's dog was reportedly attacked by a pit bull and the man was bitten on the hand while trying to separate the pit bull from his dog. Per the Newark Advocate. "Police Sgt Paul Davis said police do take and receive reports of dog bites involving dogs that are not classified as pit bulls, but Newark has not received any so far this year.“Pit bulls are the majority,” Davis said. No other reports of dog bites have been taken by Newark police in 2015."

 Quick review, pits are banned in Newark unless the pit has passed the AKC GCC test.  This is a quick and simple test and one would think that pit bull owners would line up for it, just passing the test exempts the pit bull from regulation. One would be wrong, only THREE pit bulls have achieved exempt status since this option was made available to pit bull owners in 2013, all other pit bulls in Newark are illegally owned.

The article includes a quote so foolish that I include it here.  The quote is from Steffen Baldwin, president and CEO of the Animal Cruelty Task Force, a private and non government affiliated animal rescue group despite the very official sounding name.  Here is the quote" If you take a dog out of an environment and you put it in a new one, its behavior will change."  "It's not the breed, its not some genetic thing from 200 years ago... It's  all about the environment the dog is being put in."  Mr. Baldwin lives in Marysville Ohio in Union County, he does not live in Newark Ohio but spoke to the Newark City Council in favor of deregulation of pit bulls.  The majority of the City Council did not buy it and eventually voted to retain their pit bull ban.  This may indicate that the majority of city council members did not sleep through high school science classes where genetics was taught.  Changing a dog's address does not change the actual dog.  Recent news accounts of maulings by newly adopted pit bulls and fatal attacks by newly adopted or fostered pit bulls make this clear.  *See links at the bottom of this post.*

Here is where we take the detour, video of the city council meeting where Mr Baldwin spoke is posted online and I spent some time watching it.   Click here and you can watch it yourself. I recommend it.  At 3:58 into the video Steffen Baldwin gets up to speak.  Note the back of his jacket, it says Animal Cruelty Task Force in large yellow letters. Sounds legal doesn't it?  It is a private humane society in Union County Ohio not an entity of any level of government. Mr. Baldwin goes on to state that he has been requested to come to Newark and speak to the city council.  At 8:37 Baldwin goes on to speak briefly of the Mike Vick dogs that were rehabilitated and served as therapy dogs.  WHAT? A google search tells us that three of the 50 Vick pit bulls have participated in hospital visits.  The huge majority of the Vick pit bulls lived in sanctuaries or in extremely controlled situations.  Some were hit by cars, two were involved in an attack at Best Friends Animal Society where a non Vick pit bull named Beans was decapitated by a Vick pit and that pit went on to maul and nearly kill another of the other Vick pits.  Despite constant training some of the Vick pits took fully six years or more to pass the AKC CGC.  For more information click here.

After the foolish quote from the January Newark Advocate article and the Mike Vick "rehabilitated fighting pit bull therapy dogs" remark I HAD to know more about Baldwin.   Here is how Baldwin describes himself and his organization taken from his Linked In page "Since leaving the military at the end of 2001 I have spent the last thirteen years employed in the nonprofit sector with increasing levels of responsibility beginning with the YMCA in an entry level position, and spending the last eight years as an Executive Director. Most recently, I have taken my nonprofit skills along with my experience with animals and as a Humane Agent, to form my own private nonprofit organization known as the Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Ohio, or ACT Ohio, to provide free animal cruelty investigation services to rural counties in need."

Here is how it works, Ohio revised code only allows a Humane agent to work in the county where they live so ACT Ohio pays for the required training of a volunteer in that county and pays that volunteer mileage for calls.  All good so far.  ACT Ohio has volunteers in several counties. Humane investigations are fine and necessary, go for it.

We understand the business, lets understand the businessman.

Lets begin by taking a look at the resume that Mr. Baldwin AKA Steffen Evan Finkelstein, has posted on Linked In.  Start at the bottom with Education, The United States Military Academy at West Point 1999 to 2001 (three years) with a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, wow!











There is no graduation date but the intent is clear, those looking at this material are supposed to think Baldwin went to West Point. Here is the problem, West Point does not offer a bachelor's degree program in Philosophy.  West Point is the Army, they train those who they feel are officer material for fields that benefit the army. Philosophy does not fit here. It must be also be noted that West Point is a four year program, no exceptions.

