Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Poor public safety decisions by those who should know better.

Before we get back to the Ohio Pibble March, and beat through the backlog of Ohio pit bull attacks, let's take a look at some current events and some events that are not so current but pointed out serious problems.  Pit bull advocacy does not see these problems and people die.  This post will wander a bit but I promise, it will end in Ohio.

In February of 2014 the Courier (Findlay, Hancock County, Northwestern Ohio) published an article titled Volunteer seriously injured, Humane Society sets new safety rules.  The Hancock County Humane Society added safety protocols after a volunteer was seriously injured by a pit bull mix.  The shelter director, Paula Krugh minimized the attack by stating  “He really didn’t attack her. He just kind of decided to turn her into the chew toy.” Krugh said the injuries were serious enough that the volunteer had to seek medical attention. The dog, which was on the adoption floor, was euthanized and a rabies test was conducted on the remains. The test was negative.
 "Decided to turn her into a chew toy?"

Krugh went on to say that the staff "felt defeated" by this event, "the volunteer really loved this dog."
The Hancock County Humane Society has 30 to 50 volunteers at the shelter on any given day and all have received safety training and each has signed a liability waiver form in the event of injury to the volunteer.  The liability waiver forms appear to be convenient for the shelter, three volunteers were bitten by dogs at the shelter in the previous year, all by pit bull dogs.  Only one of the biters was euthanized, the others were adopted out to families?  This significant detail is not explained within the article and is the point of this post.  

Some dates are pertinent here, the article was written in February of 2014, the previous year time frame takes us back to Feb of 2013.  Ohio law was changed by HB 14 in the spring of 2012, freeing shelters that had previously euthanized pit bulls to promote these dogs as family pets and send them off with unsuspecting families.  It did not take long for the failure of HB 14 to become evident.

The new shelter safety protocols at the Hancock County Humane Society include panic buttons, additional cameras, and a buddy system for volunteers.  These protocols sound exactly like the protocols in a power-point done by the ASPCA for the purpose of protecting shelter volunteers from serious injury, and the shelters from serious liability issues.  Please click here to read the power-point program titled The Care of Pit Bulls in the Shelter Environment, you can read the whole thing but please focus on pages 8 through 11. The ASPCA did not share these warnings with the public but have presented this material in hopes of protecting shelters from liability in the case of pit bull attacks upon shelter volunteers.

The Hancock County Humane Society is also not being completely honest with the public.  Looking at the photographs of dogs available for adoption we find at least 18 of the 42 available dogs appear to be pit bulls.  Most have only photographs but a few have the classic shelter bios.  We have Cashmere, in the shelter for 1621 days on the day the photo was taken.  A quote from the shelter's bio for Cashmere,"Living in the shelter is just too stressful for me. I hated being behind bars like I was a criminal. Once outside the kennel, I became the happy girl I was meant to be. I also have learned that I do not want to share my affection with other 4-legged pets. I need to know I am the only dog in my owner's heart and home. I also need an owner who is patient, understanding and knows how to give positive reinforcement to good behavior. A harsh, strict disciplinarian will only make me tense and afraid. Hey, I may be an out-door-lover but I am still sensitive!
Translation, she is animal aggressive as hell, reactive, and you must be 21 years old to adopt this mauler.

We have Gunner, Johnson Type American Bulldog. In the shelter for 186 days at the time the photo was made.  Here is part of Gunner's bio " My family and I just didn't seem right for each other. I am not the type of guy that likes to spend hours by myself. I am a people person! So being bored is sheer torture for me. Also, I really do not like other animals. At all. Under any circumstance. Ever. No kidding. End of story.  Obviously, I do not think of myself as a dog and I have never met an animal I like. But people are my aces in my book! 
Translation, Gunner is wildly animal aggressive and likely wildly destructive in the home.  Kiss your couch goodbye, your neighbors as well.  When Gunner gets out and kills the neighbor's Poodle police will be called.  The shelter is not requiring an over 21 adopter for Gunner.  Poor planning here.

Here is Hercules, here is a quote "Smart, funny and full of personality Hercules has one request. He must live in a home without smaller animals. He has a naturally high prey drive and looks upon small dogs and cats as something to chase and capture! Dogs his own size or larger are just fine with Hercules."  You must be 21 to adopt Hercules.
Translation, Hercules will kill the neighbor's cats and dogs.  Get used to police knocking on your front door.

How about Oliver, in the shelter for 485 days.  "I do have an abundance of confidence and may try to assert my authority on folks who are unfamiliar with bully breed dogs. I like to be the "top dog" when I meet new canines. That is why it will be important to do a thorough test visit with your current dog(s) to make sure we all get along. I'd be happy to be the only dog as well. I do not like cats one little bit!  You have to be 21 to adopt me and I will be best suited to an active home with kids older than 14.
Translation, again, cat killer and likely any to kill any available dogs as well, don't get confident that your children will be safe either.

