Friday, December 19, 2014

Wauseon Ohio is under seige by pit bull advocacy

There is a theme to this post.

It is difficult for peaceful people to understand the investment in breed specific advocacy. Animals consistently implicated in the death or disfigurement of humans, why is there such hysteria to remove proactive local law to regulate them?

Efforts to change local law by appealing to residents and voters are grinding to a halt. We are not likely to see any  more attempts to remove breed bans appear on the ballot.  This has been tried only twice and failed in a spectacular manner both times. Those at the upper level of  pit bull advocacy want to avoid another loss at all costs so they are turning up the flame under the city councils of small communities all across America.  The landslide votes in Miami-Dade Florida and in Aurora Colorado clearly show that the public gets it.  The public is aware of the outrageous numbers of pit bull attacks, aware of the fatalities, aware of the suffering, aware of the costs.  The voters have said "no" so the small but wildly vocal and very well funded special interest group attempts to bully reluctant communities to drop breed bans and bamboozle state legislatures into passing state law to prohibit the use of home rule rights to pass BSL.  Yes, pit bull advocacy tried to this in six states this year.  They won in two states and lost in four states.  We will talk about this again sometime but back to current events in Ohio.                                                                      

Toledo Ohio

The Toledo Blade reports that the Wauseon City Council passed the first reading of a measure that would remove the city's pit bull ban.  Councilman Martin Estrada, a non dog owner,  was approached by "a number of individuals and groups" asking to bring local law more "in line" with state law which was changed by the passage of HB 14 in 2012.

No mention was made of the nine people mauled to death by dogs in Ohio in the first two years since the passage of HB 14.  Historical note, in the ten years prior to the passage of HB 14 Ohio had five fatal dog attacks.  It was not mentioned that two bills aimed at fixing the mess created by HB 14 are expected to be introduced into the next General Assembly.

Jean Keating appears to be leading the effort to change Wauseon law.  Ms. Keating does not live in Wauseon Ohio but she is heavily quoted in the article.   Per the Blade "The Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates, which played a strong role in changing the state code, provided Mr. Estrada with some information, research, and contacts."  Keating is president and co-founder of the Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates.

Toledo Ohio

In a series of articles on Wauseon Ohio the Toledo Blade adds an opinion piece slanted toward removal of a local breed ban "Pity the 'pit bull.'

In classic pit bull advocacy talking points the piece begins with excuses but prances right to claims that breed bans are falling all over the United States.  The Aurora Colorado vote to retain a breed ban in the November general election by better than a 2 to 1 margin was not mentioned.  The Aurora vote was historic in that it was only the second time that this issue has gone to voters. The first was Miami-Dade in 2012, that breed ban was also retained by local voters by a 2 to 1 margin.

The article goes on to list organizations opposed to BSL, We have the NCRC which is owned by the Animal Farm Foundation (extreme pit bull advocacy).  The HSUS and the AVMA appear on the list, both organizations are in the business of the rights and welfare of animals and have no concern with the welfare and safety of humans.  The CDC appears although in their last report listing fatalities by breed includes the statement " 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."  The ABA is simply infested with animal rights lawyers.

No mention of organizations created to further human health and safety that are also opposed to BSL. There aren't any.  General Practice doctors, pediatricians, plastic surgeons, orthopedic specialists, nurses, social service workers, leaders of neighborhood associations, the United States Postal Service, none of these have endorsed pit bulls.

Click here for the opinion of Dr. David Billmire, professor and director of the Division of Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.  The title of his opinion is "There is no need for pit bulls."  Here is a quote.
Based on my extensive experience, I believe that the risk posed by pit bulls is equivalent to placing a loaded gun with the safety off on the coffee table. In my opinion, these dogs should be banned. I know this is an unpopular stand in some circles, but how many mauled children do we have to see before we realize the folly of allowing these dogs to exist?  

The arguments made by advocates of these dogs are the same arguments made by people who feel that assault weapons are an essential part of daily living. There are plenty of breeds available that peacefully coexist with human society. There is no need for pit bulls."

