Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Pit bull roundup, Fulton County drama continues, take this pit bull PLEASE and we will throw in a gift card, real police dogs and pit bull "police dogs"

Cleveland Ohio
Cuyahoga County

Just when we thought we were done with 2015 this turned up.  another "take this pit bull PLEASE" offering.  This one comes with a $50 gift card!  Simon is waiting for you at the Cleveland City Pound.  An opportunity like this is rare, better hurry.

The Cleveland Pitties Facebook page features lots of available pit bulls.  Simon must be special because he is the only one that comes with a gift card.

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Columbus Ohio
Franklin County

King the pit bull was promoted by a local TV station in November.  The cheerful video stated clearly that King is dog aggressive (And presumably other animals as well.  Got a cat?  Probably King is a poor choice for you)  and was available to an adopter without other dogs in the household.  Does the widow next door have a Poodle?  The Franklin County shelter has given no consideration to the widow's Poodle in their eagerness to get King out the door.

On January 1st the NBC4 News trots King out again.  Now King is now in the custody of the I Have a Dream Rescue.  The rescue's trainer assures the public that King  "may slowly be introduced to other dogs" and after he has had some time to decompress he will be available for adoption to someone willing to "work with him."

king 2

The rescue still promotes King as only suitable for a household with no other dogs. It is not likely that King has changed much in just a few weeks.  The desperation to place this aggressive animal increases.

On January 1st 2016 a search on the Petfinder website for pit bulls in Ohio gives us 18,497 available pit bulls, this is JUST on the Petfinder site.  Why would anyone choose a known dog aggressive pit bull picked up as a stray (failed in at least one household, that's why he was on the streets) taken to a County Shelter where he was deemed too risky to adopt out directly to the public, and transferred to a rescue to limit liability for the county?

Mandatory neuter and spay would solve a lot of problems here.

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Sandusky Ohio
Erie County

It is only January 2nd and the Sandusky police scanner sounds a warning "a caller advises that an attacking pit bull is running loose on E. Forrest Dr."  So much for a peaceful start to the new year in Sandusky!

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Akron Ohio
Summit County

I'm stuck on "take this pit bull PLEASE" listings and I need to get over it, but just one more.  I promise.  This is Clyde.

I swear, Clyde is listed as a Basset Hound!!!! You can visit this "Basset Hound" at the Summit County Animal Control facility.  Lets change the available pit bull count to 18,498.

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Cleveland Ohio
Cuyahoga County

Cleveland police shot at two Bull Mastiffs that were attacking another dog. A neighborhood resident was also attacked. Lets not even pretend that we don't know that Bull Mastiffs are 60% Mastiff and 40% pit bull.  The condition of the dogs, and the human victim were not reported.


Update - New reports indicate that the attacking dog was a "bull Mastiff mix" and it was shot while attacking a pedestrian and the pedestrian's dog.  The attacking dog was killed.  Appropriate.

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Medina County Ohio

The Medina County Sheriffs Department has made a $12,400 deposit on two new police dogs, both German Shepherds.  The price for each dog is $12,400, total of $24,800.  These dogs were bred in Slovakia and trained in the Czech language for tracking and narcotics detection.  The dogs were imported by Excel K-9 Services.

Please note, these dogs were bred for police work.  They are already trained for tracking and narcotics detection but will not be ready to begin working for another 14 weeks.  They will have an additional six or eight weeks of individual training plus another six weeks of training with two deputies.  Please note this is 14 more weeks of training for these two, already trained police dogs. This will be important later.

This training is normal for police dogs, they are working dogs. Congratulations to Medina County!

ELIZABETH DOBBINS/GAZETTE Deputy Dave King and Sheriff Tom Miller accept a check on behalf of the Medina County Sheriff’s Office from Lake Erie Labrador Retriever Club co-president Judy Segedi and treasurer Peggy Drysdale.
The new Medina County police dogs were purchased with money raised by the community.  Wonderful story!

Here is where we are going to take a look at other police dogs.  The Cities of Poughkeespie New York, and the Normangee Texas have new police dogs too.  They both have new pit bull K9 officers. This is a non traditional choice and there is an explanation for this.  That answer is the relentless promotion of pit bulls by the Animal Farm Foundation.

A bit of background here.  New York state is the home of Jane Berkey, wildly wealthy heiress and pit bull fanatic.  She owns both the Animal Farm Foundation and the National Canine Research Foundation, both are run out offices on her farm in rural New York state, in Dutchess County New York to be exact.  The money train that funds pit bull advocacy leaves the station from Berkey's farm. Poughkeepsie in the county seat for Dutchess County New York.

