Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ohio Pibble March, part one.

The Ohio Pibble march is history.

Let me begin with a simple fact. In their shrill attempts to wrest home rule rights from Ohio communities pit bull advocates claim that breed neutral law will make Ohio safer.  If that was the case then the states that already have laws to prohibit BSL would each be a peaceful paradise.  Not so much. Your risks of being killed by a pit bull are HIGHEST in states with an anti-BSL law.

Texas passed a statewide anti BSL law in 1991.  Since passage of that law 42 Texans have been mauled to death by pit bulls, 36 of them in the last 10 years.  California passed an anti-BSL law in in 1989.  Since passage of that law 39 Californians have been killed by pit bulls, 30 of them in the last 10 years.  In 1990 Florida passed an anti-BSL law, since that time 22 Floridians have been killed by pit bulls, 13 of them in the last 10 years.  

Moving on to the promised announcement at the Pibble March.  That announcement appears to be the tactic to be used by the Ohioans Against Breed Discrimination.  The photo below is from the public Facebook page of OABD, this is their publicity photo.  And that tactic is


Interesting tactic but totally false.

Let's take a stroll through Ohio law.

The State of Ohio v. Anderson.  In 1991 the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio ruled that Ohio's BSL was constitutional AND that "dog owners of average intelligence" can identify pit bulls.  Here is the court's summary and keep in mind that this remains the Ohio Supreme Court's official opinion on pit bulls.
"In sum, we reject the appellee's contention that the phrase "commonly known as a pit bull dog" is so devoid of meaning that R.C. 955.11(A)(4)(a)(iii) is unconstitutionally void for vagueness. Pit bull dogs possess unique and readily identifiable physical and behavioral traits which are capable of recognition both by dog owners of ordinary intelligence and by enforcement personnel. Consistent and detailed descriptions of the pit bull dog may be found in canine guidebooks, general reference books, statestatutes and local ordinances, and state and federal case law dealing with pit bull legislation. By reference to these sources, a dog owner of ordinary intelligence can determine if he does in fact own a dog commonly known as a pit bull dog within the meaning of R.C. 955.11 (A)(4)(a)(iii). Similarly, by reference to these sources, dog wardens, police officers, judges, and juries can enforce the statute fairly and evenhandedly. Consequently, we find that R.C. 955.11(A)(4)(a)(iii) is not unconstitutionally void for vagueness."

More from the Ohio Supreme Court's 1991 ruling.
"Furthermore, the dog owner of ordinary intelligence, when determining whether he or she owns a pit bull dog, need not rely solely on the dog's physical traits. Rather, the pit bull possesses certain distinctive behavioral features which differentiate it from other dog breeds. In Vanater v. South Point, supra, the court found that pit bulls have the following behavioral traits: "* * * a) grasping strength, b) climbing and hanging ability, c) weight pulling ability, d) a history of frenzy, which is the trait of unusual relentless ferocity or the extreme concentration on fighting and attacking, e) a history of catching, fighting, and killing instinct, f) the ability to be extremely destructive and aggressive, g) highly tolerant of pain, h) great biting strength, i) undying tenacity and courage and they are highly unpredictable." Id. at 1240. The court further found that pit bulls possess the quality of gameness, which it described as "the propensity to catch and maul an attacked victim unrelentingly until 173*173 death occurs * * *." Similarly, in Singer, supra, the evidence presented at trial established that pit bulls "possess inherent characteristics of aggression, strength, viciousness and unpredictability not found in other dog breeds. * * * [U]nlike other breeds which retreat if they are injured in a fight or an attack, a pit bull will often bite, clamp down with its powerful jaw, and maintain its hold until separated from its victim." Finally, the Florida ordinance regulating pit bull ownership which was upheld in State v. Peters(Fla. App. 1988), 534 So.2d 760, states that pit bulls are distinguished by "* * * a high [in]sensitivity to pain, extreme aggressiveness towards other animals, and a natural tendency to refuse to terminate an attack once it has begun * * *." Id. at 764."

The court's statement that "a dog owner of ordinary intelligence" can identify a pit bull is repeated  several times.  Why can't pit bull owners identify pit bulls? 