Rizzo is a recidivist, the shelter has labeled her a "Shepherd/Terrier but is write up indicates the 21 years old requirement for adopters, they know this is a pit bull mix.  " I am 3 years old and familiar with this shelter life. I was picked up in Potter's Bridge Park in the spring 2013 and was adopted in September. My family really loves me a lot and I love them. However, I cannot live with cats. I was surrendered to the HSHC June 2015. 
Translation, too many pit bulls on the list so we will just make something up for Rizzo's breed.  Rizzo is a cat killer and the family chose peace and safety in the home over this mauler.  Smart.

Would you like to look at Ruben?  In the shelter for 503 days, here is part of the bio "Here are some facts about me: 
o I am strong.
o I love people.
o I need to be the only pet in your family.
o I am house-broken.
o I know how to walk on leash.
o I know the commands sit and stay. 
o I am working on my manners and obedience but overall I am friendly, sociable, tolerant, happy and curious.
o I can get pretty worked up and excited when playing so I need kids 10 and older who can handle my strength and energy.
So in conclusion, I need an active family who will give me plenty of exercise, long walks and playtime with toys and tennis balls.
Because I was what they call "a stray" nobody knows much about my past. But I am very hopeful about my future! 
You must be 21 to adopt me.Have good insurance and feel lucky?  Ruben might be just the dog for you, but God help your neighbors.

But I have digressed.  After you have read through the ASPCA's material on pit bulls in shelters you might read material put out by the AVMA Professional Liability Trust with the same goal, protect kennel workers from violent dog attacks.  Pretty much every possible scenario in the book is illustrated by an actual pit bull attack.  Click here to read the Does and Don'ts Concerning Vicious Dogs.  This book was done in 1993, before the AVMA sold out to pit bull advocacy.  For an impressive list of attacks, and fatal maulings by rescued pit bulls please click here.  Please note that there are live links on each story to actual news sources, the NCRC does not cover these attacks so pit bull advocates have apparently missed them.

So, Hancock County is experiencing a pit bull problem, and this is just inside the shelter where presumably trained staff is caring for the dogs.  Lets look at what is happening in the communities of Butler County Ohio.   In July of 2014 the Journal-News ran a story with the title "Recent pit bull attacks raise about breed, dog laws." This quote comes from the Journal-News "No doubt, pit bulls and mixed breeds with the pit bull’s traits are popular in Butler County, according to Deputy Dog Warden Supervisor Kurt Merbs.  “Eight out of 10 dogs I pick up are pit bulls.” 
Pit bulls keep dog warden Kurt Merbs very busy.  Last year Merbs called to the scene of a fatal attack by a family pit bull upon the mother of the dog owner.

 In August 2014 Merbs was called to investigate an attack by a pit bull upon a 67 year old woman while she was peacefully walking in her own neighborhood.   Merbs said the dog in question was a pit bull.  “Oh yes, there’s no doubt,” Merbs said of the breed of the dog.
It is refreshing to find a dog warden who is competent enough to freely identify a pit bull. At this point it should be noted that the attack upon the 67 year old woman was not the first attack for this particular pit bull.  Merbs says he responded to an incident two years ago where Sapp's pit bull attacked a woman as she walked her dog on Grand Boulevard in Hamilton. He was reportedly charged for that incident as well.
The two year time frame brings us to a few months after HB 14 was passed, why wasn't this dog declared dangerous and removed from the community?  HB 14 was sold to Ohio legislators as the way to "finally give dog wardens the tools to deal with dangerous dogs."  Why wasn't this one dealt with at the time?  

Merbs was also the spokesperson dealing with an attack upon a Black Labrador by a pit bull that ripped the Lab's ear off.  What action was taken against the pit bull owner?  The same pit bull was running loose two weeks later requiring two dog wardens and two police officers to round up this two time offender, taken to a local shelter this time. Hopefully this dog was not returned to the owner.

This quote comes from the Dayton Daily news August 8 2014 “Almost every call I did (Thursday) was for a pit bull,” he said.  Merbs added that for first-time dog owners, he would not recommend any breed of pit bulls.
News reports dated July 7, 2015 show that pit bulls remain a problem in Butler County.  Merbs is interviewed by WCPO Cincinnati regarding the case of a pit bull that severely injured a nine year old girl, was ordered into a 10 day home quarantine and, in a classic move, was trafficked to an unknown location before the 10 day quarantine was complete.  The child will have to undergo rabies treatment if he dog can't be located.