Some economic facts on Poughkeepsie from Wikipedia. " The median household income in the city was $29,389, and the median income for a family was $35,779. Males had a median income of $31,956 versus $25,711 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,759. About 18.4% of families and 22.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.3% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over."

Poughkeepsie is not a big money community and one would expect that a K9 officer (remember the purchase price of the German Shepherds in Medina County) given free of charge to the city police department would be accepted.  Especially when that gift comes from a prominent member of the community.

Enter Kiah, pit bull police dog provided to the cash strapped Poughkeepsie police department free of charge, a gift from the Animal Farm Foundation.  Kiah is expected to serve as a narcotics detection dog and as a tracking dog, AND, as a "breed ambassador."  Who could see that coming?  Kiah was a stray found in a Texas shelter, as was Wilson, a pit bull police dog given to the Normangee Texas Police department by the Animal Farm Foundation.

Background information on Normangee Texas from Wikipedia "As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 719 people, 277 households, and 185 families residing in the town. "
"The median income for a household in the town was $28,594, and the median income for a family was $34,444. Males had a median income of $29,375 versus $16,042 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,336. About 16.1% of families and 17.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.2% of those under age 18 and 17.6% of those age 65 or over."
A very small town with economic challenges.

The feel good piece written about Wilson gives a bit more information on the pit bull police dogs provided by the Animal Farm Foundation.  These dogs have received all of FOUR WEEKS of training.   Video on the Normangee link tells us that the Animal Farm Foundation has provided seven of these strays-to-K9-officers-in-just-four-weeks to police departments across the United States.  Presumably these dogs were accepted by police departments with economic challenges.

Kiah and Wilson will have specialized duties, drug sniffer and tracker, not your typical police K9. These limited duties will keep Kiah and Wilson out of high stress situations where their prey drive might lead to injury to the public.  Oh, they will be "breed ambassadors" alright, lots of photo ops with the pit bulls posed in front of police cars, this is pure publicity stunt.

Click here for the thoughts of another blogger on the free pit bull police dogs, and the man behind the fraud.  Thank you to the blogger at the Sudden, Random, Unprovoked and Violent  Blog!

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Wauseon Ohio
Fulton County

The drama over Bosco the pit bull continues.  Quick review.  Bosco was a stray, picked up October 18th in Toledo Ohio  Bosco was placed with a Fulton County family by the Lucas County Pit Crew, headed by Jean Keating.  Bosco bit a member of his new family just three days after placement, December 26th.  Click here for the back story, it will be found in about the middle of the post.

Bosco has been designated a dangerous dog by the Fulton County Dog Warden and is in quarantine at the Fulton County Pound.  Jean Keating plans to fight this, and goes on to state that "There is a really good chance that Bosco wasn't even involved."  By making this statement Keating, who was not present at the time of Bosco's attack, has called the victim of the attack a liar, as well as all those present at the time.  Keating speculates that since there was another dog inside the house at the time of the bite, that dog was responsible for the bite.  Keating points to a year old bite report for that dog as her proof.

After Bosco's bite, the victim's wife called the Lucas County Pit Crew requesting immediate pick up of the pit bull, The family was uncomfortable keeping Bosco because they have children.  Logical. The victim went to a local hospital for stitches.  Bosco was taken by a representative of the Pit Crew to a Pike Township foster home for quarantine. The Lucas County Pit Crew resisted efforts by local authorities to quarantine Bosco at the Fulton County Pound. Keating refused to reveal the location of Bosco and gave the Fulton County Health Department contact information for her attorney.  Dale Emich, the attorney, gave up the address a day later.  Bosco's fosters refused to turn the dog over to authorities so the county obtained a warrant and seized the pit bull.  Bosco is now quarantined at the Fulton County Pound.

Keating continues to threaten the Fulton County Dog Warden with a lawsuit and ethics complaint. Laughably, she stated "It's misuse of your public office to target an individual or a specific organization because you're angry" while she is targeting the dog warden and the county commissioners because she is angry. Keating has targeted this dog warden for an extended period of time, this is not a new behavior.  The dog warden did not bite Bosco's new owner, the dog placed by the Lucas County Pit Crew bit the new owner. That is the responsibility of the Lucas County Pit Crew.

The dog warden did exactly as he was supposed to do, per the law pushed on the residents of Ohio by Jean Keating and Barbara Sears. For a bit of background here we are going to stroll over to national blog Sudden, Random, Unprovoked, and Violent for a blast from the past video interview by Keating.  She makes this statement regarding the law written by lawyers for Best Friends Animal Society (headquartered in Utah) for Ohio. "[The new law] is much more proactive. It identifies dangerous dogs before they hurt people. That's where our focus needs to be: identifying these dogs long before these incidents occur. Dog attacks occur with every breed, in every city, and most of them are equally horrific.1 Keating wants dangerous dogs identified before they hurt someone but she did not focus on Bosco, she passed him on with the statement that he was just "jumpy."

