Sunday, October 4, 2015

Pit bull roundup 10/4/2015. Dead pets, police reports, mauled children, escaped pit bulls, and pit bull hysteria wasting taxpayer dollars. The usual.

Here we are back at the task of cleaning up the back log of pit bull attacks in Ohio. We begin.

Lakemore Ohio
Summit County

A 10 year old Silky Terrier was killed in his owner's yard by three pit bulls owned by a neighbor.  Here is how the Caleb's grief stricken owner described the attack.  "Caleb was simply standing in my yard and the Pitt Bulls escaped their scadally fenced in front yard and ran up my driveway to attack him.  He was helpless -- I beat them with only what I had in my hand -- a broomstick --and it was like hitting a steel rod.   I screamed so loud that neighbors up the street and a street away came to try to help.  However, the neighbors right across the street and who owns the dogs did not show up until the mauling was almost over.  One of my neighbors picked up Caleb and one Pitt Bull chased her into my garage, she ran into my house along with me and handed the little man to me -- she said they then cornered my cairn terrior, Caitie who was also outside with us and sniffed her then turned away.  My other neighbor said she tried to come to my aid but the black Pitt kept her at bay by aggressively barking and going toward her.  She backed away slowly into her home. My veterinarian said thank God they didn't turn on you.  I am grieving and angry that this law  In Ohio the Pitt Bull breed has been removed off of the dangerous dog list.  This law must be changed.  I don't know what political organizations are promoting this breed to be safe -- but it must be all about political gain and money.   Until Friday, I was convinced that Pitt Bulls were deemed to be a safe dog if raised properly -- but no more.  We must stop this insane propaganda and make our communities safe again. I realize that Caleb was just a dog, but I have no children and he was like my little boy.  So innocent-- but it could be a child next time.   Please sign this petition to keep Pitt Bulls out of our communities.  

Outrageous attacks like this are the impetus for BSL.  Pit bull advocates will face demands for laws regulating pit bulls until those advocates step up and end the killings.  Pit bull advocates must understand the grief of those who lost peaceful companions in bloody and violent maulings.  Please sign the petition. 

 Please click here for the thoughts of Connie Millward, Caleb's heartbroken  owner.

I am SO sorry Connie.

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Lorain Ohio
Lorain County

A man and his daughter were attacked by two pit bulls while they were attending a cookout on 9/7/2015.  The home owner had also been cited for dogs at large earlier in this year but in classic pit bull owner fashion, the pit bulls were not present when police arrived.  This is a family affair and details of ownership of the attacking pit bulls are being covered up by the victims.

This from the same news article.  On 9/24/2015 in the same city police were called for a complaint of two loose and aggressive pit bulls. Police knew the dogs and the owner because they had been called for the same loose pit bulls just two days previously.  By the time police arrived the pit bull owner, Parker Ramaro was also present. Ramero stated that his pit bulls had "escaped their enclosure" (again).  Officers rounded up Ramero and his pit bulls and transported them all home in the police cruiser.  Ramero was cited for two counts of confinement of dogs and two counts of annual registration.    

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I include this not because it is local but because it tells us a great deal about pit bull advocacy. Kansas City obtained a $100,000 grant from Petsmart Charities for the purpose of neutering, spaying, AND LICENSING  pit bulls in two Kansas City zip codes.  At the end of the grant's time frame fully $86,350 was returned unused.  Only 45 pit bull owners took advantage of this screaming deal.  Per KSHB41 "Pit bull rescue groups and veterinarians welcomed the news, saying that more alteration surgeries would ultimately lead to fewer dogs put down.
But the vast majority of the money was never used, and, after a year-long window in which just 45 dogs received free surgeries, the city quietly returned the $86,350 dollars remaining from the grant. " 
There are 1400 plus pit bulls kept in the two zip codes named in the grant, owners of only 45 of these pit bulls were responsible enough to take advantage of the grant that not only included the surgery but licensing as well?  We hear a great deal from "responsible pit bull owners" but Kansas City did not see many of them.  If pit bull advocacy  wants to stop regulation of their dogs they must clean up their own act.

