Monday, September 2, 2013

Pit bull roundup 9/2/2013

One might think that with the passage of HB 14 in February of 2012, the bill that was sold to foolish Ohio lawmakers as "finally giving dog wardens the tools to deal with dangerous dogs" that life in the Buckeye State would be a regular peaceful heaven on earth.  Not So much.  This post is a pit bull round up and looks to be a long one.  Get some coffee and get comfortable.  I make no attempt at chronological order, I'm just cleaning up the backlog.

A shooting at a Cincinnati area dog park made national news last spring.  Robert Marx, 74 years old shot a pit bull "mix" named Bruski to terminate an attack upon his own small dog.  It must be noted that Mr. Marx used a taser on Bruski prior to resorting to his legally owned and carried Ruger.

Bruski, owned by Kaitlyn Hornsby.

Eighteen year old pit bull owner Kaitlyn Hornsby and her boyfriend Silas Jay Parker, they claim that Bruski was only "playful" with the dog owned by Robert Marx.

Witnesses stated that attempts were made to separate Bruski from Mr. Marx's dog without success.  Ms. Hornsby was unable to protect the public from her dog but did not feel that Mr. Marx's actions to save his own dog were warranted.  Ms. Hornsby made conflicting statements on the shooting.  Early on she stated "'There were kids there and he pulled out a gun and shot. A kid could have been hurt. I could have been hurt. I was holding my dog as he shot him,' she said.

During Mr. Marx's trial she changed her story.  Her testimony is part of the video posted by  ""He was like - if you don't get your dog, I'm going to shoot him. And right then and there I stepped back. He pulled out a gun, I didn't want to get shot, I was scared for my life. And he said if you don't get your dog I'm going to shoot him, and he didn't give us a chance and immediately shot him." 

These are very different stories.

Robert Marx
Robert Marx

Mr. Marx case went to court recently and he was acquitted.  Please watch the video at the link given. Watch Mr. Marx move from the witness stand to the center of the courtroom to demonstrate his actions.  It is clear why he carried both a taser and a gun to protect himself and his dog.  Mr. Marx was arrested after Ms. Hornsby and Mr. Parker made their charges,  he went to jail,  he spent an extended period of time on house arrest, he lost his concealed carry permit, all due to bogus charges made by Hornsby and Parker.
Robert Marx, left, was acquitted Monday after shooting a dog in a dog park April 2.

“At the time I think your actions were justified. It's hard to second guess the outcome of a dog fight.” ~Judge Bouchard

It is expected that Mr. Marx will get his concealed carry permit back.

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From Shaker Heights Ohio
August 27, 2013

Ashley Debeljak, a college student walking her dog was attacked by two pit bulls.  The dogs were apparently JUST dropped off in the neighborhood and immediately attacked  the young woman and  Gary Simon,  a neighbor who intervened.

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Cleves Ohio

In a story posted August 26, 2013 Fox19 reports that three pit bulls were shot by police, one fatally.  This attack did not make local news at the time of the attack but surfaced a week later due to contact between the family of the pit bull owner and Fox 19.  The dog owners were looking for support but refused to speak with reporters.  The story is pretty outrageous.  Per reports, the three pit bulls were at large in the neighborhood and menacing neighbors.  A woman who was unable to leave her home due to the dogs menacing presence called the SPCA.  SPCA officers responded with police back up.  The SPCA  officer attempted to collar one of the pit bulls with a "control bar" which was attacked by the remaining two pit bulls. Hang on,  there is a lot of story to go here.  An elderly man approached and stated that he was the owner, without stating if he owned the dogs or the property.  SPCA officers report that they were threatened by the man.  I can't improve on this so I will just quote Fox19 " The man allegedly told the officer to leave and said several times he would "bust" the SPCA officer's head. After trying twice to control the dogs with a stick, according to paperwork, that man was then attacked by the dogs.
"At that point, the gentleman picked up a stick and started hitting the dogs or threatening the dogs, or whatever, and the dogs turned on him," Rutzlaff told FOX19.
SPCA officer John Sturgill said in his statement that that man then started screaming "save me" and "help me."
After screaming at the dogs to move along, Sturgill says they charged himself and a deputy, who opened fire. 

Screaming for law enforcement to shoot your own pit bull as it mauls the hand that feeds it is not uncommon. A change of heart after the fact is not uncommon either.  Here is a Facebook page set up to create sympathy for the maulers.  The family wants "justice" for their dogs.  Has there been any consideration of justice for the neighbors?  In statements to police, neighbors have complained that they are afraid to walk outside and one neighbor stated that "the dogs have charged me and my family several times."  Per the video report, the SPCA responded same address in July for a complaint that the same dogs were running loose.

