Saturday, December 29, 2012

Holiday pittery from Ohio

A Cleveland jogger was horrified when two large pit bulls attacked her dog and needed to be beaten off by their owners with baseball bats.  She feels, and rightly so, that if the pit bull owners came out with baseball bats to control their dogs, they knew the dogs were vicious.  Albie, the year and a half old Samoyed will recover but Albie's owner, Elizabeth Froberg is reconsidering her morning jog.  There is no mention of exactly who will be paying Albie's vet bills.  My guess is that Ms. Froberg is likely to be stuck with this.


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Toledo police, investigating possible drug sales from a residence, were charged by two pit bulls released from that home.  A nineteen year old Toledo woman was hit in the foot by a bullet aimed by police at the charging pit bulls.  Police Chief Mark Holden stated " As the resident opened the door, two large pit bulls ran from the apartment and charged the officers (who) were pursuing the resident."  "As the dogs approached the officers, one fired his weapon at the animals and fell as he was trying to retreat.  Other officers also fired as the dogs charged the fallen officer."   The young woman was treated and released, as was the officer, and the pit bull.

Kyle E. Zarcone, 19 of 309 Dale Ave., and Anthony R. Hicks, 19 of 607 Pleasant St. were arrested and transported to the Huron County jail.  Zarcone was charged with possession of a controlled substance and Hicks was charged with trafficking in marijuana, per the Norwalk Reflector.

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Herbie, the neglected and emaciated pit bull found in Lorain Ohio has been diagnosed with untreatable cancer.  Despite recent weight gains and the excellent care Herbie has received, he will not survive. Click here for more information on Herbie.    

Friday, December 7, 2012

Something really good in Cincinnati

I have been very hard on the city of Cincinnati recently and it is time to talk about something in that city that is truly extraordinary, the Shriner's Hospital for Children.  Shriner's Hospitals are non profit, supported by the Shriners organization and donations from the public,  not funded through taxpayer dollars.

The Shriner's Hospital for Children in Cincinnati Ohio has accepted another pit bull mauling victim. On Wednesday Lilly Goodson of Spaulding County Georgia, age five, was mauled by the family pit.  It took a bullet from a police officer's gun to end the attack on Lilly, and on her grandmother who was trying to protect her.  Shriner member Bill Hatchett said "It's just the most heart-wrenching thing you've ever seen in your life.  The little girl, she's beat up from her head to her toes, and she's fighting for her life right now."  "She is going to need several surgeries.  There is no way without the help of Shriner's Hospital that the family could afford to do that."    The Shriner's Hospital specializes in reconstructive surgery.  Lilly has severe injuries to her face and body and lost an ear in the attack.  She will require many surgeries.  The transfer to Cincinnati will take place as soon as Lilly is stable enough to travel.  Lilly will be the third pit bull victim treated at this hospital.


Two year old George Sumrall of Sumter South Carolina is being treated at Cincinnati Shriner's Hospital for his pit bull mauling injuries.  George lost both ears and his scalp in the attack.

Eleven year old Brandon Williams of Cocke County Tennessee  is being treated at Shriner's Hospital Cincinnati.  Brandon lost both ears and had severe damage to his right arm in the attack.

Nine year old Malik Harvey is being treated at a California Shriner's Hospital for Children for his pit bull inflicted injuries.

The Shriner's Hospital in Cincinnati is designated by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons as a Verified Burn Center.  Many victims of pit bull maulings require treatment in burn centers because their skin is simply gone, just like skin that is burned away.  These areas need protection from infection, specialized treatments, and skin grafts.  Burn Centers treat the patient from acute injury through reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation.

Shriners's Hospitals will treat a child until that child reaches the age of eighteen with no charge to the family of the child.  Shriners is an outstanding organization and deserves recognition for their work!  For more information on Shriners Hospitals click here.
Garrett Carrier, 10, shows of the web scars left in the wake of a pit bull attack in July. He's undergoing major surgery Friday to repair his left arm.
1/27/2013 Update.  Garrett Carrier of Middleburg Kentucky will have surgery at Cincinnati Shriner's Hospital for Children.

Garrett almost lost his arm to a pit bull attack last July. Garrett's mother describes the surgery. "“They’re going to take muscle from his back and build him a new armpit, and they’re hoping there’s enough left over to build him a new deltoid, too,” his mother explains. “They’re also going to take some nerves from his ankle to put in his arm, and give him Botox injections to firm up the muscle.” 

Per the Central Kentucky News "If Garrett’s upcoming surgery is successful, doctors believe the range of motion of his left arm will increase dramatically, though he’ll probably never be able to raise it above his shoulder. And it is hoped, with continued therapy, that he will regain 100 percent of the function of his left hand, Sims said.
While those outcomes would be something to cheer about, the damage done by the dog bites will never be repaired enough to allow him to resume playing baseball, basketball, football and other activities that used to be his favorite things. It’s something he’s learning to accept."  
Pit bull attacks change lives, it is a disgrace that children continue to suffer maulings like Garrett's.  The pit bull that mauled Garrett has been put down and the owners of that dog have moved away.   These dog owners have walked away from the suffering they created.   

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It has been far too long since the last Pit bull roundup.

These will be in no particular order, I'm just housecleaning here. I'm sorry about the font changes, I seem to have no control over it.

Findley Ohio police shot a pit bull named Cujo.  The son of of Cujo's owner was attempting to stop Cujo from biting a child when he became the victim.  Both of these quotes are from the same article.  You tell me if these two statements go together.
 "England (the owner) said her son is especially saddened by Cujo's death, and she said the dog was very protective of her children.
Dog Warden Dana Berger said he has investigated several bites involving Cujo."  

This leaves me confused, Cujo attacked England's son when he intervened during an attack on a child... and he is "protective of her children"?  Dog Warden Berger states Cujo has a history of biting.  

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Since passage of HB 14 removed any disincentive for breeding pit bulls stories like this animal cruelty story will probably become more common.  Per Newschannel 5 "Officers arrived at the scene and found a light brown pit bull, severely emaciated but still alive. The animal's bones were clearly visible through its skin. Lorain police said a dog of this breed should weigh around 75 pounds, but this dog appeared to weigh around 25 pounds."  There has been no further statement on the condition of this dog.

Herbie, Lorain, pit bull

Charges are expected if the owners of this dog can be located.  Sometimes a pit bull's worst enemy is his owner.

For an update on this dog's condition click here.

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From Dayton Ohio, home territory of Montgomery County Dog Warden Mark Kumpf, a vocal supporter of HB 14, comes this story.  A woman and her three year old child approached a local store, a pit bull was tied outside the store and "The mother reported that she tried to walk around to avoid the dog, but it got loose and bit the boy above the right eye.
She was able to hit the dog and it grabbed her sleeve, dragging her to the ground. The dog then reportedly went after the boy again, biting his leg before the woman was able to get control of the dog and tie it up again."  