Here are more studies by doctors on the topic.
The effectiveness of Breed Specific Legislation in decreasing the incidence of dog bite hospitalizations in Canadian people living in the Province of Manitoba.   2012

Periorbital trauma from pit bull terrier attacks  2012


In the ophthalmic setting, pit bull terrier attacks most frequently involve children and result in eyelid lacerations. Canalicular injuries are common after these attacks

Dog bites of the head and neck:an evaluation of a common pediatric trauma and associated treatment. 2014.  Conclusions
The patients most likely to suffer dog bite injuries of the head and neck are children. Although a number of dog breeds were identified, the largest group were pit bull terriers, whose resultant injuries were more severe and resulted from unprovoked, unknown dogs. More severe injuries required a greater number of interventions, a greater number of inpatient physicians, and more outpatient follow-up encounters. Healthcare utilization and costs associated with dog bites warrant further investigation.
Mortality, mauling and maiming by vicious dogs. 2011
Conclusions: Attacks by pit bulls are associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs. Strict regulation of pit bulls may substantially reduce the US mortality rates related to dog bites.

Dog bites of the head and neck in children. 2011.  "Most injuries were soft tissue related, however more severe bites and injuries were observed in attacks from the pit-bull and Rottweiler breeds"
Pediatric Dog Bite Injuries: A five year review of at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 2009  The most common breeds included pit bull terriers (50.9 percent), Rottweilers (8.9 percent), and mixed breeds of the two aforementioned breeds (6 percent).
 A ten year, two institution review of pediatric dog attacks: Advocating for a nationwide prohibition of dangerous dogs.   2008   "Our cases present the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as our cases only
represented consultations directed to Plastic Surgery. The Province of Ontario, Canada has banned Pit Bulls since 2004, as have several American cities. We describe the scope of the problem, preventative guidelines, and outline why organizational advocacy in plastic surgery should be directed towards a national prohibition of dangerous dogs."

Pit Bull Mauling Deaths in Detroit.  2009  This study is autopsy material.  The photographs are sobering.

I realize that breed specific advocates may doubt the relevance of these studies, and many more just like them.  After all they are studies done by actual medical doctors, not a single vet tech is quoted.


Toledo Ohio

The Blade reports a possible delay in the passage of a law to remove the Wauseon pit bull ban.  During a 12/11/2014 meeting of the city council County Dog Warden Brian Banister gave his thoughts on the proposal and he opposes removal of the ban. Per the Blade " Mr. Banister said while some “pit bulls” and “pit bull” mixes will never be a problem, he said when they do attack, the dogs routinely inflict more damage than any other breed.  “The differential in it is the fact that if that ‘pit’ attacks, that attack is going to be greatly, greatly more severe than a normal dog,” he said.
“It’s inherent in their DNA. ‘Pit bulls’ were hunting dogs, used as a catch dog for wild boar hunting and bear hunting. These dogs were bred to fight. Is every ‘pit bull’ out there a fighter? Absolutely not, but that is what is in their DNA. That is what they were bred to do.”
Councilman Estrada countered with the claim that BSL is unconstitutional which is false.  The Supreme Court of Ohio has upheld the constitutionality of BSL in the State of Ohio V. Anderson.  Click here for the Ohio Supreme Court's ruling in the Toledo V. Tellings case, a reversal of a lower court's ruling that the city of Toledo's BSL was unconstitutional.  Appellate courts in twelve states plus the District of Columbia have ruled BSL constitutional. The United States Supreme Court has refused to rule on BSL stating that regulation of dogs properly belongs on the state level.