Do you accept transfer students?
No. Students in college or with previous college credit may apply to West Point if they meet the basic requirements. However, those students still enter West Point as plebes (freshmen) and must complete the four-year program.

Just above Education we find work experience.





The first listing is United States Army Imagery Ground Station Operator/Paratrooper with dates July 1998 to December 2001.  How did one person spend three years at West Point to get a four year degree in a field that is not offered by West Point and in the same time frame serve as a Ground Station Operator and Paratrooper, discharged from the Army in 3 years and six months ?

Six months after Army discharge Baldwin begins an entry level job as a Youth Sports Coordinator, current salary for this position is $11 per hour.  






Also listed at the YMCA is a job as After School CAPS Supervisor, CAPS is a before and after school program for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade and the pay range would be expected to be about the same. The YMCA jobs are listed as June 2002 through August 2005.  This is apparently part time.  From June 2003 to August 2006 Baldwin has another part time job.  He served as a Funds Development Manager for a drug treatment facility.  From a pair of $11 an hour part time jobs at the Y to another part time job as a Funds Development Manager?  Logical?  Not particularly.

It gets more illogical.  The next job is listed as Executive Director for the Victor Valley Community Hospital Foundation (a community hospital that went bankrupt in 2010).






At this point Baldwin is about 26 years old with no documented bachelor's degree much less an MBA and he is Executive Director of a hospital foundation? Logical?  Not particularly. Baldwin has only one recommendation on his
Linked In page, someone from this period. She refers to him as an "exuberant Development Director."

In 2008 Baldwin comes to Ohio for a position as Executive Director of the Union County Humane Society, a private Humane Society with more members on the Board of Directors than actual employees.    Baldwin quit this job in 2013 stating that his heart was in the field and with Humane investigations















According to a post on his Facebook page dated March 10th the resignation was not that simple. He had been written up for what his board of directors considered to be inappropriate use of time "spending too much time on animal cruelty investigation work" and described that write up as "humiliating." In response he incorporated his own private humane society, ACT Ohio.  Baldwin lists himself as founder and CEO. ACT Ohio has two full time employees, Baldwin and an office manager.  Be clear about this, Baldwin considers ACT Ohio a business, he refers to the ACT Ohio facebook page as his "business page."  Checking Guidestar for ACT Ohio tells us that the organization does have 501c3 status (the ACT Ohio website does not include this information) and files the 990N tax form for non profits.  This tells us a bit about the financial side of ACT Ohio, less than $50,000 a year in gross receipts.

Baldwin has not removed or updated the status of his failed  consulting business from his Linked In resume.  His failed tattoo parlor, Lions and Lambs, in Marysville never made the resume.  A PDF of the Linked In resume has been saved.

Baldwin was interested in joining the staff at Franklin County Shelter as Director very recently. He did not get the job.
  










 Resumes are submitted for jobs and background checks are done.  Even the most casual review of Baldwin's resume turns up what we have looked at here.  Resumes that have gaps and obvious overstatements of qualifications are do not bring job offers.  Mr. Baldwin found this out.

But cheer up Steffen, life is about to get better.  You have aligned yourself with Best Friends Animal Society (motto - Bullying City Councils and State Legislatures in Order to Deny Home Rule Rights for Self Determination and Public Safety Everywhere) for assistance in fighting Newark Ohio's pit bull regulations. (Baldwin also lobbied in St. Marys Ohio after city council voted to regulate pit bulls. St. Marys is in Auglaize County, Baldwin has no business here either).  Why is it Baldwin's calling to negotiate with an out of state PAC to change law in a community where he does not reside in a county where he does not  reside?  It is not legal for Baldwin to act a Humane Officer in another county but he feels comfortable in continuing attempts to change law there even after the city councils have voted no on the proposal?

