Saturday, April 4, 2015

A rescue rising star with resume problems, lawmakers who read the news, attacks, shootings, and hysteria. Your average pit bull roundup.

In no particular order, we will begin.  The first story takes a detour that I did not expect.  Please enjoy the scenery.  

Newark Ohio

"Mixed breeds, pit bulls, Labs bit the most in 2014." This is a stat filled article published last January in the Newark Advocate before the final vote on possible repeal of Newark pit bull regulations.  (Spoiler alert, pit bulls will continue to be regulated in Newark). Here is the quote that sums it up "Newark police took reports on 71 dog bites throughout 2014, with 12 of those attributed to unidentified mixed-breed dogs. Another 10 were attributed to pit bulls or pit bull mixes." Keep in mind that at the time this article was written pit bulls were banned in Newark unless certain conditions were met.

Here is a second quote from the Newark Advocate article "So far in 2015, Newark police have taken reports of three bites, all of which were by pit bulls"  More on the three pit bull attacks logged Newark in January.  From the Newark Advocate, dated 1/30/2015 we find that a bite was reported 1/29/2015.  The victim told police that his neighbors dog had bitten him unprovoked and that he believes the dog to be a pit bull.  On 1/20/2015 a man was reported to have been bitten in the face by a pit bull.  On 1/12/2015 a man's dog was reportedly attacked by a pit bull and the man was bitten on the hand while trying to separate the pit bull from his dog. Per the Newark Advocate. "Police Sgt Paul Davis said police do take and receive reports of dog bites involving dogs that are not classified as pit bulls, but Newark has not received any so far this year.“Pit bulls are the majority,” Davis said. No other reports of dog bites have been taken by Newark police in 2015."

 Quick review, pits are banned in Newark unless the pit has passed the AKC GCC test.  This is a quick and simple test and one would think that pit bull owners would line up for it, just passing the test exempts the pit bull from regulation. One would be wrong, only THREE pit bulls have achieved exempt status since this option was made available to pit bull owners in 2013, all other pit bulls in Newark are illegally owned.

The article includes a quote so foolish that I include it here.  The quote is from Steffen Baldwin, president and CEO of the Animal Cruelty Task Force, a private and non government affiliated animal rescue group despite the very official sounding name.  Here is the quote" If you take a dog out of an environment and you put it in a new one, its behavior will change."  "It's not the breed, its not some genetic thing from 200 years ago... It's  all about the environment the dog is being put in."  Mr. Baldwin lives in Marysville Ohio in Union County, he does not live in Newark Ohio but spoke to the Newark City Council in favor of deregulation of pit bulls.  The majority of the City Council did not buy it and eventually voted to retain their pit bull ban.  This may indicate that the majority of city council members did not sleep through high school science classes where genetics was taught.  Changing a dog's address does not change the actual dog.  Recent news accounts of maulings by newly adopted pit bulls and fatal attacks by newly adopted or fostered pit bulls make this clear.  *See links at the bottom of this post.*

Here is where we take the detour, video of the city council meeting where Mr Baldwin spoke is posted online and I spent some time watching it.   Click here and you can watch it yourself. I recommend it.  At 3:58 into the video Steffen Baldwin gets up to speak.  Note the back of his jacket, it says Animal Cruelty Task Force in large yellow letters. Sounds legal doesn't it?  It is a private humane society in Union County Ohio not an entity of any level of government. Mr. Baldwin goes on to state that he has been requested to come to Newark and speak to the city council.  At 8:37 Baldwin goes on to speak briefly of the Mike Vick dogs that were rehabilitated and served as therapy dogs.  WHAT? A google search tells us that three of the 50 Vick pit bulls have participated in hospital visits.  The huge majority of the Vick pit bulls lived in sanctuaries or in extremely controlled situations.  Some were hit by cars, two were involved in an attack at Best Friends Animal Society where a non Vick pit bull named Beans was decapitated by a Vick pit and that pit went on to maul and nearly kill another of the other Vick pits.  Despite constant training some of the Vick pits took fully six years or more to pass the AKC CGC.  For more information click here.

After the foolish quote from the January Newark Advocate article and the Mike Vick "rehabilitated fighting pit bull therapy dogs" remark I HAD to know more about Baldwin.   Here is how Baldwin describes himself and his organization taken from his Linked In page "Since leaving the military at the end of 2001 I have spent the last thirteen years employed in the nonprofit sector with increasing levels of responsibility beginning with the YMCA in an entry level position, and spending the last eight years as an Executive Director. Most recently, I have taken my nonprofit skills along with my experience with animals and as a Humane Agent, to form my own private nonprofit organization known as the Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Ohio, or ACT Ohio, to provide free animal cruelty investigation services to rural counties in need."