For more information please click here.

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Dayton Ohio

On August 25, 2013 whioTV reported that a 14 year old boy was attacked by Thor, his family's pit bull.  Latoya Ross, mother of the boy,  was issued a court summons for failure to control her dogs.  Police officers were called to the scene by neighbors concerned about gunshots. Ms. Ross stated that her son took the dog outside but unfortunately fell on the dog which caused Thor to attack.  A neighbor fired shots into the air to distract the dogs from attacking the boy's face.  Ross's boyfriend, Trayette Thompkins lives at the home and shares ownership of the animals at the residence.  He was cited for having six unlicensed animals. Thompkins was also arrested on two active warrants for failure to appear in court.

Normal dogs know the difference between being tripped over and being kicked, but not Thor apparently.

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Norwalk Ohio

August 14, 2013. A man harboring a pit bull for someone who is incarcerated was not wise enough to just take his legal problems like a man.  He denied the charges but was found guilty of dog-at-large and paid far more in court costs that the ticket would have cost him.   Here is the short version of the story.  A woman was walking past Aaron Hyde's house when the pit bull charged her, attacked her, and knocked her down.  A neighborhood boy assisted her and chased the pit bull off.   She walked to a local business for help and police were called.  At the time of the attack Mr. Hyde was apologetic but in court he claimed that the victim came onto his property and got herself between two dogs that were "playing."  The state had two witnesses, Mr. Hyde represented himself and had no witnesses.  He admits that he did not see the attack. Mr. Hyde pleaded not guilty and stated that he did not think his dog was involved.  Per the Norwalk Reflector  "Given the evidence, that was the only verdict that the judge could find," Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff, who was representing the state, said after the trial.
When asked for his reaction, Hyde called the verdict a "f***ing lie" and he also accused the media of lying, using more profanity."

Aaron Hyde in court.

 You can't make this stuff up.

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Dayton Ohio

On August 16, 2013 reported a complaint of a loose pit bull in a Dayton neighborhood turned into a police raid on a marijuana grow operation.  When police approached the residence where the pit bull was harbored they saw a woman "running around the house" and a man "grab a semi automatic firearm and slide a round into the chamber."  The man did leave the house without incident, telling police he left the gun on the couch.  Once inside the house, per " According to the report, when officers entered the living room to retrieve the gun they could smell and see marijuana along with a bag of suspected methamphetamine. They also observed a security system inside the home with numerous cameras.
While in the home officers discovered evidence of a marijuana grow operation including lights, thermometers, extension cords, water pumps and shower heads.
A total of 126.88 grams of marijuana and .69 grams of methamphetamine were confiscated from the home. Several boxes of shotgun shells and .45, .40 and .35-caliber ammunition were also confiscated."   Jessica Barrett was arrested on a warrant out of Kettering Ohio.  John Clayton Davis was also arrested, facing possible aggravated menacing, obstruction, possession of criminal tools, illegal manufacture of drugs, possession of drugs, advertising and possession charges.

Lets hope that the unrestrained pit bull that started all this is in the custody of Montgomery County dog warden Mark Kumpf.  Lets hope that Mark will consider the dog's previous employment as a guard dog for a drug operation prior to placing this dog with a family.

  Loose pit bull leads police to marijuana grow house photoLoose pit bull leads police to marijuana grow house photo
Jessica Barrett and John Clayton Davis

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Franklin County Ohio

On August 12th ABC6 reported a story that I was sure was actually the Norwalk Ohio attack posted above with an error in the name of the dog owner but apparently not.  In a major coincidence, a Franklin County judge issued an arrest warrant for David Hyde, owner of two pit bulls that are believed to have attacked two people this summer.  You can't make this stuff up.  On August 7th David Hyde failed to appear for his arraignment  on charges related to a June 3rd "biting incident."   On that very day Mr. Hyde's female pit bull attacked Marjorie Huffman in a 20 minute mauling that resulted in 86 stitches in Huffman's hands and feet. Ms. Huffman attempted to take refuge in her car but the dog made it impossible for her to shut the door.    A passing driver used her car to separate the pit bull from Huffman.  Police fired shots to drive the dog away.

David Hyde

Marjorie Huffman

Huffman's injuries

Hyde's dogs were taken by Franklin County Animal control but he hopes to get them back.  The Franklin county dog warden will pursue dangerous dog designations on these dogs.  I know the process is a mess but the safety of the public demands action.  Please note that Mr. Hyde has said he is sorry about the attack on Huffman and hopes her injuries are healing.  There is no record of Mr. Hyde paying Huffman's medical bills. "Sorry" is a cheap fix.

