Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dayton grandmother mauled by three pit bulls

In an attack so outrageous that it has been picked up by the press as far away as the United Kingdom, an 82 year old Dayton Ohio grandmother was mauled by three pit bulls.  Per WKEF-TV,  a  Montgomery County Animal Control representative stated that Charlotte Carter was attacked while in her own back yard.  Mrs. Carter's son said ""I went out the back yard and I heard her screaming. All three of them were on top of her. I had to do everything I could to save my mother's life," said her son, Chris Carter.

The photos of her injuries are graphic. The dogs ripped chunks of flesh off her legs, arms and face. Luckily, Chris was able to pry their jaws off her mauled body.

Charlotte Carter, 82, was attacked by three pit bulls in her backyard in Dayton, Ohio on Sunday night causing serious injuries

The dogs ripped the flesh from the 82-year-old woman's body before her son rushed to intervene
The elderly lady is currently recovering in hospital - but is terrified to return to her house because the dogs are still living next door

The Montgomery County Animal Resource Center, headed by Montgomery County Dog Warden Mark Kumpf,  is allowing the dog owner to quarantine the dogs in his own home (right next door to the victim's home) because ""The ARC doesn't have the authority to remove the dogs right now. We will go through the process and if it's deemed we can remove them, then we will remove the dogs," shelter manager Mick Sagester said."

Chris Carter is not pleased by this arrangement.  He said "if it happened once it can happen again until something is done about it."  Getting something done about it is the problem.  HB 14, passed last year by the Ohio Legislature, was written by animal rights lawyers employed by Utah based Best Friends Animal Society.  This law protects only dogs and their owners.   Despite the claims of bill sponsor Representative Barbara Sears that the bill "finally gives dog wardens the tools to deal with dangerous dogs" the reality is much different.  Montgomery County Dog Warden Mark Kumpf was a huge supporter of HB 14 and is now responsible for enforcing the law he helped to create.  The process for declaring a dog dangerous and removing it from the community is very complicated.  

This is the process, how long do you think it will take?  

955.222 Hearings for dog designation.

(A) The municipal court or county court that has territorial jurisdiction over the residence of the owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog shall conduct any hearing concerning the designation of the dog as a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog. (B) If a person who is authorized to enforce this chapter has reasonable cause to believe that a dog in the person’s jurisdiction is a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog, the person shall notify the owner, keeper, or harborer of that dog, by certified mail or in person, of both of the following: (1) That the person has designated the dog a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog, as applicable; (2) That the owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog may request a hearing regarding the designation in accordance with this section. The notice shall include instructions for filing a request for a hearing in the county in which the dog’s owner, keeper, or harborer resides. (C) If the owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog disagrees with the designation of the dog as a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog, as applicable, the owner, keeper, or harborer, not later than ten days after receiving notification of the designation, may request a hearing regarding the determination. The request for a hearing shall be in writing and shall be filed with the municipal court or county court that has territorial jurisdiction over the residence of the dog’s owner, keeper, or harborer. At the hearing, the person who designated the dog as a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog has the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that the dog is a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog. The owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog or the person who designated the dog as a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog may appeal the court’s final determination as in any other case filed in that court. (D) A court, upon motion of an owner, keeper, or harborer or an attorney representing the owner, keeper, or harborer, may order that the dog designated as a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog be held in the possession of the owner, keeper, or harborer until the court makes a final determination under this section or during the pendency of an appeal, as applicable. Until the court makes a final determination and during the pendency of any appeal, the dog shall be confined or restrained in accordance with the provisions of division (D) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code that apply to dangerous dogs regardless of whether the dog has been designated as a vicious dog or a nuisance dog rather than a dangerous dog. The owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog shall not be required to comply with any other requirements established in the Revised Code that concern a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog, as applicable, until the court makes a final determination and during the pendency of any appeal. (E) If a dog is finally determined under this section, or on appeal as described in this section, to be a vicious dog, division (D) of section 955.11 and divisions (D) to (I) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code apply with respect to the dog and the owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog as if the dog were a dangerous dog, and section 955.54 of the Revised Code applies with respect to the dog as if it were a dangerous dog, and the court shall issue an order that specifies that those provisions apply with respect to the dog and the owner, keeper, or harborer in that manner. As part of the order, the court shall require the owner, keeper, or harborer to obtain the liability insurance required under division (E)(1) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code in an amount described in division (H)(2) of section 955.99 of the Revised Code. (F) As used in this section, “nuisance dog,” “dangerous dog,” and “vicious dog” have the same meanings as in section 955.11 of the Revised Code.
Added by 129th General Assembly File No. 75, HB 14, § 1, eff. 5/22/2012.