Pit bulls in Montgomery County?  Please type Montgomery County, Dayton, or Mark Kumpf into the site search box.  You will be here all day.  I am MILES behind on the Ohio Pit Bull Roundup as well.  Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging but look forward to MANY more pit bull stories soon.  Pit bulls are a huge problem in Ohio but still pit bull advocates hope to talk Ohio voters into throwing away their home rule rights to regulate pit bulls via an amendment to the Ohio Constitution to prohibit any community from passing or enforcing BSL.

Pit bulls in the Greater Cleveland area?  Please read the Greater Cleveland Pit Bull Roundup post.

Moving on to current events, extreme pit bull advocacy, the Animal Farm Foundation, has decided to solve the problem of pit bull attacks by hiding the breed when pushing pit bulls out of shelters rather than making any attempt to solve the problem.  Here is how they do it, check out Labels and Language on the AFF website.  Please note that the motto for the AFF is "Securing equal treatment and opportunity for "pit bull" dogs" but the AFF has decided that we shall call these animals "American Shelter Dogs" in the future "since “pit bull” is not a breed of dog recognized by any kennel clubs and there is no agreed upon definition for what a “pit bull” is, it is impossible to apply breed traits to this genetically incoherent group of dogs."

They want equal treatment and opportunity for dogs that they can't define or identify?  Is there a support group for those who might search for leprechauns or unicorns?

What is the result of mindless support for dogs that are irresponsibly bred, irresponsibly owned, dumped wholesale into tax supported shelters?  Death, death is the result.

Ashville North Carolina, already partnered with the wildly pro pit bull Best Friends Animal Society, proudly announced in June that it was  joining forces with Deirdre Franklin of  Pinups for Pit Bulls to run a pit bull advocacy and education event.

  Image result for pitbulls and pinups
Ms Franklin and friends.

Here is a link to a group of photos of Pit Bulls and Pinups.  Serious public policy makers?   I have googled Ms. Franklin's "What is BSL and Can it Keep Us Safe" talk and find broken links and cancelled events, nothing on the actual speech.  

We don't know how many attended or how many pit bulls were placed but we do know that after the Project Pit Bull campaign kickoff the Asheville Humane Society went into overdrive with pit bull adoptions.  One of the pit bulls placed during the frenzy at the Asheville Humane Society killed Joshua Strother just two weeks after the pit bull was placed with Joshua's neighbors.   This was not the first aggressive pit bull placed by the Ashville Shelter.  A comment was posted by a woman who had adopted a pit bull from the very same shelter and returned it in less than 24 hours because it attacked her son.

What was the response from Ashville officials after a child was mauled to death and another was injured by pit bulls placed by the municipal shelter?  Glad you asked!  Pit bull placements were put on hold until procedures were reviewed but it was decided that "it's all good, carry on as usual."  For more on this disgraceful episode please read the posts at DogsBite.org  and Animals 24/7.  More information on the mauling death of Joshua Strother is available here.  For excuses offered by Pinups and Pit Bulls please click here. For an after-the-fact review of the placement of the pit bull that killed Joshua Strother please click here.   For a revealing look inside the shelter handling of pit bulls please click here.

What does any of this have to do with Ohio?  Glad you asked!  Here is a plea for rescue of a pit bull that was housed at the Franklin County Shelter.

74016: “Zack” 1 year 1 month old neutered and chipped male Pit Bull mix. He has been here since March 9, which is over well over 100 days in the shelter. He has now been pulled off of the adoption floor due to notes about his behavior. In June, our vet examined him to check a patch of hair loss on his head and wrote: Examined area of hair loss on head. Appears to be a healing scab. No active bleeding or signs of infection. No treatment needed at this time. When I bent down to look at and palpate wound he growled and lunged at my face. This interaction was likely perceived as threatening to Zack but his reaction is concerning in case someone, especially a child, were to bend over him and pet his head. This dog is a feature dog and has been in the shelter since 3/5/15. He is likely understimulated and frustrated from being in the shelter for such a long period of time. He would benefit from more physical and mental stimulation and one on one training. We have not received any other reports of aggression but Zack is showing signs of stress from being here so long and could really use a loving home or foster home if rescue could pull him. Zack is a playful, active guy who gets along with other dogs and loves tennis balls! He may leave at any time for a license fee only. Zack was adopted a few days ago but returned after less than one hour for snapping at the adopters. They did not provide much detail about the snapping but stated that it did not break skin. He is timid with new people and is very stressed in this environment and needs a rescue to pull him where he will be adopted into the special home with an experienced owner. RESCUE ONLY


So, Zack is a young pit bull, roughly 465 days old with over 100 of those days spend inside the shelter.  He finally got his big chance but was returned in LESS THAN ONE HOUR DUE TO AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR.  Zack also growled at the shelter vet and lunged at the vet's face.  Zack is no longer eligible for direct placement to the public and may only be removed from the facility by a rescue group.