 Best Friends Animal Society is the out of state animal rights PAC that wrote HB 14, the epic fail bill to deregulate pit bulls in Ohio and "finally give dog wardens the tools to deal with dangerous dogs."  Not so much. Nine Ohio residents were killed by dogs of several breeds in the first two years after passage of HB 14.  Deaths in the previous DECADE?  Six.  The bill protects violent dogs and their owners at the expense of the peaceful public. At least two bills are expected to be introduced into the new General Assembly to clean up the mess left by HB 14.  Best Friends is also pushing for bills to be introduced in multiple state legislatures to prohibit BSL, denying the home rule rights of cities fed up with pit bull attacks and fed up with tax supported shelters housing unplaceable pit bulls for months to years.  So far this year Best Friends attempts to pass laws to prohibit BSL have failed in Arizona, Montana, Kentucky and Washington State.  An additional fact - Rhode Island has a bill to reverse the anti-BSl bill passed there last year.

Money comes with partnering with Best Friends and pit bull advocacy is all about donation dollars.  Best Friends Animal Society shamelessly and boldly promotes pit bulls in complete denial of the reality of pit bull violence, spending endless streams of cash on lawyers and lobbyists.  Why do pit bulls require this level of advocacy?  If pit bulls are what Best Friends Animal Society claims they are shelters would have no problem placing them.  This Facebook post made by Steffen Baldwin has already been removed but a screen shot was saved.  Apparently someone at Best Friends advised Mr. Baldwin to hide the evidence.
























Lee Greenwood is a Massachusetts based legislative attorney for Best Friends Animal Society headquartered in Utah.  Greenwood began his employment with Best Friends in 2014 and is already active in Kentucky, Georgia, and Delaware that I know of and probably more than that.  Greenwood is only one of many lawyers and lobbyists employed by Best Friends, Best Friends has lobbyists in all states.  Is there a comparable coast to coast cabal of consultants, lawyers, and lobbyists for Collies or Corgis?  For Poodles or Pugs?  Beagles or Bichons?  No, normal dogs do not require this level of advocacy.  

Expect more of Steffen's story in a self published book expected this summer.  Baldwin's words "so stay tuned for that in a few months and thank you to everyone who has followed either the business page or my personal page in the past two years"

I suspect that Baldwin may be a genuinely kind and altruistic person but he has made self promotion a life's work.  I am genuinely sorry for his troubles but he is blind to opposing points of view, like those of the victims of his beloved dogs.

Back to where we started with this detour, West Point has a cadet honor code, "A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do."  Wise words and a valuable policy.  Mr. Baldwin, I suspect you find this post eventually, the section at the bottom was written for you.
 

Back to Newark and the end of the detour. If you can get through Baldwin's remarks to the city council on the video, the next speaker is another non-local, a representative of another out of county Humane society who is anxious to place pit bulls with families in Newark.  It is to the shelter's advantage to have the dogs unregulated and without insurance requirements.

                                                                   * * *

We will make a brief stop at normal pit bull roundup items before returning to pit bull advocacy.


3/2/2014
Buckeye Lake Ohio

A local man was treated at Licking Memorial Hospital for bites that occurred when he tried to separate his dogs fighting inside his home.  The dogs, a pit bull and a pit bull beagle mix had been fighting for days with the pit bull showing increased aggression.   The dog owner's girlfriend corroborated his account saying the pit bull turned on him and bit him when he tried to separate it from his other dog. The pit bull would not release at first but the owner was eventually able to get his hand free and return the pit bull to its crate.  For more information please click here.

This dog's owner plans to send his pit bull to a rescue group.  This will change the pit bull? Not likely.

                                                                        * * *

1/7/2015
Wauseon Ohio

In an article dated 1/7/2015 the Toledo Blade covers the Wauseon Ohio City Council decision to retain current regulations on pit bulls.  Per the Blade "the current law that defines all "pit bulls" and "pit bull mixes"  to be registered as vicious remains in place.  Owners must pay $25 every year to register them with the city, show proof of insurance, and to adhere to fencing and muzzling rules."

The quotation marks surrounding the words pit bull are a Blade affectation.  The editors and owners of the Blade feel that there is really no such thing as a pit bull.  You will never see pit bull without quotation marks in any Toledo Blade story.

Please note that pit bulls are not banned in Wauseon, just regulated for the purpose of public safety but pit bull owners refuse to accept reasonable regulation perceiving it as persecution or canine racism.  "Resident April Petz, who owns one of ONLY TWO (emphasis mine)  "pit  bulls" registered in Wauseon, said she is fed up with having to register one dog but not a second dog - a bluetick coonhound-mountain cur mix - that she says is actually more likely to cause trouble.  I'm not registering; I'm making that perfectly clear," Mrs. Petz told council members.  "I'm registered through the county with my tags how I'm supposed to, and that's all the further that we'll go."