As the banner in the photo clearly shows, pit bull advocacy blamed the city. Even when the surgery is free AND includes licensing, even when the city directly mails out notices to residents, even when the city pays for radio ads, pit bull owners refuse to neuter and spay.  The failure is within pit bull advocacy and only pit bull advocates can fix this.  

Since we are already so far down this road, lets go just a little further before we turn back and return to Ohio.  Rabid Kansas City pit bull advocate and president of the Kansas City Pet Project, Brent Toellner (who was also involved with bringing the PetSmart grant to Kansas city, as I recall) has a great deal to say about mandatory neuter and spay laws.  Despite roughly a million pit bulls euthanized in American shelters EVERY YEAR Toellner opposes mandatory neuter and spay for pit bulls but does allow that neuter and spay is a very good thing. In a masterpiece of circuitous thinking, repeated by pit bull advocates everywhere Toellner states that the suffering of pit bulls warehoused endlessly, or euthanized in shelters is not the fault of pit bull owners and advocates but rather the fault of those seeking proactive solutions to the suffering.

Excerpts from Toellner's letter to the Madison City Council opposing a proposed mandatory N&S law.
"However, when you look at the MSN law in Kansas City, the law had a different impact than the inner-city outreach programs. When you look at many neighborhoods in Kansas City, MO, there are many where poverty rates are very high, and access to affordable vet care is very limited if not non-existent. Mandating spay/neuter doesn’t change the fact many cannot afford the surgery; it simply makes it harder for those with limited resources to comply. Many of these individuals live in overall “resource deserts”, where they have limited availability of resources, and may not have any local access to Veterinary Care. Add to that, many people do not own cars and taxis and buses do not allow pets on board.

Take a family in Kansas City, MO that owns a well-cared for pit bull but don’t yet have the money to alter that pet and very likely do not know there is a law mandating spay/neuter. If animal control discovers them in non-compliance, they will have to pay a $500 fine for non-compliance on top of the surgery cost. The end result is often due to lack of money, a pet with a home ends up seized and impounded into the already crowded shelter system. The goal of mandatory spay/neuter is to reduce shelter intake. But in most instances fails at that goal, and only succeeds at breaking the bond families have with their pets. 

Kansas City, MO passed its law mandating the spay/neuter of pit bulls in August 2006. In 2005, KCMO euthanized 981 pit bulls at the shelter. In 2006, KCMO euthanized 1353 pit bull type dogs. In 2007, the first complete year of the ordinance it euthanized 1,722; in 2008, 1002 were euthanized. This was at a time when euthanasia for all non-pit bull type dogs was decreasing, yet more than 1100 additional pit bulls lost their lives in the next 3 years mostly because their owners were unable to comply with the law. iv."Some may contend that a mandatory law is necessary because some people simply will not alter their pets, even if the resources are made available. However, these people have not played out the enforcement scenario. In Kansas City, because it is mandatory for pit bulls to be spayed/neutered, if someone refused to comply (regardless of reason), their dog will be confiscated and taken to the shelter. This doesn’t replace the owner’s desire for an unaltered dog, so they are now forced to go out and buy another one. This not only increased the demand for (illegally) bred pit bulls, it also just creates a perpetual cycle of dogs being taken from homes and to the shelter only to be replaced by new dogs. This process has been going on for 9 years in Kansas City, and still, 75% of the pit bulls that come into our shelter are still unaltered (many are there simply because they are unaltered)."

Toellner includes a graphic that makes him look foolish. He explains that 2007 was the first full year of the ordinance requiring neuter and spay.  Yes, euthanasia of pit bulls did increase from the previous year by 369 pit bulls for that first year.  By the second year of enforcement the numbers of pit bulls euthanized fell by 720 pit bulls. This is 351 fewer pit bulls euthanized than the year prior to passage of the mandatory N&S law.  In the second year of enforcement that number fell 316 pit bulls (667 fewer pit bulls euthanized than the year prior to passage of the mandatory N&S law).  Kansas City has turned the corner but Toellner fails to notice.