Who could resist this stick of dynamite dog?  Certainly not Steffin Baldwin, of ACT Ohio and Ohioans Against Bred Discrimination.

Steffen Evan Baldwin
Off to evaluate Zack! Pulled from the adoption floor after lunging at the vet and returned within an hour for nipping but not breaking the skin of an adopter and harassed by the DBO tin foil hat crowd who blog about me...at a year old he's a prime candidate for my reactive rover rehab program! Longboard in the back, hot dogs in my pocket, let's ‪#‎savethem‬!‪#‎banhotdogsnotrealdogs‬ ‪#‎showmeyourpitties‬
 — with Connie Mckee.

Baldwin has taken this dog, apparently, on a dare.

Steffen Evan Baldwin There's a small number of cult like pit haters and they started harassing the COPS page when they were honest about why Zack was returned. Those looney tunes already hate me and for good reason so when they jumped on Zack my poppa bear instincts kicked in to save him.

Life goes on at ACT Ohio.
Dirty, happy dogs playing in the rain/mud yesterday smile emoticon Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio will be at PetPeople in Powell this Saturday from 10-12 with some adoptable dogs! As a responsible rescue, ACT has a set limit on intakes and a growing waiting list of dogs in need so if you're looking for a forever friend, try one of my misfits out!!! smile emoticon Zack (front and center) was taken off of the adoption floor in Franklin County last week because he was returned within an hour of being adopted for nipping. He's having a BLAST playing with the other pups and is very gentle around Evan and not too shabby running alongside my longboard either. Zack will be placed up for adoption in a few weeks after we get him out to experience more of the real world. Roxie, running up behind Zack, came out of a cruelty case in Logan County where she was attacked by another dog and is currently up for adoption. Bree, to the right, came out of a cruelty situation in Delaware County and Finn, the cream colored dog on the left was transferred from another rescue after being a little too rowdy and they are both also up for adoption. If you don't know Bullwinkle and Belle to the left of Finn, you must be new here smile emoticon ‪#‎actohio‬

Baldwin has taken a dog, on a dare,  that the County Shelter has deemed unsafe for direct placement to the public and he intends to place the thing with the public after a few weeks of tuneup.  It is claimed that ACT Ohio carries a 2 million dollar insurance policy, this might be useful.  A question remains, is the insurance carrier aware that ACT Ohio intends to place a dog deemed too dangerous for a county shelter to place?  

Central Ohio Pit Savers is not done either.  Let's look at Vinny!  Vinny is another recidivist pit bull, returned for snapping at a new adopter and also displaying aggressive behavior back at the shelter.  You can tell he is just a sweetheart because he has been photographed with a tutu around his neck.

79284: “Vinny” 2 year old neutered and chipped male Pit Bull. He was adopted in early July but returned four days later for snapping at the owner when he corrected him for defecating in the house. He did not display aggression towards our staff upon being returned and passed his behavior retest and moved back to the adoption floor. He has been here over a month now and today one of our kennel attendants reported that he was stiff, growling and hard staring her when she attempted to enter his real life room to clean. He is currently still available for adoption but these behaviors are concerning and we will have to pull him off the adoption floor if he continues to display these behaviors. Email copitsavers@gmail.com if interested in him!  

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, ACT Ohio is moving to a new location, farther out in the country with a building that can be renovated so more pit bulls can be "rescued."  This is how Steve Markwell got his start,   

I'm moving further out into the country next week and putting kennels into my new outbuilding in August/September. I have a lot of work to do in the outbuilding including pouring concrete, fixing water access, adding insulation, tacking up FRP (fiber reinforced plastic) to the walls for cleaning purposes, increasing air ventilation, piping music in and more! These 5'x15' and 10'x10' kennels would let a couple dogs hang out together during the day while I'm gone instead of being confined separately and I'm hoping to find five generous kennel sponsors that can donate a kennel to us and help us, help more dogs! Your name or business' name will be added to the kennels if you are able to help!!

For the 29th time in 34 years, I'm moving again at the end of the month!!! A little further out in the country (still in Union Co) with an outbuilding I can renovate to rehab and help even more dogs, and I can save some money there...soooo I can help even more dogs lol. Papa was a rolling stone and I go where the wind and the tails take me! I don't need any help, I have this moving thing down to a science...but I'm up for a housewarming party in August

 Living dangerously, with the peaceful public at risk.