The child was transported to a local hospital for treatment.  Will the 27 year old owner of this pit bull have insurance to cover the medical treatment of the child?  I doubt it, Ohio law no longer requires it. Per the Dayton Daily News the dog owner "was issued quarantine paperwork for the dog and could be cited for failure to control his dog"  The law Mr. Kumpf so strongly supported mandates declaration of this pit bull as a dangerous dog.  

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More from Dayton Ohio.  Sometimes a pit bull's worst enemy is his owner, part two for this evening, dog fighter edition.  A dead pit bull was found hanging from a barn window.    Per ABC22 "The Montgomery County Animal Resource Center was called to 20 Salsbury Dr. on Friday afternoon after a passerby saw the dead dog hanging from the window.  In all, 10 pit bull and Perro de Presa Canario dogs were confiscated.  The owner is licensed to own and breed up to five Perro de Presa Canario.  ARC says many of the dogs are malnourished.

ARC Director Mark Kumpf says at least one pit bull showed signs of dog fighting, with cuts and scars all over its face.  The dogs were also kept chained up, in small enclosures within the barn.

Mr. Kumpf is very busy these days.

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Still more from Dayton Ohio.  Police were forced to shoot a pit bull during an investigation prompted by complaints by neighbors that drugs were being sold out of a Dayton home.  The pit bull did survive.

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Wayne County Ohio is on alert.  A pit bull/rottweiler/mastiff mix killed another dog and the Wayne County Sheriff posted warnings for residents of the Shreve area. Until this dog is caught, residents in the area are urged to:

- Not approach the dog 
- Not allow young children to walk to a bus stop or play outside unattended 
- Not leave pets outside unattended 
- Monitor your small livestock and, if possible, don't leave them unattended 
- Not enter an outbuilding that could shelter the dog unannounced 
- Not to kill the dog "unless it's to prevent injury or death to people or livestock at the time it's chasing, threatening or harassing," the humane society said. "If you must kill the dog, please avoid damaging the dog's head and notify us or the Wayne County Health Department immediately so a rabies test determination can be made."

Warnings like this are seldom issued for Beagles or Yorkies, or that dog that breed specific advocates love to cite for temperament issues, the Chihuahua.

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From Cincinnati Ohio comes the story of the Virginia Whitman, wife of Judicial  candidate Bruce Whitman, attacked by a pit bull as she was posting yard signs for her husband's campaign.   Her injuries were serious  per this article. Virginia  Whitman was hospitalized for five days and requires a home health nurse to visit twice a day to repack and bandage her wounds.  Her husband stated " She is not doing that great, she can't work.  She's just now starting to walk.  She's traumatized and emotionally distraught."   

So far Cincinnati City Council  decision to drop their breed ban looks like a bad deal for the residents of that city.   It should be noted that Virginia Whitman is also a lawyer.  The owner of this particular pit bull may regret his choice of dog.

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A Norwood Ohio man plans to appeal a Judge's order to have his pit bull euthanized.  A Hamilton County Judge found Kenneth Goodin guilty of having a vicious dog and letting it run loose.  Several dogs were attacked by a loose pit bull near Norwood View Elementary School but Goodin states his dog "never did such a thing."  Classic response from this pit bull owner.       

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From the Cincinnati area, again, three people are injured in a pit bull attack.  First responders were unable to reach the injured until Animal Control removed the dog.  Neighbors report the dog had a history of biting.  Why was this dog not declared dangerous and regulated?  Ohio law now demands this. 

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A Newark Ohio postal worker is injured in a pit bull attack.  There is no information on exactly who owns the pit bull.  The postal worker will be on restricted duty for an undetermined period of time.  Who will pay for her medical care?

Interestingly, Newark Ohio is considering changes in laws regulating vicious dogs.  Per "  Under the new proposal, owners would no longer have to carry mandatory insurance on the dogs, and the pit bull would be taken out of the vicious category."

Don't do it Newark... consider Cincinnati.  It is not working out well for them. 

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I will finish up with a bit of good news.  Archbold Ohio will continue to enforce their current laws regarding pit bulls  despite changes to Ohio law.  Pit bulls must be insured and kept in compliance with Archbold law.  Archbold lawmakers, thank you for your common sense!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cincinnati in the news again, or A Tale of Two Cities

With HB 14's changes to Ohio law and the end of Cincinnati's breed ban things have sure changed in that city. Several weeks ago I received an e-mail from a Cincinnati resident, she already wants the breed ban back. Per her report, pit bulls are everywhere and they are a menacing presence.   She is afraid to walk her dog in her own community, afraid to use the community dog park.  It would  be a pretty safe bet that these pit bulls are uninsured, state law no longer requires it. Many of these dogs may well have been kept in Cincinnati during the breed ban, it would be foolish to believe that banned dogs do not exist in breed ban areas but they are kept in a bit more careful manner.  When your neighbors have the ability to report your banned dogs for running at large, or menacing, or report an owner for breeding banned dogs, then it is in the dog owner's best interests to keep a low profile.  Now anything goes. This post is a comparison of the experiences of Cincinnati Ohio and Miami-Dade Florida.

Pit bull advocates have worked for years to reverse breed bans. Breed specific advocacy put a tremendous amount of pressure on Florida state government to void the home rule rights of Miami-Dade.  "Lets Make A Deal" was played between the State Legislature and local government, Miami-Dade's pit bull ban was put on the ballot. A great deal of advocacy money was spent in an effort to convince voters overturn Miami-Dade's breed ban.  Best Friends Animal Society brought in baseball pitcher Mark Buehrle.  (It should be noted that Mr. Buehrle came to town demanding that local law be changed to accommodate his recently obtained pit bull.  Mr. Buehrle played in Florida for one season and was traded to Toronto, another area with a breed ban. The man has no luck.) It came as a shock to the pit bull industry that by an overwhelming margin the residents of Miami-Dade voted to keep the breed ban.

Contrast this with Cincinnati Ohio, another breed ban city.  Shortly after the passage of HB 14 it was announced that Cincinnati was  looking at changes to "bring local law more into keeping with state law."  This phrase usually indicates a sell out, and did in this case.  Cincinnati's breed ban was dropped..

The dangers of this sell out are becoming clear.  Susan Mazzei, a 71 year old Cincinnati resident found a stray pit bull and gave it a good home, hers.  It did not go well for her.  She was hospitalized for a mauling that occurred in her own home.  It was later revealed that the dog had bitten her previously and had also killed a cat.  Ms. Mazzei failed to consider possible reasons why this dog may have been abandoned, like a history of aggression.