Here is how it works, Ohio revised code only allows a Humane agent to work in the county where they live so ACT Ohio pays for the required training of a volunteer in that county and pays that volunteer mileage for calls.  All good so far.  ACT Ohio has volunteers in several counties. Humane investigations are fine and necessary, go for it.

We understand the business, lets understand the businessman.

Lets begin by taking a look at the resume that Mr. Baldwin AKA Steffen Evan Finkelstein, has posted on Linked In.  Start at the bottom with Education, The United States Military Academy at West Point 1999 to 2001 (three years) with a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, wow!

There is no graduation date but the intent is clear, those looking at this material are supposed to think Baldwin went to West Point. Here is the problem, West Point does not offer a bachelor's degree program in Philosophy.  West Point is the Army, they train those who they feel are officer material for fields that benefit the army. Philosophy does not fit here. It must be also be noted that West Point is a four year program, no exceptions.

Do you accept transfer students?
No. Students in college or with previous college credit may apply to West Point if they meet the basic requirements. However, those students still enter West Point as plebes (freshmen) and must complete the four-year program.

Just above Education we find work experience.

The first listing is United States Army Imagery Ground Station Operator/Paratrooper with dates July 1998 to December 2001.  How did one person spend three years at West Point to get a four year degree in a field that is not offered by West Point and in the same time frame serve as a Ground Station Operator and Paratrooper, discharged from the Army in 3 years and six months ?

Six months after Army discharge Baldwin begins an entry level job as a Youth Sports Coordinator, current salary for this position is $11 per hour.  

Also listed at the YMCA is a job as After School CAPS Supervisor, CAPS is a before and after school program for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade and the pay range would be expected to be about the same. The YMCA jobs are listed as June 2002 through August 2005.  This is apparently part time.  From June 2003 to August 2006 Baldwin has another part time job.  He served as a Funds Development Manager for a drug treatment facility.  From a pair of $11 an hour part time jobs at the Y to another part time job as a Funds Development Manager?  Logical?  Not particularly.

It gets more illogical.  The next job is listed as Executive Director for the Victor Valley Community Hospital Foundation (a community hospital that went bankrupt in 2010).

At this point Baldwin is about 26 years old with no documented bachelor's degree much less an MBA and he is Executive Director of a hospital foundation? Logical?  Not particularly. Baldwin has only one recommendation on his
Linked In page, someone from this period. She refers to him as an "exuberant Development Director."

In 2008 Baldwin comes to Ohio for a position as Executive Director of the Union County Humane Society, a private Humane Society with more members on the Board of Directors than actual employees.    Baldwin quit this job in 2013 stating that his heart was in the field and with Humane investigations

According to a post on his Facebook page dated March 10th the resignation was not that simple. He had been written up for what his board of directors considered to be inappropriate use of time "spending too much time on animal cruelty investigation work" and described that write up as "humiliating." In response he incorporated his own private humane society, ACT Ohio.  Baldwin lists himself as founder and CEO. ACT Ohio has two full time employees, Baldwin and an office manager.  Be clear about this, Baldwin considers ACT Ohio a business, he refers to the ACT Ohio facebook page as his "business page."  Checking Guidestar for ACT Ohio tells us that the organization does have 501c3 status (the ACT Ohio website does not include this information) and files the 990N tax form for non profits.  This tells us a bit about the financial side of ACT Ohio, less than $50,000 a year in gross receipts.

Baldwin has not removed or updated the status of his failed  consulting business from his Linked In resume.  His failed tattoo parlor, Lions and Lambs, in Marysville never made the resume.  A PDF of the Linked In resume has been saved.

Baldwin was interested in joining the staff at Franklin County Shelter as Director very recently. He did not get the job.

 Resumes are submitted for jobs and background checks are done.  Even the most casual review of Baldwin's resume turns up what we have looked at here.  Resumes that have gaps and obvious overstatements of qualifications are do not bring job offers.  Mr. Baldwin found this out.