Two of the three pit bulls who attacked Charlotte Carter peer out of the window of the home where they are being kept in quarantine

How long will Mrs. Carter be forced to live next door to the dogs that mauled her?  Please watch the video, this is what Mrs. Carter will face every day.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pregnant woman attacked by pit bull in pit bull centric Toledo Ohio, and the first ever Hello Bully Hero Award. Congratulations to the publisher of the Toledo Blade

I am going to post this quickly.  This article appeared in the Toledo Blade and the Blade is not known for reporting on pit bull attacks.  It is not expected that this link will remain live for very long.

Thirty year old Maria Drake,  21 weeks pregnant, was attacked by her pit bull today.  Mrs. Drake was bitten on her thumb, left inner thigh, left breast, and right forearm.  She was taken by ambulance to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center per Dog Warden Julie Lyle.  She was in still in surgery at the time of publication.

 Jesse  Drake, husband of the victim, stated that the 1 1/2 year old pit bull had never shown any signs of aggression and often played with the four children, ages 11, 7, 6, and 4. Mr. Drake said the fetus was not harmed by the attack.

It was reported that the 71 pound, unneutered pit bull attacked Mrs. Drake when she went into the yard where it was playing with the children.  Per Mr. Drake, the neighbor's children had been poking the dog with  sticks and it was "riled up" and redirected on the victim.

The dog has been surrendered to Animal Control.  It will be held for a 10 day quarantine and is expected to be euthanized.

.... An update on the above story.  The 13abc.com report with video is considerably different from the previously linked article. The previous version might have been sanitized just a bit.  Per 13abc.com "A Toledo woman is in the hospital after her dog attacked her. Police said if they hadn't gotten there when they did the outcome of the attack might have been very different."   Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle made the on-camera statement  "We don't have any idea at this point. I don't think that it's a fatal injury, but I think she is severely injured, is what we are understanding at this point," . 

It is reported that the the neighbors were not taunting the dog, they hit the fence in an effort to distract the pit bull as it attacked the pregnant woman for 15 minutes prior to the arrival of first responders.   13abc.com interviews a neighbor who was a witness"  "A real big pit bull was just attacking her like trying to rip her arm off," said Margie Troiano, a neighbor of the victim. "So, we tried hitting the fence to try to get it to get off of her, but it didn't want to get off."
Neighbors then tried stabbing the dog, identified as a pit bull by the Dog Warden. It would not release its grip on the woman.
"The dog had her for about 15 minutes before anyone showed up," Troiano said. 
Firefighters arrived and had to physically and forcefully break the dog's grip."
For additional information on this attack please click here.  First responders are interviewed and show the tools they used to force the pit bull off his owner.

Speaking of the Toledo Blade, congratulations to Blade publisher and editor-in-chief John Robinson Block.  Mr. Block has been honored with the first ever "Hello Bully Hero" award presented by the breed specific advocacy organization Hello Bully of Cranberry Township Pennsylvania.  The award was presented at the group's Lovers not Fighters Gala.  Hello Bully promotes the Hello Bully Hero award as an annual recognition of greatness in the community.

A quote from the Toledo Blade article on this honor "Jean Keating, founder and president of Lucas County Pit Crew, said Mr. Block helped change both Lucas County and state law in terms of how “pit bulls” are treated. Mr. Block and The Blade were critical of former Dog Warden Tom Skeldon, who believed all “pit bulls” should be killed."