Abandoned pit bulls are turning up, things did not go well for this one.

Cincinnati is finding dog fighting in town.  Five spectators were arrested and an Animal Control officer was bitten and will require rabies shots.

The Cincinnati area has experienced its first dog mauling death

The wife of Bruce Whitman,candidate for Appeals Court was mauled as she was posting campaign signs.  Virginia Conlan Whitman's injures were severe, she spent 5 days in the hospital and time confined to her home receiving home nursing care.

Recently in the news is the story of a Cincinnati area resident who found three pit bulls on Craigslist.  He brought them all home only to be mauled by them three weeks later.

Which city made the better deal?  Miami-Dade let the voters speak and they did so loudly with a 2 to 1 vote to keep their ban.  Cincinnati law makers partnered with breed specific advocacy without consideration of the sentiments of their constituents.  Those constituents are not happy with the result.  Voters have long memories, members of the Cincinnati City Council might keep this in mind.   

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nobody can identify a pit bull?

There is no particular reason for this post other than irritation at reading the constant statements from pit bull advocates and Animal Control professionals influenced by those advocates, that pit bulls just can't be identified.  Everybody is qualified to pick a Beagle out of a doggy line up.  Poodles are unable to hide.  Bassets and Bloodhounds?  Not a problem.  GSD v.Malinois ?  Simple.  Every dog show ever held has been run on a visual identification system.  Judges not only visually identify breeds but also rate subtle differences from breed standard to the dogs in the ring.  Only the pit bull attains the mystical status of the unicorn.

Breed specific advocates have a strange inability to identify their own breed of choice.  This deficit turns up in comments posted on news stories after every pit bull attack.  This is a laughable tactic but it is not limited to fatuous news story comments, it also turns up in testimony in City Council meetings all across the United States, State Legislatures and in the courts.  The courts, and elected lawmakers deal with the "find the pit bull" game very differently.  I find these differences significant.

When a breed specific advocate turns up in a city council meeting with the find-the-bull game such as the one provided by the Animal Farm Foundation (link below) a sensible skeptic might think " hmmmm, DNA tests do not test for pit bull DNA.  Pit bull DNA is simply not in the test data base.  I'm being manipulated here."  The skeptic would be right.  Unfortunately many lawmakers do not give this silly tactic too much thought.

The identical material is also found on the website for the National Canine Research Foundation.

Both the Animal Farm Foundation and the National Canine Research Foundation are owned by breed advocate Jane Berkey.

Unfortunately this nonsense is also produced in State Legislatures.  State Senators and Representatives don't give it much thought either.  Professionals like Ohio veterinarian Megan Geldhof, who brought this very find-a-bull game to a hearing in the Ohio Senate making it  part of her testimony in the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee in December of 2011, should be embarrassed to to state in public that they are unable to identify common dog breeds.  Members of the Judiciary Committee of the Ohio Senate accepted this admission of professional incompetence without question.  The ASPCA, AVMA, HSUS, Best Friends Animal  Society, and the National Canine Research Council (a subsidiary of the breed specific advocacy organization  The Animal Farm Foundation) also agree that pit bulls cannot be identified.  The claim that nobody can identify a pit bull has become bedrock for pit bull advocacy.

When this claim enters the judicial system pit bull advocacy does not find the same warm reception. Both void for vagueness and pit bull temperament as well are dealt with in many rulings.  These are just a few of them.

The 1991 Ohio Supreme Court ruling State of Ohio v. Anderson deals with the concept of void for vagueness, the concept of nobody can identify a pit bull.,44&as_vis=1
When I read this ruling I get the sense that the Justices were insulted by the parade of dog owners and their advocates claiming that they could not identify the dogs at the ends of their own leashes.  Below is a quote from that decision.  Please note that the Ohio Supreme Court uses the words "a dog owner of ordinary intelligence" as the criteria for identification of pit bull dogs.
 "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, state statutes 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.

In 2012 the Maryland Courts stated that pit bulls are inherently vicious.  The Maryland Supreme Court decision in the Treacy v. Solesky case makes this clear.

The  Florida Supreme Court ruled in The Florida Bar v. Pape, 2005.  This case deals with advertising by a legal firm.  The firm compared their services to pit bull tenacity.,44
This is a quote from that decision and there is no quibbling about breed.
"The referee found that the qualities of a pit bull as depicted by the logo are loyalty, persistence, tenacity, and aggressiveness. We consider this a charitable set of associations that ignores the darker side of the qualities often also associated with pit bulls: malevolence, viciousness, and unpredictability." 

This lengthy quote comes from Matthews v. Amberwood,  Maryland Court of Appeals, 1998. This court has no difficulty in identification of pit bulls.,44&as_vis=1
"Thus, the foreseeability of harm in the present case was clear. The extreme dangerousness of this breed, as it has evolved today, is well recognized. "Pit bulls as a breed are known to be extremely aggressive and have been bred as attack animals." Giaculli v. Bright, 584 So.2d 187, 189 (Fla.App. 1991). Indeed, it has been judicially noted that pit bull dogs "bit[e] to kill without signal" (Starkey v. Township of Chester, 628 F.Supp. 196, 197 (E.D.Pa.1986)), are selectively bred to have very powerful jaws, high insensitivity to pain, extreme aggressiveness, a natural tendency to refuse to terminate an attack, and a greater propensity to bite humans than other breeds. The "Pit Bull's massive canine jaws can crush a victim with up to two thousand pounds (2,000) of pressure per square inch—three times that of a German Shepard or Doberman Pinscher." State v. Peters, 534 So.2d 760, 764 (Fla.App. 1988), review denied, 542 So.2d 1334 (Fla. 1989).[4] See also Hearn v. City of Overland 
128*128 Park, 244 Kan. 638, 650, 647, 772 P.2d 758, 768, 765, cert. denied 493 U.S. 976, 110 S.Ct. 500, 107 L.Ed.2d 503 (1989) ("pit bull dogs represent a unique public health hazard ... [possessing] both the capacity for extraordinarily savage behavior ... [a] capacity for uniquely vicious attacks ... coupled with an unpredictable nature" and that "[o]f the 32 known human deaths in the United States due to dog attacks ... [in the period between July 1983 and April 1989], 23 were caused by attacks by pit bull dogs"). Pit bull dogs have even been considered weapons. See State v. Livingston, 420 N.W.2d 223, 230 (Minn.Ct. App.1988) (for the purpose of first degree assault); People v. Garraway, 187 A.D.2d 761, 589 N.Y.S.2d 942 (1992) (upholding conviction of pit bull's owner of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree).[5]

From Toledo v. Tellings, Ohio Supreme Court ruling  in 2007, The Ohio Supreme Court appears to have no trouble with breed identification.,44&as_vis=1
"{¶ 27} The evidence presented in the trial court supports the conclusion that pit bulls pose a serious danger to the safety of citizens. The state and the city have a legitimate interest in protecting citizens from the danger posed by this breed of domestic dogs.