Petz moved to the community in 2007 and  registered her 10 year old pit bull after police informed her of the law at the request of a neighbor who had complained.  Why don't pit bull owners check local law before they move?  Petz went on to admit that she "forgot" to register her pit bull in 2008 and 2009 blaming the city for not sending reminders.  Mrs. Petz also acknowledges that her pit bull and her other dog have escaped their yard but fence repairs have stopped her dogs from roaming.

Pit bull advocates are not satisfied with a "no" vote and it is expected that pit bull advocacy will be back to badger the city council.   Per a Toledo Blade article dated 1/20/2015 the Safety and Code committee met for nearly two hours to discuss the same proposed ordinance changes.

County dog warden Brian Banister told committee members that in his opinion Wauseon should keep its pit bull laws, telling them pit bulls inflict more severe injuries than other breeds. "I think that this is a good thing it's in place and that "pit bull' owners should go a little step further to have these kinds of dogs."

Of course a self proclaimed dog trainer and "advocate for breed neutrality" brought in the tired pit bull talking points.  Mrs. Petz was back, complaining about enforcement.

If a proposal was made to regulate Poodles or Pugs I doubt that "advocates for breed neutrality" would turn up to protest.

In classic breathless overkill on the issue the Blade returns on 2/17/2015 with Wauseon to revisit breed- neutral dog ordinance.  A new proposal made by Police Chief Keith Torbet would remove restrictions against pit bulls and their mixes but "alters other areas to be more stringent."  The Chief suggests that any dog found running at large twice will be designated as an annoyance dog, a third incident would bump the dog up to a dangerous dog designation.  Per the Blade "Additionally, a dog that without provocation mildly injures a person, kills another dog, or approaches a person in a menacing fashion but does no injury would be deemed dangerous on the first incident.  Any dog that seriously injures a person would be deemed vicious.   This isn't going to affect the majority of dog owners, it's for the people that are constantly allowing their dogs to run loose."

Not surprisingly, dog advocates are not particularly pleased with this breed neutral proposal.  Local dog advocates are concerned that the new law would designate too many dogs as dangerous "even if they are only escape artists and have shown no aggression, or if they have shown aggression out of fear but have not (yet) hurt anyone."  Mrs Petz returned yet again and she wants the dangerous dog or annoyance dog designation removed if the dog has no further incidents in a given time frame, suggesting two years as that time frame.

Per the Blade article the issue was to be discussed on March 2nd.  I must have missed any Blade follow up however one last bit of business in the 2/17/2015 article caught my eye.  It was expected that another matter on the agenda for the March 2nd meeting would be a discussion of an "error in Mr. Estrada's candidacy for council."  Mr. Estrada is the councilman who introduced and championed the removal of restrictions on pit bulls in the city.  Mr. Estrada is an appointed member of the city council, not elected.  When he was appointed in September of 2014 following the death of an elected councilman Mr. Estrada was registered to vote in Wood County, not in Fulton County where Wauseon is located.  Wauseon law requires council members to be properly registered voters.  Mr. Estrada has lived in Wauseon since 2013 and stated that "he had believed he was properly registered and corrected it as soon as he became aware of it."

Not surprisingly, Estrada does not intend to resign.  The City Law director gave the city council three options for dealing with the Estrada problem.  They could disregard it as a simple mistake, pass a resolution of censure, or formally remove Estrada.

Why would you appoint someone to city council that has only lived in the community for a year?

                                                                  * * *

2/3/2015
Mt. Vernon Ohio

Per NBC4i.com "According to Mount. Vernon Police Chief Roger A. Monroe, a post on Facebook Monday indicated that a pit bull on Kenyon Street was being neglected."

County dog shelter workers went to the location provided and found Sammy the pit bull had shelter, dry bedding to sleep on, food and water, the water had frozen over due to very cold weather. Police and the dog warden agreed that the dog owner was compliant with the law.  During the night the police department received a large number of phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages on Sammy the pit bull.  The mayor's office was also contacted. NBC4 received emails from as far away as Washington state that said "EMERGENCY, DOG IS FREEZING."  Many of those who contacted officials also noted scars on the dog's body.  The frosting on the cake, someone pulled a gun on residents of the area where Sammy the pit bull was located as a result of the posting.