 Family members of the twenty five Americans killed by pit bulls since the passage of HB 14 were not invited.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The *Breed Specific Excuse*

Two recent attacks on shelter workers, and the responses of those who run those shelters made me think.  We have decided to introduce a new feature here at Scorched Earth, we will be recording and sharing examples of the *Breed  Specific Excuse* when it is repeated by those who know better.  You know the one... "its not the breed, any dog could have done this."

We will introduce this new feature with just a few examples of the *Breed Specific Excuse*.  Here is one  reported by wibu.com on December 12, 2012.  A local dog trainer comments on a mauling that killed two year old Savanna Edwards.
A local trainer with 25 years of experience, Mose Hugghis, says this sort of thing could happen with any breed."Sometimes you need to know the health of the dog, if it's not feeling good, if it's not active around other kids," he said. "Putting the dog in that situation can be harmful sometimes. But in this situation here, it could be any breed."
"It could be any breed..."

Just last week we saw the *Breed Specific Excuse* trotted out twice.  In Port Clinton Ohio, Nancy  Benevento-Brown, owner of Island Safe Harbor Sanctuary had the honor.   Per ToledoNewsNow "Brown said this is the first time anything like this has happened at her shelter, and she doesn't want the dog's breed to take the wrap."This happens with any type of dog, given the right situation," she said. "I have been bitten many times, and the dogs that bite me are Chihuahuas.
"This happens with any type of dog."
In Kentucky it was the same story.  WLKY.com reported the *Breed Specific Excuse* statement of Metro Animal Services Director Justin Scally ""You know, we don't know exactly what caused the incidents. Anytime you deal with animals, you have that unpredictability about what they may or may not do,” Scally said.  MAS said that's true of any breed, any animal, not just pit bulls.
"That's true with any breed."
The *Breed Specific Excuse* comes from a person of perceived authority.  This time it came from Ed Schock, the Mayor of Elgin Illinois.  
Ed Schock
This quote from the Daily Herald appeared in an article covering a pit bull attack on the Mayor and his dog. Here is an interesting fact.  A breed specific law had been proposed in Elgin but the proposal was dropped.  Note the quote "The council backed off after pit bull owners pleaded with the city to "punish the deed not the breed."     
   "Earlier this year, Councilman John Prigge championed a proposed law that would have automatically classified all pit bulls as dangerous dogs. But the council backed off after pit bull owners pleaded with the city to "punish the deed, not the breed."For his part, Schock Friday said he has no intention of revising the law to specifically target them."I think we have to let the ordinance work," he said. "It could have been any breed of dog."
There it is, the familiar "it could have been any breed of dog." 

The quote below is chilling.  It is taken from an American Veterinary Medical Association policy statement and is found on the Best Friends Animal Society website. Best Friends Animal Society and the AVMA are staunch opponents of any regulations based on breed.  They quote an epidemiologist who apparently realizes that some dogs are bred for aggression.  

"A dog of any breed can become dangerous when bred or trained to be aggressive." 
Dr. Jeffrey Sacks, epidemiologist for the CDC, said. "Fatal attacks represent only a
very small proportion of dog bite injuries and shouldn't be the primary factor driving
public policy regarding dangerous dogs." 

There we have it "A dog of any breed can become dangerous."

 At least Dr. Sacks has acknowledged that dogs can be bred for aggression but he goes on to say that fatal attacks should not be the primary factor driving public policy regarding dangerous dogs BECAUSE THEY ARE A VERY SMALL PROPORTION OF DOG BITE INJURIES.  What?????

This is Savannah Edwards.  Shouldn't the death of this beautiful child be considered during public policy debates?
Fatal dog attack, Savannah Edwards

How about Isaiah Aguilar, killed by a pit bull in February 2013.
2-year-old Isaiah Aguilar died on Saturday from a pit bull attack.