But cheer up Steffen, life is about to get better.  You have aligned yourself with Best Friends Animal Society (motto - Bullying City Councils and State Legislatures in Order to Deny Home Rule Rights for Self Determination and Public Safety Everywhere) for assistance in fighting Newark Ohio's pit bull regulations. (Baldwin also lobbied in St. Marys Ohio after city council voted to regulate pit bulls. St. Marys is in Auglaize County, Baldwin has no business here either).  Why is it Baldwin's calling to negotiate with an out of state PAC to change law in a community where he does not reside in a county where he does not  reside?  It is not legal for Baldwin to act a Humane Officer in another county but he feels comfortable in continuing attempts to change law there even after the city councils have voted no on the proposal?

 Best Friends Animal Society is the out of state animal rights PAC that wrote HB 14, the epic fail bill to deregulate pit bulls in Ohio and "finally give dog wardens the tools to deal with dangerous dogs."  Not so much. Nine Ohio residents were killed by dogs of several breeds in the first two years after passage of HB 14.  Deaths in the previous DECADE?  Six.  The bill protects violent dogs and their owners at the expense of the peaceful public. At least two bills are expected to be introduced into the new General Assembly to clean up the mess left by HB 14.  Best Friends is also pushing for bills to be introduced in multiple state legislatures to prohibit BSL, denying the home rule rights of cities fed up with pit bull attacks and fed up with tax supported shelters housing unplaceable pit bulls for months to years.  So far this year Best Friends attempts to pass laws to prohibit BSL have failed in Arizona, Montana, Kentucky and Washington State.  An additional fact - Rhode Island has a bill to reverse the anti-BSl bill passed there last year.

Money comes with partnering with Best Friends and pit bull advocacy is all about donation dollars.  Best Friends Animal Society shamelessly and boldly promotes pit bulls in complete denial of the reality of pit bull violence, spending endless streams of cash on lawyers and lobbyists.  Why do pit bulls require this level of advocacy?  If pit bulls are what Best Friends Animal Society claims they are shelters would have no problem placing them.  This Facebook post made by Steffen Baldwin has already been removed but a screen shot was saved.  Apparently someone at Best Friends advised Mr. Baldwin to hide the evidence.

Lee Greenwood is a Massachusetts based legislative attorney for Best Friends Animal Society headquartered in Utah.  Greenwood began his employment with Best Friends in 2014 and is already active in Kentucky, Georgia, and Delaware that I know of and probably more than that.  Greenwood is only one of many lawyers and lobbyists employed by Best Friends, Best Friends has lobbyists in all states.  Is there a comparable coast to coast cabal of consultants, lawyers, and lobbyists for Collies or Corgis?  For Poodles or Pugs?  Beagles or Bichons?  No, normal dogs do not require this level of advocacy.  

Expect more of Steffen's story in a self published book expected this summer.  Baldwin's words "so stay tuned for that in a few months and thank you to everyone who has followed either the business page or my personal page in the past two years"

I suspect that Baldwin may be a genuinely kind and altruistic person but he has made self promotion a life's work.  I am genuinely sorry for his troubles but he is blind to opposing points of view, like those of the victims of his beloved dogs.

Back to where we started with this detour, West Point has a cadet honor code, "A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do."  Wise words and a valuable policy.  Mr. Baldwin, I suspect you find this post eventually, the section at the bottom was written for you.


Back to Newark and the end of the detour. If you can get through Baldwin's remarks to the city council on the video, the next speaker is another non-local, a representative of another out of county Humane society who is anxious to place pit bulls with families in Newark.  It is to the shelter's advantage to have the dogs unregulated and without insurance requirements.

                                                                   * * *

We will make a brief stop at normal pit bull roundup items before returning to pit bull advocacy.

Buckeye Lake Ohio

A local man was treated at Licking Memorial Hospital for bites that occurred when he tried to separate his dogs fighting inside his home.  The dogs, a pit bull and a pit bull beagle mix had been fighting for days with the pit bull showing increased aggression.   The dog owner's girlfriend corroborated his account saying the pit bull turned on him and bit him when he tried to separate it from his other dog. The pit bull would not release at first but the owner was eventually able to get his hand free and return the pit bull to its crate.  For more information please click here.

This dog's owner plans to send his pit bull to a rescue group.  This will change the pit bull? Not likely.

                                                                        * * *

Wauseon Ohio

In an article dated 1/7/2015 the Toledo Blade covers the Wauseon Ohio City Council decision to retain current regulations on pit bulls.  Per the Blade "the current law that defines all "pit bulls" and "pit bull mixes"  to be registered as vicious remains in place.  Owners must pay $25 every year to register them with the city, show proof of insurance, and to adhere to fencing and muzzling rules."