Sammy's owner stated the marks on his dog were caused by an allergic reaction after he switched from straw to cedar chips for Sammy's bedding.  The owner signed Sammy over to the dog warden due to concerns about the cost of medical care for the rash.

Police Chief Monroe stated that the number of calls received on the dog put the police department in jeopardy because of the backlog.

Quick review, an outdoor dog with shelter, rather luxurious dry bedding, food and water (yes it froze, it is February in Ohio)  kept in full compliance with the law caused such an uproar that complaints from as far away as Washington state overwhelmed the police department, were logged in the mayor's office, flooded a local television station, caused a humaniac to pull a gun on guiltless local residents, and put the police department in jeopardy due to backlog.  Mass hysteria.
  
Sammy has been removed from the residence.

                                                                     * * *

3/24/2015
Moraine Ohio

This is complicated, please hang in there.  This is yet another installment of the ongoing "a pit bull's worst nightmare is frequently his owner" series. Robert Anthony Cochran, age 29, has been taken to the Montgomery County jail (Yes, Mark Kumpf's territory) on suspicion of cruelty to animals and tampering with evidence.  

It appears that, per a female witness's  statement,  Cochran's pit bull got "spooked" and bit her.  The aggressive pit bull was apparently shot by Cochran inside Cochran's garage, he put the carcass in a black plastic bag, put it in his garbage can and was seen dragging his garbage can to SOMEBODY ELSE'S house.  This was reported to police.

Additional facts that do not surprise anybody, a female pit bull with a litter of puppies was found on Cochran's property, the female pit bull was not  licensed and is expected to be removed by the staff of Montgomery County Animal Resource Center (Mark Kumpf's staff).  Just what Kumpf needs, another pit bull in his shelter and an irresponsibly bred litter in the community.

This from WHIO News " Court records show Cochran was convicted of animal cruelty in 2012. In February that year police were searching the suspect’s home as part of a drug trafficking investigation and found a dog carcass in the freezer and a cat that was suffering from open sores on its face, according to court records.
Corchran was given a 90-day jail sentence, which was suspended providing that he stayed away from animals for one year."
Moraine man faces animal cruelty charge photo
Booking photo for Robert Anthony Cochran.

                                                                           * * *

1/31/2015
Stony Ridge Ohio

Two dead dogs, both shot in the head, were found in a Wood County ditch.  The dogs, a husky and a pit bull, both about a year old and belonging to the same owner went missing from a backyard just outside Stony Ridge. The gruesome discovery of the bodies was one day later.

Follow along here.  The Shufelt family had a total of six dogs, five Huskies and the pit bull.  Per family reports the dogs like to be outside.   Per reports the husband was outside with five of the dogs, two puppies and three adult dogs, and he went inside briefly to make lunch for one of his children.  When he returned to the yard 10 minutes later the three adult dogs were gone.  Per the Toledo Blade article "The dogs have gotten away from them before." "Their backyard is fenced in but the fence is only 4 feet high.  But they've always come back."

As is common in events like this, there are strong hints at criminal behavior by an unknown person. The scene comes direct from an episode of "The Fugitive" but in the pit bull version the one armed man becomes "someone" who "must have opened the gate and let the dogs out."  This claim is as common as dirt after an off property mauling.  But I digress,  Mrs Shufelt said there were no dog tracks in the snow, but there were human footprints up to their fence.  Per reports, the family searched the neighborhood but could not find the dogs.  A neighbor found one of the dogs running loose in the neighborhood later in the day.

The dead dogs were apparently not killed where the bodies were found or at the Shufelt home, no blood was found at either location,

The Blade goes on to explain that there have been numerous complaints made on the condition of the Shufelt family home, some neighbors want it torn down.  The family states they bought the property two years ago as a foreclosure and "recognize that it is an eyesore." They have focused their efforts on interior renovation and don't have the money for exterior repairs at this point.

The Shufelts state that "someone" put antifreeze in their yard last year but the complaint "wasn't taken seriously."