Christian Gormanous, should his death by pit bull in January 2013 impact public policy debate?

Should the pit bull mauling death of Elsie Grace impact public policy debate?
Elsie Grace mauled to death by two family pit bulls

Four Americans have been killed by dogs so far in 2013, all of them were killed by pit bulls.  Shouldn't this be part of public policy debate?

The *Breed Specific Excuse* is so irrational but appears so often that there must be a reason.  Here is a possibility.  Maybe folks get paid to say it.

The Animal Farm Foundation (motto "Securing equal treatment and opportunity for "pit bull" dogs) pays a bounty of $150 for each pit bull passing the AKC Canine Good Citizen test to shelters and rescues holding AKC CGC tests.  Collies do not count, Labs are left out in the cold, only pit bulls earn the money.  The AFF also offers grants to non profits.  The "I Am an Individual" grant can earn a shelter up to $2500 just for "removing barriers" to pit bull adoption.  Pesky little barriers like a home check, which is done by rescues placing Golden Retrievers and Greyhounds.  Ditch that for pit bulls. No yard?  No fence? No problem.  Placement of pit bulls, known to be dog aggressive, into "only dog" homes?  A foolish barrier, ditch that.  Placement of pit bulls with experienced dog owners?  Heck no, hand 'em out to anybody who wants one.

Does the AFF send a check for repeating the *Breed Specific Excuse*?      

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pit bull roundup, 2/15/2013

It has been far too long since the last pit bull roundup so here we go... in no particular order.

On January 1st the Newark Advocate reported "Charges filed in fatal dog attack: pit bull euthanized."

A pit bull was being harbored by an occupant of a residence near downtown Granville when it attacked a dachshund on the property of a neighbor.  The owner of the dachshund immediately took her dog to a veterinarian but it was already dead.  This gets confusing now, the pit bull was taken from the Granville home  by someone related to the occupant of that home to a home in Newark Ohio.  Newark Animal Control removed the pit bull from that home because the owner of that home did not have a permit to keep a pit bull, which is required in Newark.  The dog was taken to the Newark Police station until it was picked up by the actual owner and taken to yet another location, outside of Newark.  The owner later took the pit bull to a veterinarian and had it euthanized.  It was discovered that the pit bull had attacked another dog in Newark in 2011 and also bit the other dog's owner.  Per the Newark Advocate " An action filed by the county to have the pit bull labeled as dangerous was rendered moot by having it euthanized." Huge time saver for the County Dog Warden.

Charges may be filed against the owner of the pit bull and also the person who was harboring the pit bull.

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January 28th, reported by WhioTV in an article headlined "Intoxicated man stabs pit bull."  Robert Martin Smith was arrested on suspicion of three counts of child endangering, he elected to represent himself at his arraignment.  The wisdom of this decision is yet to be seen.

Here is the story.  Springfield police were called to a home where a man had stabbed a dog with a butcher knife while he was drunk.  When police arrived they found Smith sleeping of the floor of his bedroom.  Per family report, Smith arrived at home at 3 AM and found his children sleeping on the floor of the family dining room. He ordered them to bed but blood was found on their bed.  This blood was reportedly from Smith's own dog, a pit bull in heat.  Smith became so angry at his own dog that he picked up a large knife and began slashing at his dog and went on to stab it in the chest.

Hey, I did not claim this was going to make sense.

In any case, at the time of the knife attack on his own dog his children (ages 10, 6 and 5 years) were sitting on the edge of that very bed.  Smith then decided to throw the knife in an attempt to make it stick in the floor.  The children were only a few feet from where the knife landed.  In his drunken rage Smith then threatened to cut the heads off the other dogs in the home but he passed out before he acted on this threat.  Smith's mother fled the home taking Smith's children with her.  The pit bull is expected to survive and will not be returned to Smith.  One can hope that the dog will be spayed prior to placement.  It is to be hoped that Smith will be prosecuted for his drunken cruelty and that someone explains to this man that intact female dogs do bleed.  This can be fixed with a surgery that is offered free to pit bull owners in most cities and funded by organizations like PetSmart Charities.