From the U.S. District Court S.D. Florida, American Dog Owners Association v. Dade County, 1989 comes this quote,  seen below.  The Court is not fooled by the lunacy of the testimony of the American Dog Owners Association.  
"The Ordinance regulates a group, the dog owning public, that has a special knowledge of the matter being regulated. The uncontradicted testimony of the various veterinarians in this case reflects that most dog owners know the breed of their dog. In fact most dog owners look for and select a dog of a particular breed because of their knowledge of or interest in a particular breed. For this reason, too, the Ordinance is subject to a less strict standard of review. Fleming v. United States Department of Agriculture, 713 F.2d 179, 194 (6th Cir.1983) (“When the persons affected by the regulations are a select group with specialized understanding of the subject being regulated the degree of definiteness required to satisfy due process concerns is measured by the common understanding and commercial knowledge of the group.”)
There was ample testimony that most people know what breed their dogs are. Although the plaintiffs and their experts claim that the ordinance does not give them enough guidance to enable owners to determine whether their dogs fall within its scope, the evidence established that the plaintiffs themselves often use the term “pit bull” as a shorthand method of referring to their dogs. Numerous magazine and newspaper articles, including articles in dog fancier magazines, refer to pit bull dogs. Veterinarians typically refer to the three recognized breeds and mixed breeds with conforming characteristics as pit bulls. In addition, the veterinarians who *1540 testified stated that most of their clients know the breeds of their dogs.  

If the courts can can identify pit bulls, and are aware of the need to do so, why can't the owners of these dogs and those who advocate for them do the same?  When will elected officials consider the needs of their constituents over the desires of special interests?

Find the Pit Bull

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Barbara Kay on multicaninism

This link will take you to a VERY well written and reasoned article on the politics of pit bull advocacy.  Please take a few minutes to read Barbara  Kay's thoughts.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What happens when voters are allowed to make the choice...

August 14, 2012 was supposed to be a joyous day for pit bull advocacy.  Repeal of the Miami-Dade pit bull ban was on the ballot, support from national PACs was strong and vocal, celebrity advocates were in the news, media support was blatant.  The only thing that breed specific advocacy did not count on was the common sense of voters. 

Early in 2012 Miami-Dade experienced an absolute deluge of pro pit propaganda.  The carpetbaggers from Best Friends Animal Society used the same tactics that were successful in Ohio but behind the scenes politics with Florida Legislators did not gain the hoped for result.  State legislators were receptive and willing to trample the home rule rights of Miami-Dade 
but law makers in Miami-Dade were unwilling to go along with the scheme.  Miami-Dade had  a pit bull ban that predated the 1990 Florida state wide anti BSL measure.  Miami-Dade was well pleased with their law and unwilling to give it up.  In the 23 years of the ban there were no Miami-Dade pit bull mauling deaths.  The same cannot be said for the rest of the state.  Since the statewide anti BSL measure was passed in 1990 sixteen Florida residents have been killed by pit bulls.  Local and state lawmakers agreed on a compromise, the matter would go on the ballot.
Miami-Dade residents would be the first voters ever to cast votes to keep a breed ban or repeal it. Wow, what a concept, voters would be able to voice their opinions in the privacy of the voting booth, without threats or intimidation from breed specific advocates.

Best Friends shifted into high gear. Celebrity spokes persons were lined up.  In this case Mark Buehrle, a probably-past-his-prime baseball pitcher newly acquired by the Miami Marlins.  Buerhle and his wife, Jamie, are new pit bull owners and feel free to demand changes to local law to suit their lifestyle.  Mrs. Buerhle and her new dog seemed to be everywhere.

The AVMA made their usual, and shameless endorsement of pit bulls.  The HSUS and ASPCA statements were the same.  Local pit bull advocate Dalia Canes, Director and  co-founder of Miami Coalition Against BSL was very public in her statements that she was a Miami resident and kept pit bulls at her home.  Please note in the above linked material from the 1/27/2012 Miami-Dade Public Safety and Healthcare Committee hearing, Ms. Canes claimed that Miami-Dade spent three million dollars a year to enforce the breed ban.  Please note that in the same hearing the Animal Services Director, Alex Munoz testified "three million dollars was more than the department's entire budget for enforcement and pit bulls accounted for 2% of the enforcement expenses."  This was going to be a long hot summer in Miami, and it was.  Florida pit bull maulings hit the news regularly but advocates ignored the bloodshed. 

Miami-Dade voters went to the polls and cast their votes.  Pit bull advocates were wildly motivated to turn out in numbers Ms. Canes promised would lead to a landslide for pit bull advocacy.  Oops, Best Friends and Ms. Canes did not allow for the common sense of the electorate.

In the very first true test of public desire for breed specific legislation, an overwhelming majority of voters said "yes, we want it!"  Breed specific advocacy is undaunted and vows to continue efforts to "educate" the public.

The story does not end here.  Miami-Dade commissioners went on to beef up dangerous dog regulations.  They voted 9-1 to create an on-line Dangerous Dog Registry, complete with a photo of the dog and the owner's address.  Fines for dog attacks are increased to $1000.  Since pit bulls are banned in Maimi-Dade, including Ms. Canes personal pit bulls, it will be interesting to watch the on-line line up of Dangerous dogs.

Friday, September 21, 2012

This story makes me laugh, it makes me cry, and it makes me think

This story comes from Akron Ohio. It has all the classic details of a pit bull attack. Children playing in the street, a lovely September evening in a residential neighborhood with well kept lawns and homes. And "SOMEHOW" a pit bull gets loose.

Most of the children were able to jump on top of cars to avoid the pit bull but a six year old wasn't lucky. Unable to climb to safety, he was bitten on his head, legs and buttocks. A 911 caller is quoted "There's a pit bull biting people. Please hurry. It just bit a baby. Just get somebody out here please. This dog is gonna kill somebody." This part makes me cry. The Norman Rockwell vision of childhood has children outside after dinner, playing ball, talking to friends, riding bikes, parents sitting on porches or cutting grass. This is not an expectation in pit bull intensive neighborhoods.

But cheer up, all is not lost. And this part, I'm a bit ashamed to admit, makes me laugh. Horrified neighbors called the police and one caller explains that the dog owners are out in the street trying to gain control of the dog. It is not going well for them. "If they don't get hit by traffic, or the pedestrians don't beat the hell out of them, the dog is gonna kill them while they are fighting."

