Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pit bull politics in Illinois, an important post.

The link below is to a post on the blog Pit Bull Attacks in Illinois, this post deserves to be widely read.  The topic is the right, and duty, of a community to pass laws protecting residents from violent dog attacks, and how the policies and interference of a Utah based animal rights PAC impact Illinois residents. 

Best Friends Animal Society, of Kanab Utah scorches the earth when their carpetbagger lawyers drop in to bully any community brave enough to consider the rights of residents above the rights of violent dogs.  Please remember that Best Friends Animal Society wrote HB 14 in Ohio.  In the first 4 1/2 months after the passage of that law, two Ohio residents were mauled to death by pit bull dogs. Anna's Law in Illinois was written by Ledy Vankavage, now of Best Friends Animal Society, formerly with the ASPCA.  Anna's Law does not allow Illinois communities to pass any breed specific law, and makes it difficult/impossible to actually declare a dog violent.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ohio pit bull roundup, 7/28/2012

So many pit bull stories and so little time.  We will post this batch and come back to this in a few days.

In a story that defies common sense, 50 pit bull owners in Xenia will get a $23 refund check in the mail.  The critical mauling of a Xenia woman in 2010 prompted the City of Xenia to pass a law requiring registration of pit bulls, payment of a $30 registration fee and provide proof of liability insurance of at least $100,000.  I quote from the whiotv article "in May the state of Ohio removed pit bulls from its list of vicious dogs, and that decision overturned community pit bull bans."

First, Xenia never had a pit bull ban, just registration and insurance requirements.  Second, HB 14 does not impact a community's right to regulate dangerous dogs.  Ohio is a home rule state and communities have every right to regulate dangerous dogs. 

Community leaders simply catered to a vocal and well funded special interest group, they should be ashamed of this action.

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Changes to law in Ashtabula Ohio are reported in the Hispanic Business News.  Ashtabula had a pit bull ban and did not have any desire to change that law after passage of HB 14.  After long months of meetings and "emotional testimony" the Ashtabula County Animal Protective League board vice president Irene Fiala announces a compromise with Ashtabula City Council that would allow adoption of pit bulls in that city.  Fiala states "It has been a challenge, but I have fought city hall and won." 

The proposed law still lists pit bulls as "vicious dogs" but allows pit bulls to be adopted from the APL "if it has been determined by the APL as being neither people-aggressive nor animal-aggressive, has an APL microchip implanted and an APL tag on its collar, has current rabies vaccinations and has been spayed or neutered and has a current dog tag or license issued by the Ashtabula County Auditor" per City Solicitor Michael Franklin.  Violations of these provisions could mean a third degree misdemeanor for the first offense and first degree charges on any subsequent offense.

It will be interesting to see how this works out.  The microchip will clearly identify dogs that the APL places in the community, any victims of these dogs may have legal recourse against the APL.

The name Irene Fiala  draws attention. Fiala, named as the negotiator, is far from unbiased on the issue of pit bulls.  Links below are to Fiala's Examiner articles.  It should be noted that the Examiner allows authors to post material, no fact checking is done, the author receives payment per page view.  Pit bull advocacy has LOTS of Examiner bloggers.

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This story, out of Lorain Ohio, is sad and may well become common now that there is no disincentive to breed pit bulls in Ohio.  A lactating pit bull was tied to a pole in front of Animal House, a pet placement center.  Surveillance video showed a sedan approaching the building and leaving 3 minutes later.  This dog was not found until staff arrived the next morning.  Staff was upset to see the dog whining for her pups and were concerned about the pups.

 Media attention to the drop off brought an anonymous tip on a classified ad showing a photo of the abandoned dog in a kitchen, with smaller photos of the puppies.  The price listed for the puppies was $250 each and an address was listed.  A local Humane officer talked to the woman at the residence listed in the ad, the woman's photo was also seen in the ad.  The woman made a statement that she was being "set up by someone who stole her photo from Facebook"  but neighbors have seen the puppies and the abandoned dog with the couple at that residence.  Per Dave Arnold of newsnet5 "The puppies are really cute," said one anonymous neighbor."  Humane officers searched the house and found no evidence of any dogs, or dog food. 

Deregulation of  pit bulls is expected to bring an explosion of pit bull breeding and sales of puppies.  These same puppies are likely to find a place in the breeding/shelter/euthanization cycle.  How very sad.