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In an article dated 2/13/2013 NorthwestOhio.com states "2 injured in Ottawa County Pit Bull Attack."  Two people were injured in a pit bull attack at Island Safe Harbor Sanctuary in Port Clinton.  There is no information on the identities of the injured, if they were volunteers at the sanctuary or visitors.  The dog would not allow first responders to approach one of the victims so police were forced to shoot it.  The dog was injured and later euthanized.

The mission of Island Safe Harbor Sanctuary is " To provide a safe and healthy environment for elderly, infirmed, terminal animals and to assist animal shelters with over-population of animals in need of care due to their inability to provide it, and un-adoptable animals, by providing a forever home where they can live out their lives in peace and in good health."

One might guess that this particular pit bull would have been considered "un-adoptable."  Owner of the shelter Nancy Benevento-Brown has the honor of making the *Breed Specific Excuse.*  

Brown said this is the first time anything like this has happened at her shelter, and she doesn't want the dog's breed to take the wrap.
"This happens with any type of dog, given the right situation," she said. "I have been bitten many times, and the dogs that bite me are Chihuahuas

Breaking news on the Island Safe Harbor Sanctuary.  As reported in the Toledo Blade 2/15/2012 "Two animal welfare groups  pool efforts", the Erie County Humane Society and the Island Safe Harbor Sanctuary have begun sending dogs and supplies back and forth.  One can only wonder where Island Safe Harbor obtained  the pit bull shot by police.

In case anyone might think this shelter pit bull attack was unusual, WLKY.com in Louisville Kentucky brings us this story today "Counselors on hand after two bitten by dogs at shelter."  The dogs were, not surprisingly, pit bulls.  Both the injured individuals  were animal control professionals.  Per WLKY "The latest incident happened Thursday and supervisors said it was so severe that counselors came to speak with employees Friday to talk about what they called a trauma that affected the entire organization."  Shelter Director Justin Scally did make the *Breed Specific Excuse* "any dog can bite, its not just pit bulls."  Except that it usually is pit bulls.  Do they think nobody notices?

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.Whiotv.com  posted "Dog killed during drug raid" on 2/14/2013.  Dayton Narcotics officers raided a home on Baltimore street and encountered a "pit bull type breed" dog menacing and charging the officers.  One of the police officers shot the dog.  The dog's owner was the named subject of the search warrant, he was seen grabbing a gun and running toward the rear of the house then threw the gun on the ground.  In total there were four men in the house at the time of the raid.  Also found in the house were a .45 caliber Glock,  a jar containing 60 grams of pot, cash, ammunition magazines, and a scale.  Per Whiotv "The resident said the drugs were his for personal use and denied ever selling drugs. According to the report, when police said they had bought weed from him during an undercover investigation he called a “random event.”
The other men claimed that they were present in the home to play video games and had no knowledge of the drugs.  There were no arrests and charges have not yet been  filed.

Due to the shooting, Montomery County Dog Warden Mark Kumpf was saved the trouble of filing dangerous dog charges.

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An update on a November story brings Montgomery County Dog Warden Mark Kumpf's name back into the news.  Per the Dayton Daily News "Man charged with dog fighting, cruelty to animals." .  A Harrison Twp man was charged with dog fighting after a dog was spotted hanging from a window by a passerby in late November.

 Eric Wiggins was charged with two counts of dog fighting, one count of possession of criminal tools, ten counts of cruelty to animals, and one count of having weapons while under a disability.  Nine additional dogs, a rifle, and an automatic handgun were found in the home. Wiggins was prohibited from owning  firearms due to prior convictions for involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, aggravated robbery, and carrying concealed weapons.
Per the Dayton Daily News "At the time of the search, Montgomery County Animal Resource Center Executive Director Mark Kumpf said the animal appeared to hang itself as it attempted to jump out of a window."