Moving on to the 2007 Ohio Supreme Court Ruling City of Toledo v. Tellings. The Ohio Supreme Courts's conclusion.
{¶ 35} In conclusion, the state and the city of Toledo possess the constitutional authority to exercise police powers that are rationally related to a legitimate interest in public health, safety, morals or general welfare. Here, evidence proves that pit bulls cause more damage than other dogs when they attack, cause more fatalities in Ohiothan other dogs, and cause Toledo police officers to fire weapons more often than people or other breeds of dogs cause the firing of weapons. We hold that the state ofOhio and the city of Toledo have a legitimate interest in protecting citizens from the dangers associated with pit bulls, and that R.C. 955.11(A)(4)(a)(iii) and 955.22 andToledo Municipal Code 505.14 are rationally related to that interest and are constitutional."

Tellings appealed the ruling to the United States Supreme Court.  The United States Supreme Court refused to hear it.  

In 2011 the United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division ruled in favor or the city of Lakewood's breed ban in the case of Tarquinio v. the City of Lakewood.  The court ruled Lakewood Ohio's pit bull ban was constitutional.  

Courts in other states have also ruled BSL constitutional as well.
In 2009 the United States District Court, D, Colorado ruled in support of Aurora's breed ban in American Canine Foundation and Florence Vianzon.
"11. Accordingly, I find that the ordinance is not an abuse of the City's police power. I further conclude that the classification of pit bulls and restricted breeds in Aurora'sordinance is rationally related to its undisputed legitimate interest in protecting the health and safety of its residents. Accordingly, there has been no deprivation of due process nor has there been a violation of the Equal Protection Clause."

This quote comes from the same ruling and should be noted.  The city tried the breed neutral/education tactic so loved by breed specific advocates and it was a failure. 
8. At trial, Cheryl Conway testified that the Aurora City Council initially considered breed specific legislation in 2003. During that time frame, Aurora was the recipient of a number of dogs banned in other cities close to and/or bordering Aurora, andAurora's animal control officers were voicing concern about the increasing numbers of these animals and their aggressiveness. Further, a concern was noted that breeding was a lucrative business in Aurora, and that these banned dogs were being bred increasingly for their aggressive tendencies. Finally, Aurora was receiving calls from constituents complaining that they were afraid of these dogs.
9. Rather than enact a breed-specific law at that time, the Aurora City Council opted instead to strengthen its dangerous and vicious animal ordinance. It did so by requiring certain animals to be spayed and neutered and increasing the penalties under that ordinance. The City also started a campaign to educate the public regarding these changes in the dangerous and vicious animal ordinance. Ms. Conway testified that this attempt to strengthen the dangerous and vicious animal ordinance fell short of its goal, as the number of reported bites continued to rise, the request for services from people related to dangerous and vicious animals increased, and the numbers of these dogs in shelters continued to increase."

An additional fact on this ruling.  Pit bull advocates continued in their attempts to bully the Aurora City Council into dropping the breed ban.  The Aurora City Council was so fed up with the constant battles that they put the issue on the ballot so that Aurora residents could have the final say on the matter. Voters in Aurora supported their breed ban by a landslide vote.

Pit bull advocates did not react well to the loss.  In an editorial for the Aurora Sentinel titled "No surprise that pit bullies won't let Aurora election loss go" editor Perry gives the response seen at his newspaper.  Take a moment to read this editorial, an absolute gem.  Don't miss the comment by well known New Jersey pit bull advocate Bob Cronk.  

In 2008 the Colorado courts ruled in Sonia Dias et al v. the City and County of Denver.  The Denver breed ban was ruled constitutional AND the court also ruled that the plaintiffs must pay the legal expenses of the city and county of Denver. Loved it!  

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled in favor of local regulation in 2005 McNeeley v. United States.