The final tally for the injured is three. The six year old was transported to Akron City Hospital by a neighborhood resident, his condition is listed as serious. The pit bull owner's 14 year old son and 35 year old girlfriend, who tried to gain control of the dog were both bitten and transported to local hospitals for treatment. The dog owner, Andre Brown has felony conviction and a 20 year criminal history. Brown arrived at the scene and according to the video simply took his dog in the house and refused to surrender the mauler. Please keep in mind that his own son and his girlfriend were on their way to local hospitals and this individual's only concern is his dog. I hope the girlfriend keeps this in mind. Since Brown has refused to surrender the dog a court order must be obtained before this clearly vicious dog can be removed from the neighborhood. Brown was cited for allowing his dog to run loose but I don't think the residents of Dietz Avenue can take much comfort in this.

Here is where I start to think. How many breed specific advocates make comments after these attacks? "I have a pit bull that would just lick you to death. All my neighbors just love him, he plays with all the neighborhood children." Contrast this with the 911 caller "If they don't get hit by traffic, or the pedestrians don't beat the hell out of them, the dog is gonna kill them while they are fighting." If the pedestrians don't beat the hell out of them.... these neighbors clearly do NOT love this dog, or the owners.

Akron has just announced changes in procedures for Animal Control due to this outrageous attack.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Still more pittery from Ohio, September 14, 2012

On July 23, 2012 Sarah Ziebro, age 30, was attacked by her pit bull.  Ziebro was living in Florida but formerly lived in Parma Ohio.  Her brothers live in the Cleveland area and are attempting to raise money for their sister's medical bills because she was uninsured.  The family business, Relentless Recovery repossesses between 20 and 35 cars per day and the brothers are hoping that Cleveland area residents will sponsor any amount per car.  This is an unusual idea but a pit bull mauling generates huge medical bills. 

Ms. Ziebro has suffered for seizures for nearly 10 years.  On the day of the attack she seized and the dog attacked her.  Ziebro's brother John stated "Whether this dog was startled, or something else, we'll never know.  But as Sarah seized helpless on the ground, the dog attacked her.  Until this assault, the dog had never displayed any form of aggression towards Sarah, and was normally quite and docile."

Ziebro's carotid artery was torn, she was transported to the Blake Medical Center in Bradenton for surgery.  Per John Ziebro, the plastic surgeon who worked on Sarah, Dr. Melinda Lacerna, told him that the facial injuries were among the worst she had ever seen from a dog bite.  The surgery required 600 sutures and four hours of surgery to repair Ms. Ziebro's face.

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I am including this one because it illustrates the sorry legal state of affairs regarding vicious dogs.  An article dated September 11, 2012 deals with a 20 minute mauling of a Springfield Ohio man by 3 Cane Corso dogs.  The victim was life flighted to Miami Valley hospital in Dayton Ohio for treatment of his injuries. 

The victim and his girlfriend rode bicycles to the home of a friend, Karlon Avery, the owner of the Cane Corsos.  The victim was attacked after he crossed an invisible fence and attempted to pet one of the dogs.  Police were called, they shot one of the dogs. The other two dogs are in quarantine.  Avery has mixed feelings about the mauling of his friend stating that he has warned the victim about the dogs in the past. 

Here is where the story gets interesting.  A spokesman for the local Humane Society stated there have been two other "incidents" involving Avery's dogs.  In both cases children have crossed the invisible fence and were bitten by the Cane Corsos.  The dogs were not designated as vicious because the law considers these bites provoked because they were on property.  Springfield Police Chief Stephen Moody said no charges are being considered because the most  recent victim was on Avery's property as well.

Obviously Avery does not have these dogs under control if this same event has occurred THREE times.  His invisible fence does nothing to protect the public from dogs who have bitten children twice and mauled an adult.  If Avery had a swimming pool on his property he would have to build an actual fence to prevent accidental drownings.  There have been THREE bites from his dogs, one of them a severe mauling. Avery needs adequate confinement for dogs known to be aggressive.  Like it or not, sometimes non family members will cross onto private property, a mailman, meter reader, zoning inspector, child chasing a ball.  These people should not be exposed to a well known risk.  Avery and his dogs have three strikes, this is enough.

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From the Toledo Blade, dated 7/14/2012.  Even after changing state law to suit local sensibilities, Toledo is still an unhappy place.  City Councilman D. Michael Collins is insulted that the new and very pit bull friendly Lucas County Dog Warden did not appear at a Public Safety, Law, and Criminal Justice committee meeting to discuss enforcement of vicious dog laws.  Given the no-show of dog warden Julie Lyle, Collins cancelled the meeting and sent requests for a great deal of information on the Lucas County Dog Warden's office.

Collins was later told that Joe Walter, Emergency Management Agency director would appear at the meeting in place of Lyle but Collins said "He's a nice guy but her doesn't have anything to do with this."

Collins has requested information on procedures put in place in Lucas County as it relates to Toledo's vicious dog laws and how many cases have been investigated or prosecuted with the Toledo Police Department or the Lucas County Dog Warden's office under the new law.  He also wants the number of dog bite complaints for 2011 and 2012 to date and the number of dogs that have been classified under each category of the dog law.  Collins will also request information from the Toledo Police Department and the Lucas County Board of Health, which also tracks dog bites.

Collins has said "Even though we have three separate institutions involved, there should be coordination of efforts so these records and the proper levels of prosecution are going on."  Collins does not feel that the County is doing enough to ensure vicious dogs are kept under control and was disappointed that Dog Warden Lyle was not available to discuss the issue. 

It is gratifying to see an elected official recognizes that the new law has not made Toledo safer and is actually following up on the new state law and looking for enforcement.  I suspect he will find that there has been little enforcement and even less prosecution of owners of vicious dogs.

Cleaning up the backlog of pit bull attacks, mega pit bull roundup, September 14, 2012

These will be in no particular order, I'm just cleaning house this morning.

This one is for you Crashedlife...In a story dated August 27, 2012, Columbus Ohio police shot two pit bulls after three citizens were bitten while attempting to help another dog that was attacked by the two pit bulls.  Lets hear it from pit bull advocacy "human aggression is DIFFERENT from dog aggression."

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From Ashtabula Ohio, in a story dated August 30, 2012, Police responded to a call regarding a cat owned by senior citizens being torn apart by two pit bulls.  Police and the Dog Warden spoke to neighbors who demanded the dogs be picked up.  The Dog Warden followed one of the  pit bulls back to a residence with a tall stockade fence and watched the pit bull calmly climb over the fence and back into its yard.  Both of the pit bulls belonged to Wanda Kelley who stated that she was aware that her dogs regularly climbed over the fence.  The same two pit bulls had killed another cat the previous day.  The dogs were transported to the APL in Kingsville.  No further information was available on the ultimate disposition of these dogs.   No information was available on the thought pattern of Ms. Kelley, how can you KNOW that your dogs are able to escape from your yard and terrorize the neighborhood and kill other people's pets and think nothing of it until the Police appear on your doorstep.  Another "responsible pit bull owner"....