What will Kumpf do with the nine seized pit fighters?

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On February 13th the Norwalk Reflector reported "Boy bitten by pit bull."

A thirteen year old boy was bitten by a pit bull.  He was transported via ambulance to Fisher-Titus Medical Center for treatment.  The dog (pictured) broke out of his collar and bit the boy.  A witness helped the boy escape. The boy was treated and released.

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In a story origionally reported by NBC4, a Columbus Ohio woman states pit bulls attacked her and her dog.   Chavonne Saunders states her dog was attacked by two pit bulls while they were out for a walk.  A mail carrier witnessed the attack and called police.  Saunders dog, Shimo is expected to recover. A spokesperson for the dog warden's office stated the owner of the pit bulls received six citations for failure to vaccinate, failure to have a license and allowing the dogs to run loose.

Saunders and Shimo.  Shimo is wearing a cone to protect this injury.

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On January 10th wtov9.com reported "4 taken to hospital after pit bull attack in Belmont County."  Three adults and a child were taken to local hospitals for treatment after an attack at the Pine Lake Trailer Court in Belmont Ohio.  Per witness Karen McEndree, a pit bull attacked a woman and a child.  She stated ""That's why my sister and my boyfriend got hurt because they protected the boy and got serious injuries themselves and I was just out on the porch screaming help, somebody help me."  Police were called, the pit bull was tazed multiple times until the tazer wires broke.  The dog was taken to a local shelter and charges against the owner are being considered.   

Friday, February 1, 2013

Avoiding the identification of dogs. What could go wrong?

This post has been on my mind for a very long time, it is very political, and it is hard for me to write about because it touches my heart.  This is about the short life and tragic death of Ayen Chol.  She lived and died half a world away but the details of her mauling death are repeated with every mauling death.  This case is well documented because the citizens of Australia were justifiably horrified.  The story of Ayen's death includes laws broken, lies told, and laws rewritten.

Ayen Chol

Ayen was four years old, a child of immigrants from South Sudan.  Ayen lived with her mother, siblings, and other family members in a neat brick home in a clean and pleasant neighborhood in Melbourne Australia. In a very few words the  Canberra Times tells the story.
"Mrs Anchito said her cousin, who owned the house, was walking a family friend out of the front of the home when they were confronted by the dog, which attacked them.
They turned to run inside and the dog followed them, turning on the children.
As Mrs Anchito tried to pull the dog off the five-year-old girl who was being attacked, it turned on Ayen, who was clinging to her mother's leg.
Ayen suffered massive injuries and could not be revived.
Daniel Atem, a family spoksman,  said the dog had torn Ayen from her mother's leg.
"It [the dog] pulled the child from the mum ... the daughter died, the dog left the child and then the owner of the dog came after that and took the dog out," Mr Atem said."

Yes, it was reported that Lazor Josevski was present but he made no attempt to assist the child or her mother.  He simply called his dog's name and took his dog home.

The Herald Sun has more details.   
She was very scared and she was screaming," Ms Ancaito said in a statement tendered at the inquest.The dog then grabbed Ayen by the face and neck and pulled her away from her mother."When the dog first grabbed my daughter I heard her scream once and I never heard her scream again," Ms Ancaito said.The dog shook Ayen from side to side and dragged her backwards into the kitchen.Ms Ancaito hit the dog and tried to pull it away, but it would not let go of Ayen."With all the blood and the injuries I knew my daughter was dead," she said."

Death of Ayen Chol after being mauled by a neighbours dog....... Ayen Chol's mother Jacklin Ancaito (centre) leaves  the Sunshine Court today.
Jackline Anchito, Ayen's mother on her way to court.    
Rex, the dog that killed Ayen was a restricted breed, by law he should have been registered, neutered, and contained.  Rex was harbored by Lazor Josevski but owned by Lazor's son Nick, who was overseas at the time of the attack.  Josevski had been warned by his veterinarian that Rex was a pit bull but he failed to register the dog.  The only dog on record at Josevski's address was a long dead German Shepherd.