In 1989 the state of Florida the United States District Court, S.D. Florida ruled in American Dog Owners et al v. Dade County Florida.
" Based upon the substantial evidence presented at trial, this court finds that DadeCounty Ordinance No. 89-022 provides sufficient guidance to dog owners, both in its explicit reference to pit bull dogs, and in its definitional section, to enable pit bullowners to determine whether their dogs fall within the proscriptions of the ordinance. Whether the ordinance will be applied in a discriminatory fashion is a question that cannot be determined in the context of this pre-enforcement action. Certainly there are some applications of the ordinance which pass constitutional muster. As long as the enactment is not impermissibly vague in all its applications, this court must uphold its constitutionality. Upon consideration of the evidence presented at trial, the pleadings, memoranda, exhibits and arguments of counsel and upon application of the controlling authority, this court finds that plaintiffs have failed to meet their burden of proof and that the Court is required to uphold the constitutionality of Dade CountyOrdinance No. 089-22."

U. S. District Court in Pennsylvania in 1986 rules in favor of local BSL.

State Supreme Court ruled in favor of local BSL in West Virginia in 2013.

In 1991 the Colorado Supreme court ruled in favor of local BSL. 

The list of court rulings upholding BSL is very long, goes back MANY years.  No point is served in going any further with this.  The claim that BSL is unconstitutional?  That ship has sailed and we need wave goodbye and move on.

We will be back with MUCH more from the Ohio Pibble March very soon.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ohio pit bull advocacy steps up the assault on the home rule rights of Ohio residents

Ohio has become, yet again, the eye of the pit bull storm.  There have been strong hints from pit bull advocacy on a "secret" to be revealed at the May 30 Pibble March on the state capitol but the ever pit-bull-positive Huffington Post writer Arin Greenwood spoiled the surprise and announced breathlessly that a PAC "for dogs" has been formed in Ohio.  Here is the unspoken part of the statement, the dogs involved are pit bulls and their mixes only. Beagles have no political clout, or Poodles, or Pugs. Border Collies are on their own. Labs and Goldens go unrecognized by Ohioans Against Breed Discrimination. 

The goal of OABD is an amendment to the Ohio Constitution prohibiting regulation of dogs by breed. Demands of pit bull advocates were ignored by several Ohio cities in the last year.  BSL was upheld in Reynoldsburg, Parma, Bexley,Wauseon, and Newark. Lakewood shows no particular interest in dropping their breed ban.  Pit bull advocacy can't have that, city council members voting for common sense regulations to protect their constituents?  Heavens no!  This on top of the losses in the state legislatures in Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Montana, and Washington State where preemption bills barring local pit bull ordinances had been introduced and pushed by Best Friends Animal Society.  Five state legislature losses out of five for Best Friends so far in 2015, 100% of the states where BSL was challenged voted against preemption.  In 2014 they had only a 33% success rate (6 tries, 2 passed and one of these two was Best Friends own home state).  
Breed specific advocates continue to boldly but falsely state that the "trend" is for BSL laws to be repealed.  These quotes from the National Canine Research Council (which is not a council and is a wholly owned subsidiary of extreme pit bull advocacy, The Animal Farm Foundation). 
Not so much if you look at actual facts.  The actual trend is to protect the home rule rights of cities to regulate as they see fit.  

I have digressed yet again, back to the topic of this post.  Ohioans Against Breed Discrimination is the brainchild of Steffen Baldwin and Luke Westerman.  Those who read this blog will be familiar with Baldwin's name.  For those just catching up you can click here and here for more on Baldwin. Baldwin has joined with Luke Westerman, a businessman and a self proclaimed philanthropist and good Samaritan to form OABD.  These two, along with their wives/significant others, and Dana Pannella an Akron lawyer specializing in animal law, plan to raise five million dollars to promote their ballot initiative for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit any city or county in the state of Ohio from enacting or enforcing any breed specific legislation.  

Five milllion dollars to "educate" the peaceful public about what is in their best interests as determined by breed specific advocates?   "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain peaceful citizens, don't read the news from actual news sources that tell you about fatal pit bull attacks on your neighbors and your pets, listen to us when we deny it all."  

Yes, they want to spend five million dollars to convince Ohio voters to vote away their home rule rights to run their communities as they see fit, leaving important decisions to those who fail to realize that "discrimination" is a human condition that has nothing to do with dogs.  Here is a quote from OABD founding member Alisha Westerman "People should never allow discrimination to be supported by law and it is up to all of us to ensure it isn’t," "That’s what this PAC stands for and that is why everyone should stand up and disallow discrimination of any sort."   Did I miss any reference to the victims of pit bull attacks, or concern for them in that quote?  