 Toellner claims that failure to neuter and spay pit bulls is based upon financial hardship.  Petsmart's grant made the surgery absolutely free and even included licensing. Pit bull owners chose to ignore the deal of a lifetime.  Petsmart Charities did their best to support pit bull advocacy in Kansas City, as they do everywhere backing up that support up with a huge pile of cash. By doing so the unintended consequence shows us exactly how insane breed specific advocates claims really are.

Impressive work Petsmart!

Historic fact - Pit bull advocates, including Toellner, demanded an end to the Kansas City pit bull ban but in December of 2014 Kansas City city council decided to keep their proactive pit bull ban.

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Marysville Ohio
Union County

This story comes from Marysville Ohio, home of breed specific advocate Steffen Baldwin and his shelter ACT Ohio.  A pit bull attacked and killed a Yorkshire terrier. The pit bull was confined but the article did not offer a location.  The pit bull owner may be charged.  The Union County dog warden and the Union County board of health are investigating.

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New Boston Ohio
Scioto County

A nine year old girl was mauled by a neighbor's pit bull. Per WSAZ "Caleigh Blower, who had just started 4th grade, was playing on a swing set with a friend two houses down from her home on Rhodes Avenue in New Boston, when she saw a pit bull push the screen door open.
"It jumped up and then bit my face, and then I fell on the ground," she said.
"Her skin was gone," Caleigh's mother Jamie Blower said. "There was nothing left. Her right arm, the meat was hanging out. It was down to the bone."

This was not the first violence from this particular pit bull.  The pit bull's owner was cited in July when the same pit bull "got loose" attacked another dog.  The pit bull owner also admitted that her pit bull had attacked someone delivering medication a month ago.

More from WSAZ "The dog's owner appeared in the New Boston mayor's court Wednesday. She was fined several hundred dollars and sentenced to one day in the county jail, police tell WSAZ.
Her dog was ordered to be put down."
The nine year old victim made the classic pit bull victim's statement ""I don't want anyone else younger than me to go through it," Caleigh said.

Wise words.  Even children understand.
The girl
Caleigh Blower, pit bull attack victim.

The pit bull has been euthanized.  New Boston residents are not happy about this attack.

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Lancaster Ohio
Fairfield County

In a story that you will never see (per pit bull advocacy) a nine year old girl was bitten by a German Shepherd.  The dog bit the girl's back and elbow before it was stopped and taken back in the house.  The dog's owner was reported to be visibly upset, provided vaccination records, and plans to have the dog put down.  There was no report of medical treatment required for the child.  It was reported that tooth marks were found in the child's shirt and puncture marks were noted on her back.

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Hamilton Ohio
Butler County

Two pit bulls were found decapitated on Hamilton Ohio railroad tracks.  How these headless dogs were identified as pit bulls is unclear.  Pit bull advocates are unable to identify intact and living pit bulls, but I have digressed. Click here for your "can you identify the pit bull" game.

In any case, a reward of $1000 was quickly offered by an anonymous donor connected to the Animal Friends Humane Society for information leading to whoever abused, killed, and placed the bodies of these pit bulls on the railroad tracks.