Lazor Josevski and Nick Josevski, owners of the dog.
Lazor and Nick Josevski on their way to court.
 The Courier-Mail gives Nick Josevski's statement.
 "Nick Josevski told the Victorian Coroners Court he was "a little concerned" when he read newspaper reports about attacks by pitbulls, but believed his dog was placid.
Mr Josevski had previously told the inquest he knew nothing about pitbulls and did not know that was the breed of own dog.
After being granted a certificate allowing him to testify without his evidence being used against him in future court proceedings, Mr Josevski admitted on Tuesday he had misled the inquest.   (I believe the correct legal term here is perjury)
He said he had been told by a vet that his dog may be a pitbull.
Mr Josevski said he had read in the newspaper about attacks by pitbulls.
"I suppose I was a little concerned, but Rex was placid, so I had no concern really," he said."
Lets go over this statement one more time. Nick Josevski admitted that he had lied about his dog in his testimony.  After assurances that his testimony would not be used against him Nick Josevski admitted that he "had misled" the inquest.  He was told by a veterinarian that he owned a pit bull, a restricted dog, but he did not follow the law that governed ownership of restricted dogs because he  " BELIEVED THAT HIS DOG WAS PLACID," "SO I HAD NO CONCERN REALLY."  Well isn't that nice.  

The inquest in the Victorian Coroners Court looked into what lessons could be learned from Ayen's death, and what could be done to prevent future attacks.The coroner made recommendations on policies to protect the public from future attacks.  One of these suggestions was to require veterinarians to report violations of the Dangerous Dogs Act.  What was the response of the veterinary medicine community?  "We can't identify pit bulls and we have no legal responsibility to do so."   

This is the response of the veterinarian who had seen Josevski's dog on multiple occasions. "Questions have been asked about why vet Michael Beattie visited the dog six times and did not report to authorities that the dog was in breach of the law, because it was unregistered and not desexed.
Dr Beattie said he had no obligation to report the dog.  "I have certainly never been informed of any legal obligation," he told the inquest.  Asked if he had a moral obligation, he replied that he was not sure how to answer."  But others, including the Australian Veterinary Association, say the proposal is unworkable."

 The reason the proposal might be "unworkable"? Because nobody can identify a pit bull.  But wait... it appears that sometimes veterinarians CAN identify a pit bull.   Dr. Beattie could identify a pit bull and informed Nick Josevski that he had one.  

After the death of Ayen Chol, Rex was taken to the Melbourne University's Werribee Veterinary Hospital.  Below is a statement from Dr. Jane Dunnett.  It appears she DOES have the ability to identify a pit bull in the privacy of her own medical clinic and the creative ability to find excuses for the attack. Lets hear what Dr. Jane Dunnett has to say.

This quote comes from the Courier-Mail
 "After the attack, the dog was taken to Melbourne University's Werribee Veterinary Hospital.
One of the vets at the hospital, Dr Jane Dunnett, said the dog was difficult to sedate and became angry when fitted with a muzzle.
She said the attack likely occurred because the dog felt challenged by an unfamiliar environment.
Dr Dunnett said from evidence she heard from another of the dog's owners, Lazor Josevski, it appeared the animal was kept in a backyard with little human contact.
She said it was likely the dog was not used to the different environment when it escaped.
"It became aroused, it felt challenged and for whatever reason decided to attack," she said.
"Any dog has the ability to attack ... any dog will attack when it gets aroused to a certain point."
Dr Dunnett agreed she told a council officer the dog was 90 per cent pitbull."
Yes, Dr. Dunnett identified Rex as 90% pit bull.