There is a lot wrong with this story.   Vigilante justice is ugly but it sounds like conflicts run deep in this neighborhood.  Neighbors have had enough of dogs that regularly escape and run the neighborhood, six dogs kept in a fairly irresponsible manner, an eyesore that has not improved in two years.  Moral of the story, keep your dogs at home and nobody will shoot them.

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This is information that has apparently been missed by Steffen Baldwin and other breed specific advocates. Possibly missed because these breed specific advocates are on the road constantly to make speeches defending the breed not at home reading the news.  If there is a similar list featuring Beagles adopted out of shelters, or Poodles, or Pugs I would like to see it.  This section is mostly a personal message to Mr. Baldwin.  When he speaks in public he admits that there are large differences of opinion on pit bulls but gives little credence or consideration to victims.  I would like him to see the other side of the pit bull problem.

Pit bull mauls the family that adopted it from a Philadelphia shelter on day two in the adoptive household.   The shelter's original response was that the dog "was very friendly that's why it was allowed to be adopted by the family "   Don the pit bull was a half price special at the shelter's "St. Pitty's day adoption event.


But wait, Don the pit bull has a bit of history.   The shelter had previously placed Don with a foster who returned Don the very next day because he attacked another pit bull in her home causing injuries that ran up a $700 vet bill. The foster responsibly reported the attack and she spoke to a reporter of her conversation with a representative of ACCT"I said to her, 'That dog attacked my dog, what if it attacks a kid?' She said, 'Don't worry about it, he won't do that,'" "I couldn't believe it. That poor family, the kids - it could have been my kids. How can someone sleep at night knowing that they adopted that dog out knowing that it viciously attacked my dog," 

Note, the people in the photo with Don are volunteers at ACCT who promoted the dog relentlessly.
Did rescue by the shelter and TWO attempts at rehoming change Don?  No.

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Pappy, the  Albuquerque pit bull and a known biter was given another chance and released into a new home in the community where not surprisingly he killed another dog.  Did putting Pappy in new surroundings change him?  Absolutely not.

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Rita Woodward AKA Rita Ross suffered a heart attack as she was being mauled by dogs she was fostering for a local rescue group.  Ross's  skills as a foster were well thought of by others in the group and she specialized in pit bulls.  When police arrived the dogs were actively feeding on Ross's body.    Were these dogs transformed by their improved living conditions?  No.


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Eugene Smith was killed by his own pit bull as he took down his Christmas tree.  Smith adopted the pit bull from a rescue group last May.  Did an improved living situation change this pit bull?  No.
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Rita Pepe was attacked by a neighbor's pit bull as she was walking in her neighborhood.  Mrs. Pepe's injuries were severe, she died several weeks later.  The pit bull had recently been adopted from a local shelter and had escaped from the new owner's home.  Did an improvement in his living situation change Booker the pit bull?  No.
 branford animal shelter adopts out attacking pit bull

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Child attacked by her new neighbor's rescued pit bull. The pit bull owner warned neighbors up front that the dog was a problem.  The child's mother told a reporter "The one who attacked her was adopted and it was abused previously," "And it had issues with women. He told us not to approach it, pet it, anything like that."  Did a change in the environment change the dog?  No.
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An Ohio rescue group sent a pit bull to a family to foster.  Jada the pit bull spent two days in the foster home  before the father was attacked by Jada causing thousands of dollars in medical bills and a three day stay in the hospital.  Here is a quote from a news story on the attack " After the attack, the Montjoys learned Jada had been in another foster home where she had bitten. The organization retrieved Jada from the house and the next day she was put down.  “I know there is assumed risk taking a pit bull into my house,” said Greg. “But at the same time, I have the head of the rescue assuring me that this is a great dog that has been fully evaluated and is perfectly safe in my house."

Did two re locations and two opportunities for a new life change Jada?  No they did not.

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This is brand new.  A four year old child attacked by a pit bull adopted by his family just 4 weeks ago.  The child required airlift to a major medical center for treatment of the injuries to his face.  Below  is a photo of the pit bull, that is the child's blood still on his face.  The dog was given to the family by a friend of a neighbor.  Watch the video with the link.  The child is in the hospital on a vent and his mother is telling a reporter that a great dog Smash was.  Smash's previous owner is interviewed and he states that Smash was dog aggressive but not human aggressive.  Classic.