The quotation marks surrounding the words pit bull are a Blade affectation.  The editors and owners of the Blade feel that there is really no such thing as a pit bull.  You will never see pit bull without quotation marks in any Toledo Blade story.

Please note that pit bulls are not banned in Wauseon, just regulated for the purpose of public safety but pit bull owners refuse to accept reasonable regulation perceiving it as persecution or canine racism.  "Resident April Petz, who owns one of ONLY TWO (emphasis mine)  "pit  bulls" registered in Wauseon, said she is fed up with having to register one dog but not a second dog - a bluetick coonhound-mountain cur mix - that she says is actually more likely to cause trouble.  I'm not registering; I'm making that perfectly clear," Mrs. Petz told council members.  "I'm registered through the county with my tags how I'm supposed to, and that's all the further that we'll go."

Petz moved to the community in 2007 and  registered her 10 year old pit bull after police informed her of the law at the request of a neighbor who had complained.  Why don't pit bull owners check local law before they move?  Petz went on to admit that she "forgot" to register her pit bull in 2008 and 2009 blaming the city for not sending reminders.  Mrs. Petz also acknowledges that her pit bull and her other dog have escaped their yard but fence repairs have stopped her dogs from roaming.

Pit bull advocates are not satisfied with a "no" vote and it is expected that pit bull advocacy will be back to badger the city council.   Per a Toledo Blade article dated 1/20/2015 the Safety and Code committee met for nearly two hours to discuss the same proposed ordinance changes.

County dog warden Brian Banister told committee members that in his opinion Wauseon should keep its pit bull laws, telling them pit bulls inflict more severe injuries than other breeds. "I think that this is a good thing it's in place and that "pit bull' owners should go a little step further to have these kinds of dogs."

Of course a self proclaimed dog trainer and "advocate for breed neutrality" brought in the tired pit bull talking points.  Mrs. Petz was back, complaining about enforcement.

If a proposal was made to regulate Poodles or Pugs I doubt that "advocates for breed neutrality" would turn up to protest.

In classic breathless overkill on the issue the Blade returns on 2/17/2015 with Wauseon to revisit breed- neutral dog ordinance.  A new proposal made by Police Chief Keith Torbet would remove restrictions against pit bulls and their mixes but "alters other areas to be more stringent."  The Chief suggests that any dog found running at large twice will be designated as an annoyance dog, a third incident would bump the dog up to a dangerous dog designation.  Per the Blade "Additionally, a dog that without provocation mildly injures a person, kills another dog, or approaches a person in a menacing fashion but does no injury would be deemed dangerous on the first incident.  Any dog that seriously injures a person would be deemed vicious.   This isn't going to affect the majority of dog owners, it's for the people that are constantly allowing their dogs to run loose."

Not surprisingly, dog advocates are not particularly pleased with this breed neutral proposal.  Local dog advocates are concerned that the new law would designate too many dogs as dangerous "even if they are only escape artists and have shown no aggression, or if they have shown aggression out of fear but have not (yet) hurt anyone."  Mrs Petz returned yet again and she wants the dangerous dog or annoyance dog designation removed if the dog has no further incidents in a given time frame, suggesting two years as that time frame.

Per the Blade article the issue was to be discussed on March 2nd.  I must have missed any Blade follow up however one last bit of business in the 2/17/2015 article caught my eye.  It was expected that another matter on the agenda for the March 2nd meeting would be a discussion of an "error in Mr. Estrada's candidacy for council."  Mr. Estrada is the councilman who introduced and championed the removal of restrictions on pit bulls in the city.  Mr. Estrada is an appointed member of the city council, not elected.  When he was appointed in September of 2014 following the death of an elected councilman Mr. Estrada was registered to vote in Wood County, not in Fulton County where Wauseon is located.  Wauseon law requires council members to be properly registered voters.  Mr. Estrada has lived in Wauseon since 2013 and stated that "he had believed he was properly registered and corrected it as soon as he became aware of it."

Not surprisingly, Estrada does not intend to resign.  The City Law director gave the city council three options for dealing with the Estrada problem.  They could disregard it as a simple mistake, pass a resolution of censure, or formally remove Estrada.

Why would you appoint someone to city council that has only lived in the community for a year?