It is probably time to review just a few facts. Dogs are purpose bred.  Some are bred to retrieve ducks, some are bred to point to birds, some are bred to follow their noses, some bred to pull sleds, some are bred to herd livestock.  Given the selective breeding of these dogs nobody is surprised when a Lab or a Golden retrieves a ball.  No shock when a Pointer goes into a point at a hat with a feather in it.  Your Beagle gets out and trots off following an interesting scent?  Well, what did you expect?  Your Husky gets out and just runs?  Bred to do it.  The Border Collie next door crouches low and circles the neighborhood children in an attempt to herd them?  Hello?  It's a Border Collie.  A pit bull kills the neighbor's Poodle or mauls someone peacefully walking down the street?  No shock here.   

It is not discrimination to acknowledge breed traits, breeds were created for just these traits.  It is not discrimination when Anheuser Busch staff members hitch the Budweiser Clydesdales to the beer wagons instead of Hackney ponies or Arabian horses.
Image result for clydesdales
These horses are bred to pull a huge beer wagon.  This is is is not discrimination, it is reality.

This fine harness pony is bred for the show ring.  It is not discrimination.  The pony does not suffer from poor self esteem because he is not pulling the beer wagon.

As it has been said many times, pit bulls were bred for an activity so violent that it is a felony in all fifty states.  Pit bulls are bred to kill other dogs for the amusement of the horrid people who created the breed/type.  It is not discrimination to acknowledge this.

Personally, I think if five million dollars is raised (and that is no sure thing, with a very recent $200 contribution OABD has raised  $310 from 7 donors in 11 days, a long way from five million) that five million dollars should be used to educate pit bull owners, not the peaceful public.  Teach pit bull owners how to keep their dogs contained on their own property.  Pit bull owners and their family members will still be at risk for attack but the public will be safe. Everybody wins.

Teach pit bull owners the value of neuter and spay.  Actual research from actual veterinarians in over 600 veterinary clinics in the United States and published in the JAVMA in 2011 deals with the prevalence of neuter and spay by breed.  This research tells us that pit bulls have a very low rate of surgical castration.
Goldens?  74% neuter and spay
Labs?  72% neuter and spay
Beagles?  74% neuter and spay
Dachshunds?  66% neuter and spay
Pit bulls?  27% neuter and spay.  Think about that.

Actual numbers in the community must be far lower.  The listed statistics come from dogs seen in veterinary hospitals. Huge numbers of pit bulls are never seen by vets.  Read about pit bull attacks in the news and it is as common as dirt that the dogs have never been vaccinated and never seen the inside of a vet clinic.

Get the numbers of breeding pit bulls under control and the numbers of pit bulls in shelters facing euthanization drops like a rock. Better bred pit bulls will go to more responsible owners.  Fewer pit bulls owned by the irresponsible and uninsured will make the numbers of life ending or life changing pit bull maulings drop as well. The numbers of communities driven to consider regulating pit bulls will drop as a result.  Everybody wins.  But the public can't do this, only pit bull advocates can do it.  Spend your five million dollars cleaning up your own mess.

These are the people responsible for OABD.
Luke Westerman

Please spend a bit of time on Mr. Westerman's website,  His quotes are set in lavish typeface and set off in the manner of quotes from Gandhi or Christ.

Steffen Baldwin

Steffen Baldwin and his significant other Lauren Schneiders, Westerman with his wife Alisha.

Dana Pannella animal activist attorney.
DanaMarie Pannella

Arin Greenwood
Arin Greenwood, Huffington Post pit bull advocate and reporter.

Should these people be in charge of changing the Constitution of the State of Ohio?

Here is a fairly insensitive quote from Baldwin 

Steffen Evan Baldwin uploaded a new video.
Nobody is surprised when a dog (breed regardless but pit bull type dogs in particular) is raised by bad people to do bad things and winds up an evening news story. But what about those family dogs that are in good homes and they "just snap?" The BSL supporters cling to those stories for dear life as justification to discriminate but Lauren and I have several clients with dogs of all breeds that are in good homes but are becoming reactive. What do you think the common link is, in each of our clients homes? If you said "A lack of physical and mental stimulation equal to the dog and his/her individual needs" you'd be right...."  