This quote comes from Susan Maastricht and please pay special attention to the final line in this quote.
The association's Victorian president Susan Maastricht says it is simply too hard for vets to determine what is and isn't a restricted breed dog.
"There is a problem in so much as the notion that we would be able to say categorically that it is a pitbull terrier," she told AAP.
"There is a pretty significant amount of evidence that dogs get called all sorts of things based on physical appearance."
There are fears dog owners won't go to vets if they think they'll be dobbed in to authorities, and then there are the safety concerns.
She says in New Zealand, where there is compulsory reporting of animal mistreatment, vets have been threatened."
 As in the United States, veterinarians claim that they are unable to identify pit bulls.  Why not?  Possibly because the Australian Veterinary Medical Association operates on the same business model as the American Veterinary Medical Association,  "money talks."  An additional motive is noted here, safety concerns, vets have been threatened for identification of pit bulls.  In an effort to protect their own safety the veterinarians turn their backs on the safety of children. 

This is the oath that Veterinarians take in the United States.  

Veterinarian's Oath

Comment on this policy
Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.
I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.
I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.

Veterinarians promise to use their knowledge to benefit society by protecting animal health and welfare but not to actually protect the public. 

The AVMA is a willing and able partner in any effort to block any breed specific legislation. The American Veterinary Association has its own pre written letter to make it easy for veterinarians to lobby against any proposed breed specific legislation.  The AVMA site also furnishes information on breed specific prohibited or restricted ordinances, note that the information was taken from a breed specific advocacy web page, understand-a-bull.  The AVMA is using THIS as a reputable source of information?  I digress, back to the AVMA advocacy for pit bull dogs.  Reviewing research material on the AVMA website one will find this special report on breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks.  The statistical tables are eye opening and I copy a paragraph that caught my eye.  A short explanation, DBRF stands for Dog Bite Related Fatality but DBRF is so much less threatening...

"Despite these limitations and concerns, the data
indicate that Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs
accounted for 67% of human DBRF in the United States
between 1997 and 1998. It is extremely unlikely that
they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the
United States during that same period and, thus, there
appears to be a breed-specific problem with fatalities."

Yes, there does appear to be a breed specific problem with fatalities and the AVMA and the Austrailian Veterinary sweep this under the rug.

 At the time of the attack the only penalty for Josevski's failure to register and contain his pit bull was a simple fine.  A child is dead and a simple fine was the only justice for the Chol family.   Since this sad and senseless death the laws have changed.  In Australia the owner of a dog that kills a human may now  be sentenced to ten years in prison.  In the case of a severe attack that does not result in death the dog owner may be sentenced to five years in prison.

Prison terms for owners of pit bulls that kill or severely injure humans in the United States are becoming fairly common.  This is not a complete list, just a quick google search.
James Casey Swanson was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the mauling death of his tenant Ronnie Waldo.
Diane Cockrell was sentenced to 3 1/2 to 15 years for the mauling deaths of Cheryl Harper and James Gierlach.
Derrick Lee was sentenced to 4 years in prison and 2 years of probation for the death of Jimmie Mae McConnell.
Crystal Watson got 7 years in prison for the death of 7 year old Tanner Monk.
Billy Earl Marbury pled guilty to manslaughter in the death of Barbara Pilkington.  He was sentenced to 15 years in prison without parole.
Travis Dean Cunningham got a total of 11 1/2 years in prison for the mauling of Huong Le.
Hume Hamilton was sentenced to 3 years in prison on animal cruelty charges when the fatal mauling of a cat was caught on surveillance video.

I will end this post with the honest thoughts of courageous Australian Veterinarian Dr. Graeme Smith, posted on his website, The Lost Dog's Home. Please keep Ayen Chol in mind when you read Dr. Smith's words.  Rex, a dog with no history of violence killed a child the very first time he escaped from the Josevski home.

Dr Smith argues that avoiding the identification of dogs and their behaviours by their breed means the legislation in place can be such that allows these Pit Bulls “one free bite.” This “one free bite” can have fatal consequences. He says that MP Bill Shorten’s description of Pit Bulls as “sharks on legs” is unfortunately apt in many ways, and he welcomes Mr Shorten’s calls for tougher national standards to police dangerous animals.
“It is very hard to give Pit Bulls the benefit of the doubt,” Dr Smith says.