                                                                  * * *

Mt. Vernon Ohio

Per "According to Mount. Vernon Police Chief Roger A. Monroe, a post on Facebook Monday indicated that a pit bull on Kenyon Street was being neglected."

County dog shelter workers went to the location provided and found Sammy the pit bull had shelter, dry bedding to sleep on, food and water, the water had frozen over due to very cold weather. Police and the dog warden agreed that the dog owner was compliant with the law.  During the night the police department received a large number of phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages on Sammy the pit bull.  The mayor's office was also contacted. NBC4 received emails from as far away as Washington state that said "EMERGENCY, DOG IS FREEZING."  Many of those who contacted officials also noted scars on the dog's body.  The frosting on the cake, someone pulled a gun on residents of the area where Sammy the pit bull was located as a result of the posting.

Sammy's owner stated the marks on his dog were caused by an allergic reaction after he switched from straw to cedar chips for Sammy's bedding.  The owner signed Sammy over to the dog warden due to concerns about the cost of medical care for the rash.

Police Chief Monroe stated that the number of calls received on the dog put the police department in jeopardy because of the backlog.

Quick review, an outdoor dog with shelter, rather luxurious dry bedding, food and water (yes it froze, it is February in Ohio)  kept in full compliance with the law caused such an uproar that complaints from as far away as Washington state overwhelmed the police department, were logged in the mayor's office, flooded a local television station, caused a humaniac to pull a gun on guiltless local residents, and put the police department in jeopardy due to backlog.  Mass hysteria.
Sammy has been removed from the residence.

                                                                     * * *

Moraine Ohio

This is complicated, please hang in there.  This is yet another installment of the ongoing "a pit bull's worst nightmare is frequently his owner" series. Robert Anthony Cochran, age 29, has been taken to the Montgomery County jail (Yes, Mark Kumpf's territory) on suspicion of cruelty to animals and tampering with evidence.  

It appears that, per a female witness's  statement,  Cochran's pit bull got "spooked" and bit her.  The aggressive pit bull was apparently shot by Cochran inside Cochran's garage, he put the carcass in a black plastic bag, put it in his garbage can and was seen dragging his garbage can to SOMEBODY ELSE'S house.  This was reported to police.

Additional facts that do not surprise anybody, a female pit bull with a litter of puppies was found on Cochran's property, the female pit bull was not  licensed and is expected to be removed by the staff of Montgomery County Animal Resource Center (Mark Kumpf's staff).  Just what Kumpf needs, another pit bull in his shelter and an irresponsibly bred litter in the community.

This from WHIO News " Court records show Cochran was convicted of animal cruelty in 2012. In February that year police were searching the suspect’s home as part of a drug trafficking investigation and found a dog carcass in the freezer and a cat that was suffering from open sores on its face, according to court records.
Corchran was given a 90-day jail sentence, which was suspended providing that he stayed away from animals for one year."
Moraine man faces animal cruelty charge photo
Booking photo for Robert Anthony Cochran.

                                                                           * * *

Stony Ridge Ohio

Two dead dogs, both shot in the head, were found in a Wood County ditch.  The dogs, a husky and a pit bull, both about a year old and belonging to the same owner went missing from a backyard just outside Stony Ridge. The gruesome discovery of the bodies was one day later.

Follow along here.  The Shufelt family had a total of six dogs, five Huskies and the pit bull.  Per family reports the dogs like to be outside.   Per reports the husband was outside with five of the dogs, two puppies and three adult dogs, and he went inside briefly to make lunch for one of his children.  When he returned to the yard 10 minutes later the three adult dogs were gone.  Per the Toledo Blade article "The dogs have gotten away from them before." "Their backyard is fenced in but the fence is only 4 feet high.  But they've always come back."

As is common in events like this, there are strong hints at criminal behavior by an unknown person. The scene comes direct from an episode of "The Fugitive" but in the pit bull version the one armed man becomes "someone" who "must have opened the gate and let the dogs out."  This claim is as common as dirt after an off property mauling.  But I digress,  Mrs Shufelt said there were no dog tracks in the snow, but there were human footprints up to their fence.  Per reports, the family searched the neighborhood but could not find the dogs.  A neighbor found one of the dogs running loose in the neighborhood later in the day.

The dead dogs were apparently not killed where the bodies were found or at the Shufelt home, no blood was found at either location,

The Blade goes on to explain that there have been numerous complaints made on the condition of the Shufelt family home, some neighbors want it torn down.  The family states they bought the property two years ago as a foreclosure and "recognize that it is an eyesore." They have focused their efforts on interior renovation and don't have the money for exterior repairs at this point.