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Per the Middletown Journal, Middletown Police shot a pit bull after it attacked a Jack Russell Terrier.  The JRT's owner, Eric Sorrell said his dog is "fighting for his life."  Per published reports, neighbors came with objects to hit the pit bull, and police were called.  A Middletown police officer responded to the call, received permission from his supervisor to shoot and kill the pit bull "due to the animal's dangerous behavior and injuries, I placed one shot behind the dog's head" killing the pit bull.

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The official opinion of the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio remains that pit bulls are inherently vicious, and the Court shares many reasons why they should be regulated for the safety of the public.  Legislators may be influenced by well funded special interests, but the opinion of the Ohio Supreme Court is not changed by HB14.  The Maryland Supreme Court just made a similar ruling. That ruling has bit bull advocacy in an uproar.

Prosecutor Taylor and Highland Heights Police Chief James Cook suggest adding an appeals process to any new law proposed for Highland Heights for any dog accused of being vicious. Taylor and Cook appear to be unaware that there is an appeals process written into the new Ohio law, granted it is designed to protect dogs accused of vicious behavior and NOT designed to  promote public safety, but it is already state law.  Highland Heights "Council will revisit the issue and check on the progress of the new ordinance as it is being developed in September" per  One can hope that someone on the council actually reads the new Ohio law.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ohio pit bull roundup 7/14/2012, second Ohio fatality since the passage of HB14

HB 14 is shaping up to be a disaster for Ohio residents. In the 4 1/2 short months since the passage of the bill two Ohio residents have been killed by pit bulls. This week there was another human fatality in Ohio, in the Cincinnati area to be exact, yes, the city that dropped their breed ban just a few weeks ago. This is a kind of big "oops" for the breed specific advocates who assured anyone who might listen "they are just like any other dog."

Ronnel Brown, age 40, the owner of a pit bull designer dog was attacked inside his apartment by a dog described as an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog. Harold Dates of the Cincinnati SPCA explains this "rare breed" is a mix of bulldog and pit bull. Mr. Brown raised this dog from a puppy, the dog was 3 years old.

Ronnel Brown called the Cincinnati Fire Department stating that his dog had attacked him and that he thought he might pass out. Paramedics were unable to enter Brown's apartment because the dog was so aggressive. First responders were forced to wait for the arrival of police, who shot the dog. Ronnel Brown bled to death before assistance could be given. According to the Hamilton County Coroner's office, Brown was a dialysis patient with a dialysis access in his forearm and he suffered multiple bites to both arms. Brown's dialysis access was torn leading to profound blood loss.

Two puppies of the same breed as the attacking dog were found in the apartment. Unbelievably, there is a waiting list for adoption of these puppies.

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More from Cincinnati. Now that pit bulls are no longer banned in the city they are being found running the streets. Cincinnati dropped its breed ban just a few short weeks ago. Good Samaritan Twon Johnson found a pit bull running loose and took it to the local Police Station. He was told to tie the dog to a pole outside the station and police would call the SPCA to pick it up. Per WLWT News, "Bringing the dog inside the station might have posed a threat to citizens." Police state they checked on the dog about every 20 minutes, bringing the dog water. The Cincinnati SPCA states that they received the call reporting the dog at 5:35 and a second call 90 minutes later reporting that the dog had died. This is not progress for Cincinnati.

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From Dayton Ohio, County dog Warden and HB 14 advocate Mark Kumpf's territory. A woman walking her Jack Russell Terrier was charged by a pit bull running out of a house. The woman picked up her small dog to protect it. The small dog was bitten and the woman scratched. Per ABC22, "Despite a recent state law stating otherwise, pit bulls are still considered dangerous according to a city ordinance." Sgt. Paul Saunders of the Dayton Police said "In our mind, a pit bull is still a vicious dog. Regardless of the breed of dog, if the dog attacks another person, that in itself defines it as a vicious animal." The pit bull owner, who has two other pit bulls has been cited with failure to control and license a vicious animal. ABC22 also states that this is the second pit bull attack in two days. The first occurred the day before when a pit bull bit a toddler. That dog is under quarantine. See Pit bull roundup 7/5/2012.

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More from Dayton Ohio. Dayton police were conducting an investigation of reported drug sales out of a house on Hulbert St. Kerry and Terry Pugh, twin brothers, were at the residence at the time of the raid, per WHIOTV. When police attempted to enter the home they were met by two pit bulls "that were in attack mode." Police attempted to subdue the dogs with a taser but this was not successful. "Police said one of the officers used a sub machine gun and shot both dogs multiple times." Montgomery County Animal Resource Center responded and picked up the dogs. Montgomery County Dog Warden Mark Kumpf stated the dogs were severely injured (by a sub machine gun? I would think so) and were euthanized. Dog Warden Kumpf will not have to go through the legal nightmare of HB 14 procedures to declare these dogs "dangerous."