The Pit Crew, responsible for placement of Bosco,  did not identify Bosco as a dangerous dog prior to the December 26th bite of the new owner. They continue to deny this despite the bite report and quarantine of Bosco. Dog Warden Banister did as his job requires. After "the incident" he declared Bosco dangerous and quarantined him.  Hating and persecuting the man for doing his job is unproductive.  PLEASE click on the link to watch Keating's interview.  My favorite part of the video is Tom Skeldon getting the opportunity to say "I told you so" about the  failure of the Keating/Sears bill.  Read the thoughts of the SRUV blogger on the failure of the "proactive" Keating/Sears bill.

I digress.  A quote from the Blade "Ms. Keating said Bosco is being treated as a pawn as part of a disagreement between the rescue and Fulton County.  The group is participating in grass-roots efforts to investigate the pound's overall operations, they have been critical of the dog warden, county commissioners, and county policies."  A second quote "We have pending litigation with (dog warden Brian) Banister in another situation. We've shown the public that he doesn't do his job.  He saw an opportunity to take it out on this poor dog."

Wow, I can't imagine why Fulton County officials do not favor Ms. Keating or her Lucas County organization.

It is important to note that a county dog license is considered proof of ownership of a dog.  The Lucas County Pit Crew did not bother to obtain a license for Bosco in Lucas County or in Fulton County.  The Pit Crew did not license Bosco until the day after they picked him up, December 27th. I can't explain this but a quote from the Toledo Blade states "The tag number listed in the sheriff's report returns two different registrants in 2014 and 2015, and neither dog listed to those owners matches Bosco's description."  What tag did the Pit Crew put on Bosco?

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Wauseon Ohio
Fulton County

Fulton County officials have filed criminal charges against Jean Keating, head of the Lucas County Pit Crew, and against volunteers Kevin Bauer and Andrea Walters.  All three face misdemeanor charges in Fulton County Western District Court.   Keating and Walters face second degree misdemeanor charges of obstructing official business and a minor misdemeanor charge for violating a rabies quarantine.  Bauer is facing a charge of violating a rabies quarantine.  Hearings are scheduled on February 9th.

In a first ever event, Keating refused to comment to Blade reporters.  Keating is now represented by a new attorney, Kirsten Knight, Knight did also not respond to Blade requests for comments either.

A quote from the Blade "The Pit Crew's board of directors released a short statement on the charges Tuesday afternoon.  'The Lucas County Pit Crew is an all volunteer, non profit organization that is comprised of dedicated individuals who will always stand up and speak our when they feel a dog is being mistreated.  Nobody within the organization engaged in any criminal conduct and the evidence will speak for itself.  Our focus remains on the return of Bosco to our care unharmed."

The Pit Crew will file for a court hearing to contest the dangerous dog designation given by Fulton County Dog Warden Brian Banister.

The Fulton County Commissioners have issued a statement "Upon expiration of the quarantine, the dog's owners will be responsible for the dog."  Fulton County considers the Fulton County couple who adopted Bosco from the Lucas County Pit Crew to be the legal owners.  Keating considers the Pit Crew to be the lawful owners of Bosco.  Keating claims that the couple transferred ownership of Bosco to the Pit Crew when the dog was picked up but the dog was not signed over.

Crowd funding to pay the Pit Crew's legal expenses for this fiasco totaled $3000 on the first day.  Pit bull activists have never donated a cent to a pit bull victim to pay medical bills but they donate $3000 to defend a biter, Remember, Pet Finder tells us that there are 18,497 available pit bulls in Ohio and this one, a biter, gets $3000 donated for legal expenses.
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After all that drama, lets remember why we are here.

This is Xavier Strickland.  He was walking with his mother in their Detroit neighborhood on the day of his attack, December 2nd.  Xavier's mother is a volunteer at the local grade school, that was their destination.  Xavier and his mother were attacked by three pit bulls, Xavier was dragged across the street and under a gate, mauled and disemboweled by four pit bulls.  His mother, and horrified neighbors were unable to reach him, the gate was locked.

This is Judge Lydia Nance-Adams listening to witness testimony at a preliminary hearing for the owner of the pit bulls.  The only possible appropriate response.

36th District Judge Lydia Nance-Adams listens to the

Judge Nance-Adams was asked by the defense attorney to reduce the one million dollar bond for the pit bull owner.  The judge refused.

1/7/2016 Update
The owner of the pit bulls that killed Xavier Strickland will stand trial on second degree murder charges. Per WTKG "A judge said Thursday there's enough evidence to send Geneke Lyons to trial on the murder charge and other crimes."

For more information please click here.