In video available by clicking here the brother of the owner of one of the dogs states his suspicion that the dogs were shot in the head prior to being placed on the tracks.  Police were drawn into this and launched an investigation.  Per Fox10 "Hamilton Police Sgt. Ed Buns said the department also learned from the Facebook post.
“Both of them had apparently been run over by a train," said Burns. "We currently have detective actively investigating the circumstances that led them being in the location they were in, the condition they were.”    
Law enforcement was not contacted about the situation until Tuesday morning, according to Buns. On Wednesday, officials were still trying to determine why the dogs were placed on the track and who is responsible.
“We’re very sure they were deceased before train came along,” said Buns.
An inspection of the dogs located at the scene showed no signs of a gunshot or other injury that would have resulted in the death of the animal, prior to being struck by a train, according to Buns.
"There's certain things you see in your career that makes you wonder what kind of a human being could do something like this,” Buns said.
Police do not have a suspect. Buns said they have received information on who to question about the situation.
Two dogs were shown in the original photo, but only one remained on the tracks when officials arrived Tuesday. It’s not clear who picked up the second dog.
"There was no indication that anything had been amiss with this dog previous to this, or what killed it,” Buns said.  “"We knew the dog had been hit by a train, but typically dogs don't get hit by trains.  They run away."
"My belief is they were placed on the tracks after either being rendered unconscious or killed and placed on the tracks to be run over by a train,” Buns said.

An interesting side note, one of the dead dogs was none other than Scrappy.  Scrappy bit a child in July and was hustled out of town in the dead of night during the period of his rabies confinement.  Scrappy was given to a friend of Kari Walters, the original owner but "somehow" disappeared prior to his death. Walters stated that she gave Scrappy away because she "had some things to take care of." Dog Warden Kurt Merbs stated that Walters was cited for the July attack but that Scrappy would not have been put down. 
Scrappy (PHOTO: FOX19 NOW)
Scrappy, biter on the run.

After a week long investigation Hamilton Ohio police announced that the investigation was closed. Per WCPO " Hamilton police worked with CSX Railroad Police to find the engineer who admitted to driving the train that hit the dogs, Buns said. The engineer said the dogs appeared to be "alive and well" when he spotted them playing on the tracks and they did not move when he sounded the train whistle.
"The engineer stated that he only learned of the investigation this weekend and is upset that the dogs were struck, but there is nothing he could do," Buns wrote in a news release."
The final statement from police was this, Scrappy had simply escaped from the home of the new owner and was running loose in the area.  The other dog, named Deno, also had a new owner, was "let out" and never came back.  

So here is the final wrap up, after a nearly week long investigation we find just two more irresponsibly owned pit bulls at large in the community (one of them a known biter on the run from a rabies confinement) run over by a train.  How much money did this police investigation cost the taxpayers of Hamilton Ohio?

In fairness to Hamilton Ohio, the scenario of hysteria and suspicion of pit bull abuse after pittie is found dead someplace is not unique to Hamilton.  The exact same report came out of Ulster New York on 9/15/2015.  Per the Daily Freeman Police Report  "Police with the assistance of the dog’s owners, determined that the two dogs were able to escape their kennel, and that no individual attacked or had stolen the dogs. As the dogs ran free ‘Blue’ was struck and killed by a nearby train. The other pit bull was struck and injured in the hind quarter, but was able to return to its residence. When the homeowners discovered one dog missing and the other dog injured, they were fearful that someone caused harm to their animals because on other occasions when the dogs ran off there were no issues... Former Ulster County Sheriff Ken Post and his wife, Denise, of Pine Plains, had put up a $500 reward for the arrest of a suspect when they heard reports the animal had been stolen on Sunday. Police said the injuries were “not natural” and began an investigation, asking the public’s help locating suspects.
Adonis’ treatment expenses were paid by the Animal Emergency Fund, which Post administers on behalf of his late mother, Marie, who started the fund in 1999."
The lesson to be learned here is that pit bull owners are responsible for the deaths of their own pit bulls when they do not keep the things confined. Don't want Chaos shot by police, run over by a train, or stabbed by the owner of some peaceful pet dying in Chaos's jaws?  Keep your mauler at home and under control. A pit bull's worst nightmare is frequently their owner.

Don't think I can stand much more of this today but we will be back soon.  I'm going to end this post with a photograph that illustrates the reason for this blog.

This is Levi Watson. He was killed by a pit bull in 2013.  Levi was four years old at the time of his death.  Another bittersweet photo that touches my soul.