Did relocation change this dog? Apparently not.

Do you wonder what the four year old boy's injuries might look like?  This might help.  Let me introduce a little girl named Naty, first photo is prior to her attack, second photo is a hospital photo taken after her attack in 2009, the third photo was taken not long ago after a recent.surgery.  This courageous child has a personal motto  "It's OK not to be perfect."  Remarkable.





Pit bull advocates might consider supporting this little girl by purchasing a Team Naty tee shirt with some of their donor dollars.

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Here is another before and after. John was killed by his neighbor's eight month old pit bull puppy.


The after photo.

Pit bull advocates might consider a donation toward the grave marker.

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Another before and after.  This is Kara  Kara Hartrich died from massive blood loss and multiple bites to her head, neck and arms after being attack by her familys pit bulls
Please click here to read what Kara's mother wrote about Kara's death. Kara was killed by the family pit bulls. Or you could click here to watch Roxanne Hartrich speak about Kara's death.

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I'm on a roll now with video.

Here is Dax Borchardt in the arms of his father, Jeff Borchardt.
Beyond the interview, essay of a fatal pit bull mauling
Click here for an interview with Jeff speaking about the death of his son.

This is the after photo, how VERY sad.
Daxton Borchardt Memorial
Pit bull advocates might consider a donation to Daxton's Friends for Canine Education and Awareness.
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Here is Beau Rutledge.
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Here is a link to video of Beau's father Jeremiah speaking of the loss of his son.  Beau was killed by the family pit bull.

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I'm going back a few years for this one but it becomes timely, follow along please.

On April 16, 2009 five year old Frankie Flora was attacked and mauled by his aunt's pit bull as they were playing in the yard.  The pit bull was a rescue from Out of the Pits, a New York state pit bull rescue group.  Per the Out of the Pits website " "Out of the Pits, a non-profit organization founded in 1996, is dedicated to the rescue of those Pit Bulls that have been abandoned and abused. We seek to educate the public about the true nature of the Pit Bull and to restore the breed to its former position of esteem in the hearts and minds of people everywhere."

Here is the "true nature of the Pit Bull"

Before and after photos of Frankie Flora

Frankie's courageous fight for recovery led him to be named a 2010 Children's Miracle Network Ambassador and even brought Frankie a visit to the White House.
 Frankie flora pit bull attack survivor
Here is a link to a great deal of information on Frankie, please read and remember this when you speak to city councils on your personal desire for deregulation of pit bulls.

Here is a link to information on the Frankie Flora Bill introduced into the New York State legislature.

Frankie, his mother Maria, and state Senators Gipson and Breslin, sponsors of the Frankie Flora bill.

The New York Post has just written an article on pork-barrel grants found in the state budget.  Per the Post "Even pit bulls got love from Albany, with the budget appropriating $5,000 to Out of the Pits, a group that aids stray dogs of that breed."  What are lawmakers thinking here?  The Frankie Flora bill is still in the legislature and the legislature has awarded a grant to Out of the Pits?  

Was the pit bull rescued by Out of the Pits and placed with Frankie Flora's aunt changed by the  rescue experience?  Apparently not.  Did lawmakers in the state of New York learn anything here?  Apparently not, they awarded a grant, this is taxpayer money here, to the very organization responsible for Frankie's injuries.  It should be recognized that the all powerful and extremely well funded Animal Farm Foundation, a pit bull advocacy organization (motto - Securing Equal Treatment and Opportunity for "Pit Bull" dogs) is owned by wildly wealthy New York state heiress Jane Saul Berkey is based in New York State.   Coincidence or political pull?  

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Mr. Baldwin, if you make the choice to take risks with you and yours, that is your decision.  The communities that have voted to keep their proactive pit bull regulations have done so thoughtfully and lawfully with the intent to protect their residents from the losses suffered by these families and many others.

I promise, this is the last one.  Consider the future of this pit bull owner, mauled by her own pit bulls, she was physically normal prior to the attack..