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From Canton Ohio, a nine year old boy was transported to Mercy Medical Center after being bitten by two dogs, a pit bull and a boxer mix.

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In Lucas County Ohio (Toledo) Humane Ohio offers reduced cost spay or neuter for pit bulls only through programs called Fix-a-bull, and Primp-Your-Pit.  The cost to the pit bull owner is $5.  For pit bull owners who do not reside in Lucas County, the same services are offered for $20.  Ohio or Michigan pit bull owners are not required to have current licenses on their dogs.   I find it offensive that all low income dog owners are not  given the same services, but at the same time I recognize that even with the ridiculously low priced surgeries, pit bulls have the absolutely lowest rate of spay and neuter of any dog breed in the United States, as reported in the JAVMA April 1, 2011 issue.  One would think that "responsible pit bull owners" should not require such special treatment  given that a million pit bulls are euthanized in American shelters every year.

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In a story dated September 12, 2012, Elyria Police shot a pit bull seven times with an assault rifle after the dog burst through a garage door to charge the officers.  Police were responding to a call regarding a man threatening his neighbor with a hand gun. Sylvester Oliver, 63, was charged with 2 counts of aggravated menacing, disorderly conduct persisting, and dog at large.  Oliver, reportedly smelling of alcohol, was arrested and taken to Lorain County jail.  There was no report on the condition of the pit bull.

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In a story dated September 10, 2012, a College Hill (Cincinnati) woman was transported to a local hospital after being mauled by her own pit bull inside her own home.  Susan Mazzei was listed in serious condition.  Mazzei, age 71, found the abandoned pit bull in the woods near her home several months ago.
Reports indicate that this pit bull has bitten Mazzei previously and also killed a cat.  Hard to imagine why this dog was abandoned isn't it?

Cincinnati dropped its pit bull ban last spring and has already had a mauling death by a pit bull/designer dog mix.  Attack stories out of this city are increasing but current local and state law was written by an animal rights PAC.  As in other areas, when animal rights organizations write law regarding vicious dogs, only vicious dogs are protected.  After Mrs. Mazzei is discharged from the hospital she may pick up her dog after paying a $50 fee because the dog is now considered vicious.  And this protects the public how?

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From Youngstown Ohio and dated September 14, 2012.

 A new pit bull owner remains hospitalized and his dog is dead after the dog attacked him on Wednesday.   It is reported that the attack left this unidentified pit bull owner with a severed artery in his leg.  He was taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center where he was rushed into surgery to repair the damaged artery.

I will simply quote the well written article written by John Goodwin of the Vindy.

"Dave Nelson, deputy dog warden with the Mahoning County Dog Pound and Adoption Center, said the man had acquired the adult male dog about two weeks ago and was trying to put the dog into a pen when the animal turned on him.
Police and Nelson arrived in the area to capture the dog, but the animal reportedly attacked the van Nelson was driving and continued to act aggressively after being hit with a tranquilizer.
“We tried giving him water. I tried everything to calm him down. I don’t know what went wrong. ... He started attacking the wheels of my truck. The last thing you want to do is put a dog down like this, but we had no choice,” Nelson said.

Police chased the animal through various East Side streets before catching up to the dog on Edgar Avenue. Officers were forced to put the dog down with three shots from a shotgun.
The dog is being checked for rabies.
There was no word late Thursday on the man’s condition, but Nelson said he will be cited for failure to confine the dog and failure to obtain licenses for four other dogs on his property." 

Another "responsible pit bull owner" it appears.

Less than a day later Police and Nelson responded to a call on another pit bull attack.  This time it was an attack on a postal worker.  For all the pit bull owners who feel that their size and skill will allow them to control their pit bull at all times, this might be an eye opener.  At the time of this attack the pit bull owner was outside hosing the animal off when the mailman appeared.  The dog bit the mailman on the arm.  The mailman was transported to St. Elizabeth Medical Center for treatment.  This hospital may have an Emergency Room bay set aside for pit bull mauling victims.  The pit bull's owners confined the dog to the house but they will be cited for failure to license the dog and possibly other violations.  Youngstown law requires pit bull owners to carry $100,000 in insurance and to keep the dogs in an enclosed pet or on a leash no longer than four feet.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pure politics. Special interests rule.

I am weeks behind on Ohio pit bull attacks and will get to those shortly.  This post is about politics, pure and simple... follow the money.  The link at the bottom of this post is to an opinion piece by Cleveland Plain Dealer writer, Thomas Suddes.  Suddes has written about special interests in the past and this morning's column made me think.  He has nothing to do with pit bulls, or dogs in general, but he is right on target on the State Legislature.  I quote Mr. Suddes "Each state representative is supposed to represent 117,000 of his or her neighbors and each state senator 350,000 of his or hers.  They're not supposed to represent the lobbyist locusts that swarm the Statehouse."  "It's a good bet that your legislator's campaign is funded by "the interests" (including caucus leaders and unions) in Columbus, not the pie suppers held at the township firehouse."

Legislators follow the money.  Special interests rule in many places, but Ohio has been absolutely sold to them.  This is how HB 14 became Ohio law.  The big guns were all here and pushing hard for deregulation of dangerous dogs, public safety be damned, Best Friends Animal Society, the ASPCA, the AVMA, the Animal Farm Foundation is everywhere that Best Friends goes.

The big bucks come from special interest donors and they send their lobbyists to press the flesh, make their desires known in the State House, and from party PACs.  These PACs do not reveal the names of donors (special interests and the lobbyists who represent them), they are not required to do so.   Ohio has a website where interested parties can see who gives Senators and Representatives cash, interesting reading. 

Here is a "for example" to illustrate the point.  In a recent election I refused to support a candidate who repeatedly voted to drop Ohio regulations on vicious dogs. I contacted his first-time-candidate opponent to offer my support and to actually work in his campaign. This looked like a golden candidate, military man who graduated from one of our military academies, honorable service record, he looked like someone with ethics. There were several chatty e-mails exchanged.  The campaign manager was delighted with my offer to work in the campaign.  "Wonderful!  We want you to come to a meeting where you can meet the candidate, We want your full support and we can absolutely use your help." As a final question I was asked why I supported this candidate over the incumbent.  I told this person  about my attack and experiences with breed specific advocates.  The conversation was over... I never heard another single word from the campaign or the candidate.