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In Cleveland Ohio (where pit bull regulations were dropped late last year due to the efforts of a Cleveland Councilman who also owns a pit bull) Andrew Trefny dropped Molotov cocktails from a roof at police who were working another call. Possibly not a wise decision for Trefny, followed by yet another poor decision. Trefny became combative, then unleashed his pit bull on the officers. Per police reports, the pit bull bit an officer on the leg. Other officers opened fire on the attacking dog, killing it. -weapon

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ohio pit bull roundup, 7/5/2012

This story is not what it appears at first glance.  A pit bull owner tells a horror story about how her dog was stabbed by a stranger in a local park.  Sounds outrageous, until you get the details.

Mary Burgett, owner of Max, a two year old pit bull mix, stated that she took Max to the Metroparks Euclid Creek Reservation for a walk.  She describes another dog walker who spoke pleasantly as he  passed her.  Burgett goes on to state "Max got excited, wiggled out of his harness and went over to sniff the man's little white dog, in a playful manner."  "He didn't bark, he didn't growl; he didn't anything and then the man started yelling he'll 'knife any dog that's not on a leash.'  Next thing you know I saw his hand go down and he had the knife in his hand and just gushes of blood came out."  Burgett claims that Max had already started walking back to her when the man stabbed him. 

This story sounds pretty scary but it is not confirmed by any other witness, this is just Burgett's version.  Burgett feels that the man with the knife may be mentally unstable and a danger to other park users. 

Not so fast...  Look at the video, it shows a very healthy and robust pit bull with three stitches. This dog is running easily without apparent pain.  Contrast this with video of another small white dog, a victim of a pit bull attack  Please read the comments of owner of the small white dog.

Ms. Burgett apparently is not aware that pit bulls  do not growl, bark, or show intention prior to an attack, but the owner of the little white dog knows this.  Many men carry a pocket knife, this one used his knife to protect his canine companion.  Burgett's off leash pit bull menaced another park patron's pet and he defended what was his.

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Moving on to Dayton Ohio, a two year old child was bitten in the face by the baby sitter's pit bull.  The child required stitches in his face.  The video on this story is interesting.  The child's father is very forgiving but the pit bull owner appears in the news footage and her demeanor is very different.  She is screaming that she had to have her pit bull, which she calls "my grandchild" put down. The reporter does her on-camera work in the lobby of the Montgomery County Shelter where the dog is clearly alive. 

It is the duty of HB 14 advocate and Montgomery County Dog Warden Mark Kumpf to begin the legal process of declaring this dog dangerous.  This pit bull owner only enjoyed a short respite from mandatory insurance on her pit bull.  The containment requirements will be expensive.

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Cridersville Ohio is considering the possibility of adding legislation to continue to label pit bulls as potentially vicious.  This legislation is supported by Police Chief John Drake, who stated "Seeing what I've dealt with, I think we need to designate pit bulls."  Mayor Lorali Myers agrees "I think we need to be on the conservative side of the argument.  I don't want blood on my hands."  Myers said "I'm going to be very vocal on how I feel.  I think we need to concentrate on the harm that can be done and not the likelihood of an attack."  The common sense in Mayor Myers statement is breathtaking.  The Ohio Legislature needs this kind of honesty and concern for the safety of the public.

Mayor Myers, please consider running for a State office!

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The final story for this blog is a surprisingly honest one.  Two injured dogs were found in Elyria Ohio, their injuries consistent with dog fighting.  A local veterinarian claimed that the female pit bull, called Diane, appeared to be a "bait dog" but an anonymous tipster said that Diane was "a fight dog and when she lost, she was abused and dumped."

Both dogs were taken in by Multiple Breed Rescue.  Newsnet5 reporter Jen Steer writes "Just two days after her rescue,  Diane appeared to be doing fine and was placed in a foster home.    However MBR said rehabbing a fight dog is much different than rehabbing a bait dog."  Spokesperson for MBR, Lauren Jacenty said "Her inner scars hurt too much and her fighting instinct was ingrained into her. MBR, with a heavy heart, had to let her go before someone was hurt or worse.  It was not an easy decision, and by no means did we choose this lightly." 

Diane did not deserve the suffering that her life brought her. Multiple Breed Rescue did the right thing, at the right time, without sensationalizing the issue.  This organization deserves public support.