Click here for video of Linda Henry, she has changed her mind about pit bulls and now favors regulation.  I can give you the result of the effort to regulate pit bulls in this town.  The councilman who introduced the proposal dropped it because of death threats he received from pit bull owners.

pit bull
Linda Henry

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Here is a link to a recent story about a problem surfacing in Shelters and rescues in American cities, recycling known biters back into the community.  Don't miss the letter of complaint dealing with the known biter pit bull Pappy.  The photo below was included in the linked article, the child was attacked by a dangerous dog released from the shelter.   She was fortunate, she lived but the scar will last for her whole life.
This unidentified child was attacked last year by a dangerous dog adopted from the city animal shelter. The photo was included in a complaint to the Inspector General’s Office.
This quote on the dog that attacked the girl in the photo comes from Merritt Clifton's Animals 24/7
 “A pit bull named Mugsy Malone was officially declared dangerous even before he attacked a 3-year-old girl. The dog has twice come and gone from our animal shelters. The attack on the child was not enough to warrant euthanasia under our practices. Neither was the fact that Mugsy Malone killed a small dog, and also bit a man in our own facility. Mugsy Malone went on to injure a shelter volunteer, but was transferred to Fur & Feathers Animal Assistance of Pie Town. There he injured the two founders of the organization.”
This is outrageous!  Who is looking out for the safety of the public?

Apparently nobody is looking out for the safety of the public.
3/3/15  A spokesperson for Fur and Feathers Rescue feels Mugsy Malone isn't ready to adopt out right now but she believes that he may someday be ready to go back into the community.  You can't make this stuff up.

This last article was published in 2013 but it has bearing on our topic, shelters and rescues that are committed to saving known dangerous dogs at the expense of public safety.  The Longmont Humane Society was ticketed by police on suspicion of keeping a dangerous dog, Bridgette the pit bull.  This was big, Humane societies are seldom ticketed.  The pit bull was being fostered for the Longmont Humane Society and attacked a neighbor and the neighbor's leashed dog. The ticket was the result of police awareness that a "disproportionate number of dog bite reports in the city were coming from animals adopted out of the Humane Society". Investigation into the record of Bridgette, the attacking pit bull, revealed that she had a history of biting animals and humans and had been declared dangerous in another county.  Bridgette also got into a fight at the shelter. Bridgette was in training for control of her aggression while at the shelter and shelter trainers "determined that she was progressing well" this allowed her to go to the foster (who was a shelter volunteer).  Bridgette attacked the neighbor four days later.  Did any of these changes in environment or training attempts change Bridgette? No.

Investigation revealed that in 2012 nearly 16% of dog bites in Longmont were traced to dogs adopted out of the Longmont Humane Society.  At the time this article appeared in October of 2013 13% of dog bites in Longmont were traced to dogs adopted out on the shelter.

Did relocation of these dogs change them?  The answer here is no.
    
Longmont police ticketed the Longmont Humane Society on suspicion of keeping a dangerous dog when a dog in foster care attacked a neighbor and his leashed
                                                           
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These are  recent attacks, required no effort to find and are just a few examples of the problem.  Pit bull advocates refuse to acknowledge the danger of the breed/type.  Denial leads to more suffering and death.  Advocates have the right to their opinion but they do not have the right to appear before lawmakers and state that absurdity is fact.  Those who get their news from actual news sources know better.  A better use of time and resources would be working toward laws mandating neuter and spay of pit bulls and their mixes.  The dogs suffer, they are abandoned on the streets or surrendered to shelters primarily due to aggression issues.  Pit bulls languish for months or years in shelters with no hope for placement because the public reads the actual news and they want safer family dogs.  Roughly a million pit bulls are euthanized in shelters in the United States EVERY YEAR,  Those who claim to love the breed are the only ones that can solve the problem.  Those who claim to love the breed must to stop breeding dogs destined to suffer and die, and cause suffering and death in the community as well. Without the tremendous numbers of pit bulls in shelter cages there would be none of the current hysteria to rescue and place them.  Pit bull rescue groups could relax, organize picnics, enjoy life.

Steffen Baldwin includes this phrase in every Facebook post he makes "#don't bully my breed #stop BSL."  Here is a suggestion, don't bully peaceful communities that place a higher value on the safety of residents than on the personal choices of breed specific advocates who do not live in the community.

We will conclude this post with a photo of Mr. Baldwin wearing a shirt that sums up his thought pattern. It is a pity that he can't see the other side of the problem.