This candidate was elected, and was not in Columbus long enough to put his pens in his new desk before he signed on as a sponsor for HB 14. Checking his contributions, he was given over $500,000 for his campaign, from the Republican party PAC.  It just so happens that Barbara Sears, the Representative who introduced HB 14 (and earlier versions) is Assistant Majority Leader in the Ohio House of Representatives, high ranking legislators control the money. This brand new Representative sold his vote to the party for the money to run his campaign. 

Wonder how he feels about his vote now?  In the first four and a half months of deregulation in Ohio, pit bulls killed two Ohio residents, one of them a three day old baby girl.  She was killed by her grandmother's pit bull. 

How does Barbara Sears live with her part in this sad mess?  She was not only the proponent for this ill conceived bill, she actually allowed a special interest PAC to write it.  Ohio has term limits and Sears will no longer be in the Ohio House when the full impact of HB 14 is felt, but her name is found in the first paragraph of every news article on the bill.  HB 14 will be Sears legacy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rescue or Recycling?

Laws are written for a purpose, to protect the rights and safety of the public.  Some people do not care for a particular law and simply ignore it.  A recent dog mauling death, the remarks of an attorney specializing in dog bite cases, and an Ohio woman who rescues pit bulls bring insight into the dangers of willful violation of law. 

Celine Brotherton of Miami Township in Clermont County Ohio feels that the zoning laws in her community should not apply to her.  She runs Our Gang Rescue, specializing in pit bulls, out of her tiny three bedroom home.  Please watch the video, she has no fences or fenced dog runs and she has kept as many as 19 dogs inside her home, she is down to 13 dogs now, eight of them pit mixes.  Miami Township zoning regulations limit dogs to no more than three per household.

Brotherton has said "For me, it's all about having the dogs in loving homes you know."  She feels that the Township has no constitutional right to limit the number of dogs she may house.  "It's just me and a three bedroom house. As long as the dogs are being taken care of what's the issue?  They're not outside, they're not causing a nuisance."  Not so much...

Township Zoning Administrator Lou Etheridge says it is all about the law, "It's not personal.  It's the potential for harm and danger that's out there to the residents of the community, that's what we are concerned about."  Mr. Etheridge was, sadly, proven 100% correct.

Another dog advocate, 23 year old Rebecca Carey of DeKalb County Georgia, rescued dogs too. Her specialty was vicious dogs.  In addition to the dogs she placed, Ms. Carey kept five dogs in her home, two pit bulls, two Presa Canerios and a boxer mix.  This is a lethal canine cocktail.  Carey was killed by one, or more of the dogs.  Her body was found by a friend, sent to check on her when when she failed to show up for work. The official cause of death was sharp lacerations to her neck and upper torso.  Carey bled to death.

Neighbors of the victim stated that the dogs had sometimes been at large prior to Carey's death but "you could tell them to go back to their yard, they would go back."  It must be kept in mind that Carey was only 23 years old, it is not likely that she owned a residence.  Who owned that residence and did they know what she was keeping there?  These dogs killed their owner, was the community aware of the danger posed by these dogs?

Attorney Ken Phillips, a specialist in dog bite cases had a great deal to say about the death of Rebecca Carey.  His remarks also give insight into the Celene Brotherton's case. 

Phillips recognizes that rescue dogs come with no history. "One must wonder why the dog was abandoned.  Was there a reason why it was sent to the animal shelter?  It is folly to assume that only bad people abandon their dogs.  When a dog is violent toward people, good parents, good animal control officers, and good cops send the dog to the shelter.  Not all abandoned dogs are good dogs." 

I cannot say this better than Ken Phillips, I will simply quote him.

"As one of many rescuers who have been injured or killed by dogs in the recent past, Rebecca Carey has helped to prove two other points. One is that we need to enact restrictions on the number of dogs that can be kept at a residence. 
There are laws that forbid people from having more than a certain number of dogs. Generally these are considered to be zoning restrictions but such laws also are safety laws. Not only for the safety of the person who has the urge to hoard animals, but also for the safety of friends and neighbors. It has been established that there is a pack instinct in dogs and that normally docile dogs can become aggressive toward humans when the dogs act in concert. For that reason, and to prevent a person from going out on the street with 5 leashes attached to 5 muscular dogs, I have urged the enactment of laws restricting the number of dogs that can be present at a residence, with the number being sharply reduced in the case of larger, more muscular dogs, including pit bulls, Presas, Rotties and the like.
The other point is that adoption and rescue groups need to be licensed.
I am hearing, almost daily, about unsuspecting people who adopt a dog, get attacked by the dog, and then learn that the adoption organization knew that the dog was violent toward people but did not provide a warning about the dog. People like Rebecca Carey -- I call them "humaniacs" -- do not recognize the dangers inherent in such dogs. For that reason, I am urging the enactment of laws that regulate adoption organizations, to the extent necessary to make all of them accountable and to prevent the humaniacs from recycling known dangerous dogs into communities."

The circular nature of this post returns to Celine Brotherton.  She is hoping to get a job in Kentucky and move her rescue operation, and her dogs, across the state line.  She thinks she is leaving the problem behind, but she takes it with her. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

More pit bulls in the news, 8/13/2012

Time to clean up the back log of pit bull news.  From Newark Ohio, a city council Safety Committee will discuss the possibility of removing pit bulls from the city's dangerous dog list, but without much enthusiasm.  Service Director David Rhodes stated in June that the city plans to keep its existing ordinance which labels pit bulls as vicious.  Ohio is a home rule state and communities may have laws stricter than state law but not less than state law.  Ohio's recent capitulation to breed specific advocacy has emboldened local pit bull owners to request changes in local law.  "At least two residents" requested the city change local law to match the lenient new state law.  Safety Committee Chairman Marc Guthrie is not so sure about this proposal but does feel that council should provide a forum for discussion.  Mayor Jeff Hall is inclined to keep the city regulation, in addition to the state law, as Rhodes and Safety Director Bill Spurgeon suggest.  The Safety Committee Chairman stated with great common sense "It probably makes some sense to see how the Ohio law works (before making a change).  A grand plan, Cincinnati dropped their breed ban to soothe the hurt feelings of pit bull advocacy and had a mauling death within just a few weeks.

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From Dayton Ohio, home base of vocal  HB 14 advocate and Montgomery County Dog Warden Mark Kumpf, another outrageous pit bull attack.  Mark has been lucky of late, police have shot the pit bulls during attacks, saving Mark the trouble of wading through the legal maze that Best Friends animal rights lawyers created in HB 14. 