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Boardman Ohio

On July 12, 2013 reported that a Boardman woman complained that her dog was attacked by a pit bull while the woman's daughter was walking her pet on a leash.   The owner of the pit bull was fined $250 for failing to confine her dog.

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Sylvania Ohio

On July 5, 2013 Toledo News Now reported a pit bull attack in in the Metroparks.  Steve Thompson and Nicole Farrell stated that they were walking their one year old pit bull in a local park when their pit bull was attacked by what they believed was another pit bull that was running loose.  It was reported that two other dogs were with the attacking  pit bull but they did not take part in the attack. The couple said they were injured as they attempted to break up the fight and they drove themselves to a local hospital for treatment. The park was closed to visitors while park rangers, Sylvania Township police, and the  Lucas County Sheriffs Department searched the park. The Lucas County dog warden sent three patrols to assist in the search for the dogs, the dogs were not found.  A Metroparks spokesman stated ""We have never had an incident of this severity before. The track record here at Wildwood is... very safe,"

The Toledo Blade does not report on pit bull attacks but made an exception in this case because the victim was also a pit bull.  This story is no longer available online and there is a reason for that. Hang on, it gets more interesting.

Turns out that the attack in the park never happened.  Thompson and Farrell were attacked by Thompson's pit bull at their own apartment and concocted the story to explain their injuries in such a way that they might protect the dog (and avoid eviction from their apartment for harboring a violent dog).  Farrell faces charges for falsification.  She and Thompson should also be billed for the time wasted by law enforcement. Thompson has taken his pit bull and left the area.

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Oak Harbor Ohio

On August 6, 2013 the News Messenger reported that a law enforcement officer shot a pit bull in the face when the pit bull charged him while he was on a call regarding a custody dispute.  Two officers were speaking with a woman who was holding a child and standing in a doorway.  Two pit bulls pushed past the woman and charged the officers.  The lead dog was shot.  The officers secured both dogs.  The owner of the pit bulls was upset but calmed down when the situation was explained.  The injured pit bull was transported to a local animal hospital where it received treatment for injuries to the cheek and upper lip.  The dog responded well to the treatment.  The pit bull owner will be responsible for the veterinary hospital bill.  A spokesperson for the Sandusky County Humane Society had no concerns about the actions of the Sandusky County law enforcement officers “If they feel like they’re in danger of being attacked, then they have a right to protect themselves,” Askins said. “In this case, the dog did charge Captain Meggitt and he was fearful of being attacked.  “Given the situation, he did what he thought was necessary. I stand behind Captain Meggitt.”

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 Swanton Ohio

On 7/16/2013 the Toledo Blade reported that Swanton Ohio has considered their dog ordinances and will continue to consider pit bull inherently vicious.  Ohio breed specific advocate Jean Keating is not pleased.   A DNA test commissioned by the Toledo Blade on the dog at the heart of the current controversy lists the dog as a mix of American Bulldog, Rottweiler, American Staffordshire Terrier, Black and Tan Coonhound, Coton de Tulear, bull terrier, Neapolitan mastiff, and miniature pinscher.  This is an outrageously exotic mix of breeds.  How many Coton de Tulear dogs are roaming Toledo Ohio and spreading valuable DNA among the masses?    In the text of the article the Blade reporter identifies Bailey as Fila Brasileiro.  It is notable that in the photograph of the dog in question, found in the article, the dog is simply identified as a "pit bull"  and given the appearance of the dog, that seems appropriate.  The Blade continues to abuse the patience and intelligence of the public with bogus canine DNA testing, an imperfect test at best, at worst it is total fraud. For more information on the abuse of canine testing by the Toledo Blade please click here.

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Middletown Ohio

On June 30, 2013, per the Middletown Police Blotter, a resident reported her $350 pit bull was stolen from her porch.  "Responsible dog owners" do not leave their dogs on the porch,  subject to theft.  

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Mount Vernon Ohio   

On June 12, 2013 the Mount Vernon News reported a "street fight erupts after a three year old girl was bitten by a dog."   Per the News "Danny Geiger, grandfather of 3-year-old Rylenn Smith, said the girl was doing well and the surgeon at Children’s Hospital “did an excellent job.” She was taken to Children’s after an initial evaluation at Knox Community Hospital." "Geiger said the girl was taken to the building by her mother, Amanda Geiger, to see if a boy there her age could come over to play, and she was bitten as they walked past the dog."  "Geiger said he went to the Columbus Road address to talk with the dog owner. He left another person in his car while he went to talk with the dog owner and he became involved in a scuffle with three or four individuals.  Mount Vernon Police Capt. George Hartz was able to confirm the incident took place as police were called about 8:30 p.m. to provide support for a deputy at 101 Columbus Road, where a fight was reported taking place in the street. He said the officer in charge had not yet filed his report on the police role in the incident."