He goes on here to explain his personal exercise program for his pit bulls, yadda, yadda, yadda as if it makes sense that dogs have to be managed in a particular manner in order to prevent attacks and maulings on family members and neighbors.  Baldwin is apparently not aware, or care, that "BSL supporters clinging to stories about dogs that snap" are VICTIMS of dogs that snapped.  

More from Baldwin.  This explains future plans for the effort to deprive Ohio residents of their home rule rights.  Looks a bit like they are having difficulty finding a lawmaker willing to put their name on a bill that has failed in nine other states in the last year or so but OABD remains hopeful.

Why did we form a PAC instead of working with a politician on getting a bill written to end breed discrimination in Ohio (If you missed the article, read here:…/11/pit-bull-pac_n_7242318.h…)? We're all for the idea and would support a bill like that...but we're here as a PAC because the people behind the scenes here at OABD have worked with politicians on several animal welfare bills in the past; we've provided proponent testimony on too many good animal welfare bills that have died in committees due to political inactivity. We've weighed out the options and we know we've bitten off a big task by taking this issue to the voters directly...but we're the kind of people that would rather bust our own butts to get something done rather than kiss someone else's! We're ready to roll our sleeves up and get to work...but it's going to take your financial support. We'll have a more comprehensive fundraising plan to discuss on May 30th but for now you can help with a small contribution to help us with some initial costs and to purchase some merch/gear to be used to raise even more money and spread our message across the State. We've set up a GoFund me account for the next few weeks, and every little bit will add up! Let's do this guys, together!!! "

It might be wise for pit bull advocates to clean up their own mess.  Here in the real world the courts are beginning to do exactly what breed specific advocates have been demanding for years.  Hold dog owners responsible for the violence of their dogs.

Four years in prison (not enough) for Brian Hrenko, owner of the pit bull that mauled Claudia Gallardo to death.
Stockton woman killed by pit bull
Claudia Gallardo

A symbolic 100 million dollar settlement against the owner of the pit bulls that mauled Steven Constantine, who lost an arm and a foot and faces 35 more surgeries. The pit bull owner is judgement proof but the amount was set to indicate "this is not acceptable."  Amen and hallelujah.
Embedded image permalink
Steven Constantine

Jena Wright was found guilty on all charges for the death of four year old Jordyn Arndt, a child she was babysitting.  Wright's pit bull mauled Jordan to death.

Wright faces up to 20 years in prison. 
In the early days after the fatal attack Jena Wright's father-in-law, Buster Wright speculated that Jordyn was responsible for her own death.  How do people get this crazy?
 step father of babysitter blames child victim for fatal attack
criminal trial jena wright, pit bull owner and babysitter

Donald Jackson, charged with murder for the mauling death of Pamela Devitt,  was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
Defense attorney Al Kim, left, and Alex Donald Jackson, right, react as Jackson's brother Vincent Jackson pleads for leniency during the sentencing hearing in an Antelope Valley courtroom Friday. Jackson was sentenced Friday to 15 years to life in state prison. (Photo courtesy Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times)
Jackson hears the verdict.

Anthony Hunt was sentenced to five to eight years in prison for the maulings of Bridgetta Hadley and Duane VanLanHam, who came to her rescue and was also mauled.  Interesting to note that Mr. VanLanHam was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Heroism for his actions in defense of Ms. Hadley, a childhood friend.
Bridgetta Hadley and Duane VanLanHam
Bridgetta Hadley and Duane VanLanHam

These are just a handful of recent cases and there will doubtless be more. A bill recently introduced into the Ohio Senate will hold owners of violent dogs criminally responsible.     

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.

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.

                                                                   * * *

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.    

                                                                  * * *

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.

                                                                * * *

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.

                                                              * * *


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.

                                                                * * *

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.

                                                                   * * *

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!

                                                              * * *

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.

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.

                                                              * * *

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?

                                                                    * * *

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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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 "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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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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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              
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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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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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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Kettering Ohio

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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 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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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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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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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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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