Dayton police shot a pit bull/boxer mix after it attacked a woman and a cat INSIDE a 1995 Buick parked inside a garage.  Police responded to a call and found a 51 year old woman trapped inside the Buick, with a seat belt wrapped around the dog's neck.  Her 911 call included her statement of the problem "I have a dog that has attacked me and my cat, I can't get him out of my car.  He is in my car, I was trying to get in the car to get away."   She told police she was afraid to get out of the car because, per "she would have to let go of the seat belt strap she had wrapped around the dog's neck to keep it at bay and from attacking her and a cat that was also apparently inside the vehicle."  Officers attempted to use tasers (pit bull owners always want to know why their mauler was shot during an attack instead of tasered, here is why)but after it was let out of the Buick it charged after the woman.  At this point common sense kicked in and an officer fired two rounds from a .40 caliber handgun "striking the animal in the chest and lung."  After being tasered, and shot twice, the dog ran off and later charged another officer, "who used a shotgun to stop and kill the animal."

It is a damn shame that Dayton residents have to attempt to take refuge in their cars to protect themselves from attacking pit bulls.   I'm sure Dayton residents thank Kumpf for his efforts to deregulate these dogs.

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More from Montgomery County!!!  Huge shout out to Montgomery County Dog Warden, and HB 14 advocate Mark Kumpf for the "improved safety" of his community. 

In Huber Heights, two women were bitten as they attempted to break up a fight between two pit bulls inside their house.  A responding police officer also attempted to break up the dog fight and (again) attempted to use a taser on one of the pit bulls.  The second pit bull charged at the officer and he fired one round, killing the dog.  Kumpf's staff at Montgomery County Animal Control also responded.  There were children in the home but they were not awake to witness the dog fight.  One can assume that gunfire inside the home did wake them.  An investigation is in progress.  Mr. Kumpf, you must begin the process of declaring the remaining pit bull dangerous, you might want to thank Ledy Vankavage for the hoops you will have to go through to do so to protect the residents of Montgomery County.

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A Canton 9 year old is recovering after being attacked by two dogs, a pit bull and a boxer.  Billy Harvey suffered multiple bites, the worst to his upper thigh.  Neighbors heard the boy screaming and rushed to help him.  Tamikka Dotson stated "I'm getting closer I hear him screaming and crying and I didn't even see the dogs at first until I got right here and I said he is getting attacked by two dogs. I have got to do something."  Dotson said she pulled the dogs off Billy as he struggled in the grass, the two dogs biting him.  "They were still coming at him, even with me being right here and I'm trying to stand in front of them and kick the dogs back because I didn't have any shoes on or anything."  Dotson was able to get the dogs off the boy as a man, possibly the dog's owner grabbed the dogs and ran away.  Personally, I would bet money on that being the dog owner, classic irresponsible owner response to seeing his dogs maul someone, grab your mauler and run.

The following day Billy and his  mother went to Ms. Dotson's home to thank her, she responded "I just want you to know there are people around here who care."  Dotson also said "People if you are going to have your animals then keep control of them.  There's kids running around this neighborhood all day every day." 

This Canton neighborhood is fortunate to have Tamikka Dotson!

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I ran out of time before I ran out of pit bull attacks.  More to come soon... God help us.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ohio Pit bull roundup, August 10, 2012

I am WAY behind on Ohio pit bull news. Nothing for it but to get started.

Cincinnati fell to the pressure of pit bull advocacy and dropped their pit bull ban in May. Just a few weeks later they had their first pit bull mauling death. A grown man was killed, in his own apartment, by his own pit bull/designer mix dog.

The newly "breed neutral" city is now experiencing dog fighting. Here is the shocker, the dogs involved are not Goldens or Labs, but the newly welcomed pit bulls! Five people were arrested as they attempted to run from police who responded to the call about fighting dogs. An animal control officer was bitten by one of the pit bulls that were released by the dog fighters in their rush to escape. Dog fighting is a fourth degree felony in Ohio. A conviction can bring up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Congratulations Cincinnati, looking good!

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This from the Chagrin Falls Police Blotter, scroll on down to "Animal Bites, Bell Street". Two pit bulls ran out of their owner's yard to attack a dog being walked by a peaceful resident out for a pleasant evening walk. The pit bulls blasted through an electric fence and through traffic to attack the other dog. The peaceful citizen was able to kick the dogs identified in the article as both pit bulls and American Bulldogs (which are pit bull designer dogs and are considered "dogs commonly known as pit bull dogs" by Ohio law). The owner of the attacking dogs stated that his fence was "apparently not working" and that this behavior was "uncharacteristic" of his dogs.

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From Springfield Township Ohio.

Clark County deputies attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Keith Mumma. Per "The warrant was issued from domestic violence and assault charges earlier in the day." When police entered the yard Mumma released his pit bull out the back door and went back inside the house. Per, Deputies stated "the dog came at them, and they were barely able to get out of the yard." The Clark County Humane Society was called and was able to secure the dog. Now Mumma faces the original charges of domestic violence, assault, AND two charges of felonious assault on a police officer. Some poor choices were made by Mr. Mumma.

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From Columbus Ohio comes the story of 34 year old Andre Barker, wanted for a parole violation. In 2006 he pled no contest for allowing his dogs to attack and kill two dogs and maul a third dog. As part of his sentence Barker was ordered to pay restitution to the owners of the killed, and mauled dogs. It is now 2012 and restitution has not yet been paid, nor have fines and court costs been paid. Per "Baker appeared a fugitive safe surrender last year in an attempt to get his warrants waived. However, authorities said they believe he may have left quickly after realizing he owed six months in jail for failing to comply to the terms and conditions of his parole."

In May of 2006 Barker's dogs (one wearing a chain around its neck and displaying stitches that were not done by a veterinarian) entered a neighbors yard and killed the neighbor's dog, named Shelby. Police reports state that Barker's dogs dragged Shelby's body around by the neck, then went on to menace children and other dogs in the neighborhood.

Fast forward two weeks and Barker's dogs killed another neighbor's dog, a maltese and yorkie mix that the owner had inherited from his late mother. This quote from, "According to reports, Baker entered the victim's back yard during the attack and yelled at the owner to get back in his house as the dog mangled the lifeless 'morkie' in his mouth."

The very next day one of Barker's dogs entered the SAME neighbor's house and attacked yet another dog in the living room of the home. This mixed breed dog, named Bernie survived but required surgery.

Assistant City Prosecutor Bill Hedrick stated "While the years have passed, the scars - both literally and figuratively - remain." Barker was prosecuted for these attacks. Barker's criminal record includes multiple counts of domestic violence, assault, felony drug possession, felony theft, criminal trespass, aggravated menacing, resisting arrest, receiving stolen property, obstructing official business, trafficking crack cocaine and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

You will be shocked to know that Barker's dogs were not Beagles or Poodles, but were described as ...pit bulls.

Columbus authorities ask anyone with information on Barker to contact the prosecutor. I would also add, do not confront this man.