The Shufelts state that "someone" put antifreeze in their yard last year but the complaint "wasn't taken seriously."

There is a lot wrong with this story.   Vigilante justice is ugly but it sounds like conflicts run deep in this neighborhood.  Neighbors have had enough of dogs that regularly escape and run the neighborhood, six dogs kept in a fairly irresponsible manner, an eyesore that has not improved in two years.  Moral of the story, keep your dogs at home and nobody will shoot them.

                                                                         * * *

This is information that has apparently been missed by Steffen Baldwin and other breed specific advocates. Possibly missed because these breed specific advocates are on the road constantly to make speeches defending the breed not at home reading the news.  If there is a similar list featuring Beagles adopted out of shelters, or Poodles, or Pugs I would like to see it.  This section is mostly a personal message to Mr. Baldwin.  When he speaks in public he admits that there are large differences of opinion on pit bulls but gives little credence or consideration to victims.  I would like him to see the other side of the pit bull problem.

Pit bull mauls the family that adopted it from a Philadelphia shelter on day two in the adoptive household.   The shelter's original response was that the dog "was very friendly that's why it was allowed to be adopted by the family "   Don the pit bull was a half price special at the shelter's "St. Pitty's day adoption event.

But wait, Don the pit bull has a bit of history.   The shelter had previously placed Don with a foster who returned Don the very next day because he attacked another pit bull in her home causing injuries that ran up a $700 vet bill. The foster responsibly reported the attack and she spoke to a reporter of her conversation with a representative of ACCT"I said to her, 'That dog attacked my dog, what if it attacks a kid?' She said, 'Don't worry about it, he won't do that,'" "I couldn't believe it. That poor family, the kids - it could have been my kids. How can someone sleep at night knowing that they adopted that dog out knowing that it viciously attacked my dog," 

Note, the people in the photo with Don are volunteers at ACCT who promoted the dog relentlessly.
Did rescue by the shelter and TWO attempts at rehoming change Don?  No.

                                                                    * * *

Pappy, the  Albuquerque pit bull and a known biter was given another chance and released into a new home in the community where not surprisingly he killed another dog.  Did putting Pappy in new surroundings change him?  Absolutely not.

                                                                * * *

Rita Woodward AKA Rita Ross suffered a heart attack as she was being mauled by dogs she was fostering for a local rescue group.  Ross's  skills as a foster were well thought of by others in the group and she specialized in pit bulls.  When police arrived the dogs were actively feeding on Ross's body.    Were these dogs transformed by their improved living conditions?  No.

                                                                   * * *

Eugene Smith was killed by his own pit bull as he took down his Christmas tree.  Smith adopted the pit bull from a rescue group last May.  Did an improved living situation change this pit bull?  No.

                                                                    * * *

Rita Pepe was attacked by a neighbor's pit bull as she was walking in her neighborhood.  Mrs. Pepe's injuries were severe, she died several weeks later.  The pit bull had recently been adopted from a local shelter and had escaped from the new owner's home.  Did an improvement in his living situation change Booker the pit bull?  No.
 branford animal shelter adopts out attacking pit bull

                                                                            * * *

Child attacked by her new neighbor's rescued pit bull. The pit bull owner warned neighbors up front that the dog was a problem.  The child's mother told a reporter "The one who attacked her was adopted and it was abused previously," "And it had issues with women. He told us not to approach it, pet it, anything like that."  Did a change in the environment change the dog?  No.

                                                                            * * *
An Ohio rescue group sent a pit bull to a family to foster.  Jada the pit bull spent two days in the foster home  before the father was attacked by Jada causing thousands of dollars in medical bills and a three day stay in the hospital.  Here is a quote from a news story on the attack " After the attack, the Montjoys learned Jada had been in another foster home where she had bitten. The organization retrieved Jada from the house and the next day she was put down.  “I know there is assumed risk taking a pit bull into my house,” said Greg. “But at the same time, I have the head of the rescue assuring me that this is a great dog that has been fully evaluated and is perfectly safe in my house."

Did two re locations and two opportunities for a new life change Jada?  No they did not.