Mr. Estrada goes on to state that there is no true way to identify a pit bull.  Please review again the ruling in the State of Ohio V. Anderson for the opinion of the Ohio Supreme Court that pit bulls can be identified by "a dog owner of average intelligence" and plenty of reasons why they should.  Here is a short quote " In Vanater v. South Point, supra, the court found that pit bulls have the following behavioral traits: "* * * a) grasping strength, b) climbing and hanging ability, c) weight pulling ability, d) a history of frenzy, which is the trait of unusual relentless ferocity or the extreme concentration on fighting and attacking, e) a history of catching, fighting, and killing instinct, f) the ability to be extremely destructive and aggressive, g) highly tolerant of pain, h) great biting strength, i) undying tenacity and courage and they are highly unpredictable." Id. at 1240. The court further found that pit bulls possess the quality of gameness, which it described as "the propensity to catch and maul an attacked victim unrelentingly until 
173*173 death occurs * * *." Similarly, in Singer, supra, the evidence presented at trial established that pit bulls "possess inherent characteristics of aggression, strength, viciousness and unpredictability not found in other dog breeds. * * * [U]nlike other breeds which retreat if they are injured in a fight or an attack, a pit bull will often bite, clamp down with its powerful jaw, and maintain its hold until separated from its victim." Finally, the Florida ordinance regulating pit bull ownership which was upheld in State v. Peters(Fla. App. 1988), 534 So.2d 760, states that pit bulls are distinguished by "* * * a high [in]sensitivity to pain, extreme aggressiveness towards other animals, and a natural tendency to refuse to terminate an attack once it has begun * * *." Id. at 764.

The city council president requested additional time to study the issue and get the opinion of residents of the community.   A prudent choice.   

Toledo Ohio

Leaving no stone unturned in the effort to repeal the Wauseon pit bull ban, the Toledo Blade announces the showing of the breed specific advocacy classic "documentary" Beyond The Myth at the Wauseon Public Library on 12/15/2014.  This event was sponsored by Fulton County No Kill, closely associated with the Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates led by .... Jean Keating.

I have asked many friends if they have ever seen a notice for a movie being shown at the local library debunking the vicious reputation of Beagles, or Pugs, or Irish Setters.  The Truth About Golden Retrievers?  Poodles - Bad Rap or Just Like any Other Dog?  Oddly, no one has. 

Toledo Ohio

Continuing non stop coverage of the pit bull ban in Wauseon Ohio (population 7,332) the Blade reports breathlessly that a second reading of the ordinance to remove the pit bull ban passed. The vote was three in favor, two against, and one abstaining).

Three individuals spoke in favor of the ordinance.  Only one of the three was a local resident.  

Prior to the meeting the council voted 3 to 3 on a motion to table the second reading.  Mayor Huner broke the tie moving the issue forward.  

The final reading will be January 5, 2015.  Prior to the final reading the ordinance will be reviewed by the safety and code committee, the police chief, and the city's legal council.  

                                                                         * * *  
St Mary's Ohio 

This story did NOT come from the Toledo Blade, you may notice a difference in the reporting.

The article begins with "ST. MARYS — Keeping stride with other communities around the state, St. Marys City Council unanimously approved an ordinance regulating “pit bulls” at its meeting Monday."
The new law in St Marys is based on the newly rewritten  Lima Ohio law.  Auglaize County Dog Warden Russ Bailey supported the law.  

St Marys Mayor Pat "McGowan said the city did not receive the backlash that some municipalities receive when passing restrictive laws on the dogs. Some opponents of pit bull legislation say it causes unwarranted bias against them and that dangerous dogs all a result of care of the owner rather than the breed.

“I think we did not face any opposition because people are beginning to realize their is a problem,” McGowan said. “There are a lot of people that let them free and don’t even follow the leash law. Most do but it only takes a few to ruin it for other people. We have a lot of walkers and we have had a lot of complaints about walkers encountering dogs.”

                                                                         * * *

Why is the Toledo Blade so invested in pit bulls?  Many newspapers have individual reporters with a heavy breed specific bias but at the Blade the disease infects everyone right on up through the editors to the owners of the newspaper.  The Blade has gone from reporting news to driving it and even creating it.  The Blade's sister newspaper in Pittsburgh has a similar bias but a bit less hysteria.  Toledo elected officials appear to share the affliction.  See the previous post for more insanity from the Toledo City Council.

Is there something in the water in Toledo?  Was last summer's tap water ban a red flag revealing something sinister?  Is continuous low level exposure to toxins in the drinking water driving insanity in elected officials and newspaper executives?    

Don't drink the water in Toledo.