Rylenn Smith's injuries required 22 stitches to her face.

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Springfield Ohio  

On June 14, 2013 reported that a police officer was forced to shoot two pit bulls, one fatally, when they became vicious and charged the officer.  Here is the story " Around 9 a.m., a man was walking his dog when he said he felt threatened by three dogs at-large that became vicious in the 1200 block of Oakleef Drive. The responding officer called the dog warden, and while the dog warden was en route, the dogs allegedly charged the officer. The officer then discharged his firearm"   hitting two of the three pit bulls.  All of the dogs were pit bulls or pit mixes.

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Middletown Ohio

On June 12, 2013 Fox 19 reported that a Middletown man was arrested after firing shots at a pit bull attacking his dog.  No one was injured during the incident.

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Springfield Ohio

On June 14, 2013 reported that police shot two pit bulls.  A caller reported that someone was being chased by dogs, police responded, the dogs became aggressive.  Police fatally shot two of the three pit bulls, the remaining pit bull was taken to the local humane society.  No further information was available. 

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Cincinnatti Ohio

Per, Roger Brown, described as a repeat offender and dog fighter will be back in court facing seven counts of dog fighting.  Nobody has ever been charged with fighting Yorkies or Chihuahuas, pit bulls is a given.  

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Reynoldsburg Ohio  

On July 10, 2013 the Reynoldsburg News reported that two Reynoldsburg residents wanted the city to reconsider the community's pit bull ban.  Lori Schwartzkopf and Brad Hauser came to the city council armed with the standard talking points.  The chairman of the Safety Committee was not impressed and stated ""As chairman of the safety committee, I'm not going to put it on the committee, Her claim was that legislation would be able to let us control people's actions with dangerous dogs, but that is not something we could enforce.  That is paramount to saying speed limits negate speeding. Legislation would not solve any possibility of someone being hurt by a dangerous dog." He conceded that other breeds could also be dangerous.  "But I don't remember reading any news stories about people being mauled or killed by a Chihuahua,"   

Good man, logical thought, appropriate consideration for the safety of constituents.  Thank you sir!

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North Ridgeville Ohio

Rescue 911 Bully Breed rescue is looking for volunteers.  An organizational and informational meeting was held at a local Panera Bread location.  Given the location, potential volunteers were probably encouraged to leave their own pit bulls at home.  Here is a hint for Rescue 911 - focus on preventing the horrendous numbers of pit bulls entering America's shelters.  There are far too many pit bulls to rescue.  There are simply not enough proper homes for these dogs and they sure do not deserve to suffer.  Promote neuter and spay.  Breed specific advocates fight mandatory neuter and spay like it is a personal insult.  Anyone with any real affection for the breed would be demanding mandatory neuter and spay laws.

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Cleveland Ohio  

On June 19, 2013 Newsnet5 reported a near-miss attack on 85 year old Ken Hall.  Mr. Hall was hitting golf balls at Keurrish Park when a pit bull escaped the yard of its owner and menaced Hall for a full 15 minutes. Hall used his nine iron to keep the dog at bay while he worked his way to a chain link fence, he called 911 and a supervisor at a nearby swimming pool rescued him in her car.  Police arrived and took the pit bull to the Cleveland Kennel.  Inexplicably, the dog was returned to owner who claimed that pit bull Polo "is a good, harmless dog."  Polo's owner declined to be identified but he did show Polo off to a reporter, the dog was wandering around the owner's unfenced front yard without benefit of leash or muzzle.  Mr. Hall "encourages others to protect themselves in a city park after the pit bull tried to attack the Cleveland resident Sunday."  Given the lack of responsibility by Polo's owner and lack of charges by the City of Cleveland dog warden, park patrons would be wise to carry a nine iron at all times.  

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Dayton Ohio   

On June 10, 2013 reported that a five year old boy was bitten by an unlicensed pit bull.  Per the Dayton police report, the child was standing outside a fenced in yard when another child opened the gate and the pit bull ran out and bit him.  The child required treatment at Dayton Children's Hospital.  

 I can't improve on this so I quote the article "Police talked to the dog’s owner who said the dog has never been to the vet, has no tags, license or collar. He couldn’t get the dog to stop being aggressive long enough to show the dog to police officers, according to the report.  The owner was issued a misdemeanor citation and the dog was placed on a quarantine."