                                                               * * *

This is brand new.  A four year old child attacked by a pit bull adopted by his family just 4 weeks ago.  The child required airlift to a major medical center for treatment of the injuries to his face.  Below  is a photo of the pit bull, that is the child's blood still on his face.  The dog was given to the family by a friend of a neighbor.  Watch the video with the link.  The child is in the hospital on a vent and his mother is telling a reporter that a great dog Smash was.  Smash's previous owner is interviewed and he states that Smash was dog aggressive but not human aggressive.  Classic.

Did relocation change this dog? Apparently not.

Do you wonder what the four year old boy's injuries might look like?  This might help.  Let me introduce a little girl named Naty, first photo is prior to her attack, second photo is a hospital photo taken after her attack in 2009, the third photo was taken not long ago after a  This courageous child has a personal motto  "It's OK not to be perfect."  Remarkable.

Pit bull advocates might consider supporting this little girl by purchasing a Team Naty tee shirt with some of their donor dollars.

                                                              * * *

Here is another before and after. John was killed by his neighbor's eight month old pit bull puppy.

The after photo.

Pit bull advocates might consider a donation toward the grave marker.

                                                                   * * *

Another before and after.  This is Kara  Kara Hartrich died from massive blood loss and multiple bites to her head, neck and arms after being attack by her familys pit bulls
Please click here to read what Kara's mother wrote about Kara's death. Kara was killed by the family pit bulls. Or you could click here to watch Roxanne Hartrich speak about Kara's death.

                                                                             * * *

I'm on a roll now with video.

Here is Dax Borchardt in the arms of his father, Jeff Borchardt.
Beyond the interview, essay of a fatal pit bull mauling
Click here for an interview with Jeff speaking about the death of his son.

This is the after photo, how VERY sad.
Daxton Borchardt Memorial
Pit bull advocates might consider a donation to Daxton's Friends for Canine Education and Awareness.
                                                                             * * *

Here is Beau Rutledge.

Here is a link to video of Beau's father Jeremiah speaking of the loss of his son.  Beau was killed by the family pit bull.

                                                                         * * *

I'm going back a few years for this one but it becomes timely, follow along please.

On April 16, 2009 five year old Frankie Flora was attacked and mauled by his aunt's pit bull as they were playing in the yard.  The pit bull was a rescue from Out of the Pits, a New York state pit bull rescue group.  Per the Out of the Pits website " "Out of the Pits, a non-profit organization founded in 1996, is dedicated to the rescue of those Pit Bulls that have been abandoned and abused. We seek to educate the public about the true nature of the Pit Bull and to restore the breed to its former position of esteem in the hearts and minds of people everywhere."

Here is the "true nature of the Pit Bull"

Before and after photos of Frankie Flora

Frankie's courageous fight for recovery led him to be named a 2010 Children's Miracle Network Ambassador and even brought Frankie a visit to the White House.
 Frankie flora pit bull attack survivor
Here is a link to a great deal of information on Frankie, please read and remember this when you speak to city councils on your personal desire for deregulation of pit bulls.

Here is a link to information on the Frankie Flora Bill introduced into the New York State legislature.

Frankie, his mother Maria, and state Senators Gipson and Breslin, sponsors of the Frankie Flora bill.

The New York Post has just written an article on pork-barrel grants found in the state budget.  Per the Post "Even pit bulls got love from Albany, with the budget appropriating $5,000 to Out of the Pits, a group that aids stray dogs of that breed."  What are lawmakers thinking here?  The Frankie Flora bill is still in the legislature and the legislature has awarded a grant to Out of the Pits?  

Was the pit bull rescued by Out of the Pits and placed with Frankie Flora's aunt changed by the  rescue experience?  Apparently not.  Did lawmakers in the state of New York learn anything here?  Apparently not, they awarded a grant, this is taxpayer money here, to the very organization responsible for Frankie's injuries.  It should be recognized that the all powerful and extremely well funded Animal Farm Foundation, a pit bull advocacy organization (motto - Securing Equal Treatment and Opportunity for "Pit Bull" dogs) is owned by wildly wealthy New York state heiress Jane Saul Berkey is based in New York State.   Coincidence or political pull?  

                                                                        * * *

Mr. Baldwin, if you make the choice to take risks with you and yours, that is your decision.  The communities that have voted to keep their proactive pit bull regulations have done so thoughtfully and lawfully with the intent to protect their residents from the losses suffered by these families and many others.

I promise, this is the last one.  Consider the future of this pit bull owner, mauled by her own pit bulls, she was physically normal prior to the attack..

Click here for video of Linda Henry, she has changed her mind about pit bulls and now favors regulation.  I can give you the result of the effort to regulate pit bulls in this town.  The councilman who introduced the proposal dropped it because of death threats he received from pit bull owners.

pit bull
Linda Henry

                                                                         * * *

Here is a link to a recent story about a problem surfacing in Shelters and rescues in American cities, recycling known biters back into the community.  Don't miss the letter of complaint dealing with the known biter pit bull Pappy.  The photo below was included in the linked article, the child was attacked by a dangerous dog released from the shelter.   She was fortunate, she lived but the scar will last for her whole life.
This unidentified child was attacked last year by a dangerous dog adopted from the city animal shelter. The photo was included in a complaint to the Inspector General’s Office.
This quote on the dog that attacked the girl in the photo comes from Merritt Clifton's Animals 24/7
 “A pit bull named Mugsy Malone was officially declared dangerous even before he attacked a 3-year-old girl. The dog has twice come and gone from our animal shelters. The attack on the child was not enough to warrant euthanasia under our practices. Neither was the fact that Mugsy Malone killed a small dog, and also bit a man in our own facility. Mugsy Malone went on to injure a shelter volunteer, but was transferred to Fur & Feathers Animal Assistance of Pie Town. There he injured the two founders of the organization.”
This is outrageous!  Who is looking out for the safety of the public?

Apparently nobody is looking out for the safety of the public.
3/3/15  A spokesperson for Fur and Feathers Rescue feels Mugsy Malone isn't ready to adopt out right now but she believes that he may someday be ready to go back into the community.  You can't make this stuff up.

This last article was published in 2013 but it has bearing on our topic, shelters and rescues that are committed to saving known dangerous dogs at the expense of public safety.  The Longmont Humane Society was ticketed by police on suspicion of keeping a dangerous dog, Bridgette the pit bull.  This was big, Humane societies are seldom ticketed.  The pit bull was being fostered for the Longmont Humane Society and attacked a neighbor and the neighbor's leashed dog. The ticket was the result of police awareness that a "disproportionate number of dog bite reports in the city were coming from animals adopted out of the Humane Society". Investigation into the record of Bridgette, the attacking pit bull, revealed that she had a history of biting animals and humans and had been declared dangerous in another county.  Bridgette also got into a fight at the shelter. Bridgette was in training for control of her aggression while at the shelter and shelter trainers "determined that she was progressing well" this allowed her to go to the foster (who was a shelter volunteer).  Bridgette attacked the neighbor four days later.  Did any of these changes in environment or training attempts change Bridgette? No.

Investigation revealed that in 2012 nearly 16% of dog bites in Longmont were traced to dogs adopted out of the Longmont Humane Society.  At the time this article appeared in October of 2013 13% of dog bites in Longmont were traced to dogs adopted out on the shelter.

Did relocation of these dogs change them?  The answer here is no.
Longmont police ticketed the Longmont Humane Society on suspicion of keeping a dangerous dog when a dog in foster care attacked a neighbor and his leashed
                                                                       * * *

These are  recent attacks, required no effort to find and are just a few examples of the problem.  Pit bull advocates refuse to acknowledge the danger of the breed/type.  Denial leads to more suffering and death.  Advocates have the right to their opinion but they do not have the right to appear before lawmakers and state that absurdity is fact.  Those who get their news from actual news sources know better.  A better use of time and resources would be working toward laws mandating neuter and spay of pit bulls and their mixes.  The dogs suffer, they are abandoned on the streets or surrendered to shelters primarily due to aggression issues.  Pit bulls languish for months or years in shelters with no hope for placement because the public reads the actual news and they want safer family dogs.  Roughly a million pit bulls are euthanized in shelters in the United States EVERY YEAR,  Those who claim to love the breed are the only ones that can solve the problem.  Those who claim to love the breed must to stop breeding dogs destined to suffer and die, and cause suffering and death in the community as well. Without the tremendous numbers of pit bulls in shelter cages there would be none of the current hysteria to rescue and place them.  Pit bull rescue groups could relax, organize picnics, enjoy life.

Steffen Baldwin includes this phrase in every Facebook post he makes "#don't bully my breed #stop BSL."  Here is a suggestion, don't bully peaceful communities that place a higher value on the safety of residents than on the personal choices of breed specific advocates who do not live in the community.

We will conclude this post with a photo of Mr. Baldwin wearing a shirt that sums up his thought pattern. It is a pity that he can't see the other side of the problem.