Taking the first opportunity to run out of the yard and attack a five year old child, never been to a vet, no vaccinations, no license, no collar, the owner can't get the dog to stop being aggressive long enough to show it to the police and a MISDEMEANOR CITATION is issued????   This dog and this dog owner should have been charged to the limit of Ohio law.  Mark Kumpf  you are county dog warden and you are responsible for this. 
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    Toledo Ohio

    Angi Holt-Parks adopted a deaf pit bull named Rudi from the Lucas County dog warden.  She and her husband Don are learning sign language and teaching it to the dog so they can communicate with Rudi. Per the Toldeo Blade " Although she’s never worked with a special-needs dog before, Ms. Holt-Parks said she’s owned several dogs with medical issues.  The biggest challenge thus far is keeping her attention during training because she does get distracted easily because she is young and still wants to play." Per the Sandusky Register "John Brown, Lucas County dog warden behavior technician, has worked with Holt-Parks on ways she can communicate with Rudi, who was called "Charm" at the pound.

    He suggested a vibrating collar, which is a training collar that allows a person to press a button on a remote-control device, which then sends a signal to the collar, causing it to vibrate. The vibration is not a shock, and it is not very strong, Brown said. Many people who have used the collars first worried that they wouldn't work because the dog didn't seem to notice, he said. But with conditioning and training, the dog will respond to the vibration."

    A deaf pit bull with a short attention span.  The breed is well known for being unable to terminate an attack in progress.  Able bodied bystanders have used guns, knives, bricks, bats, boards, rocks, hot coffee, electric hedge trimmers, what have you, in failed attempts to terminate an attack.  This pit bull is deaf, if it does not happen to be looking at Ms. Holt-Parks, or is ignoring her, what kind of safety can be offered to members of the community.  What could go wrong here?  The mind boggles.  

    Angie Holt-Parks and Rudi, photo from the Sandusky Register

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    Toledo again

    On June 15, 2013 the Toledo Blade reported that Best Friends Animal Society has given $6000 in grants to Jean Keating's Lucas County Pit Crew to fund a rabies clinic, breed specific "playgroups," and training to increase the adoptability of pit bull dogs.  Humane Ohio received a grant of $3000 for a rabies clinic as well. How will the Lucas County Pit Crew and Humane Ohio determine which dogs will qualify for free shots and "playgroups" if nobody can identify a pit bull? 

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    I hope I have not missed many Ohio pit bull attacks in this edition of the Pit Bull Roundup but I have just about had it so I will close with this article from the Columbus Dispatch with similar versions appearing  in many Ohio news services.  The Dispatch  title is Pit Bulls Clog Shelters and it deals with unintended consequences.  Requirements for insurance and confinement for pit bulls were dropped when HB 14 was passed in the Ohio Legislature.  There is no longer any disincentive to breeding pit bulls and Ohio shelters are full of them.  
    "Fourteen months after a new Ohio law removed the vicious label from pit bulls, the dogs remain a hard sell for shelters trying to find strays a home. At the Franklin County Dog Shelter, pit bulls and pit-bull mixes take three times as long as other dogs to adopt out, director Joe Rock said.  "On average, pit bulls are on the adoption floor for 28 days, while other dogs are there for nine, Rock said.
    "The Delaware and Fairfield county dog shelters don’t even put pit bulls on the adoption floor. After the dogs come in as strays, they evaluate them to make sure they’re adoptable and then transfer them to local humane societies and rescue groups that have space and can find homes for them.'s article "Pit bulls again legal to own - and cast off to the pound"  deals with the aftermath of the change to local law banning pit bulls.  "It has been nearly 15 months since Cincinnati repealed its ban on pit bulls, deciding no longer to label the dogs as vicious by definition. So people can own pits – and they can also get rid of them.
    A walk through the kennels at the SPCA’s Cincinnati facilities in Northside and Sharonville is a walk past pen after pen of pit bulls with their short hair, muscular bodies, powerful jaws and expressive eyes.
    At the end of July, at the Sharonville facility, SPCA President and CEO Harold Dates identified 62 of the 90 available animals as appearing to be possibly pit bulls or pit bull mix. The results were similar in the SPCA facility in Northside on a recent visit, when 41 of the 48 dogs up for adoption appeared to be pit bull breeds, which have a fairly distinct look."
    Given the number of pit bull attacks and the rapidly increasing numbers of pit bulls entering Ohio shelters with very little chance of placement in a suitable home it is glaringly apparent that HB14 is an epic fail.  What has been gained from selling out the safety of the public to a well funded special interest group?  More pit bulls are born to suffer, and more humans suffer life changing, or life ending pit bull attacks. This is obscene.