Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Meltdowns that anyone could see coming.

We will take a break from the endless pit bull attacks in Ohio to take a better look at a couple of things that have been topics of discussion here in the past.

First, the uproar over a pit bull that has gone missing since it was placed with Steffen Baldwin.  Those who placed Remi, a designated dangerous dog from Trumbull County, with Baldwin because of his self-proclaimed expertise with dangerous dogs are justifiably anxious and angry that they are receiving no information as to the location and status of the dog.  These folks believed in the dog and backed up that belief up with cash. Where did it go?

Here is the short version of the story and we are sharing it per request.

Remi's Story:
For those of you that don't have time to read the lengthy version below here's a quick rundown. We saved Remi in May of 2016. He was deemed a dangerous dog through really no fault of his own. We had to hire legal counsel to save his life. We rehabilitated Remi in our home for 4 months and invested thousands in him. We reached the point that he needed to go somewhere who had a broader network of possible adopters due to his title. We gave Steffen $1,000 to polish Remi up and find him his forever home. We've asked multiple times for updated pics and to go visit Remi which Steffen had verbally agreed to. There have been no updated pics on his social media pages either. Fast forward 7 months later we still have not been allowed to visit Remi and we have no pics since Sept. Steffen failed to register Remi this year with the state for his Dangerous dog license. We are concerned for Remi's safety and concerned if he is even alive. We are asking everyone to please share Remi's story in hopes that Steffen allows us to see him or somebody knows where he actually is because Steffen claims he no longer has him and one of his volunteers do.

For the full story, please click here.  Make some popcorn and read the comments.

It should be noted that Baldwin has started another rescue with his friend Luke Westerman, Columbus Pets Alive! is the name.  ACT Ohio, Baldwin's personal, home-based rescue will merge into Columbus Pets Alive! on June 1, 2017. The facebook pages for this organization are down, shocking.  Here is a link to another promotional page for Baldwin's new group. It is also a blank at the moment.

As of this morning, we find that Baldwin's personal Facebook page is gone.  The Facebook page for his dog training business, Save Them Dog Training is full of demands for information on Remi.  It is important to note that Remi dog requires a dangerous dog license which has not been obtained by Baldwin in violation of state law.  Baldwin knows better, he is or has been, a humane agent for Union County.

This quote from the couple who trusted Baldwin with Remi. 
"NOW HERE'S THE IMPORTANT PART. Remi is a Dangerous Dog in the State of OH and if all of the laws set in place for DD is not followed it can lead to criminal charges and the dog can loose his life. I called the Union County dog warden to find out if Remi was ever transferred to another owner or if Steffen registered him for the 2017 year. The answer I received made my heart sink. Remi was never registered for the 2017 year for his Dangerous dog license and NONE of Steffens dogs had their dog licenses renewed yet for the year. Mind you this was Mid March. The dog warden has stopped responding and Steffen still won't allow me to see Remi. Remi still belongs to ACT Oh and is still his dog. Why wasn't he registered for the year, if a volunteer had him, why was ownership not transferred and she didn't file for Remi's 2017 license???"

Mr. Baldwin can clear up this matter by simply responding to the questions and complaints but has chosen to avoid them. Why?  Has he licensed his own dogs yet?

Steffen Baldwin turns up in a fair number of posts on this blog but one covers a great deal of back story.  Please click here.

Baldwin also appears in the next story, a follow up on Bosco the Biter.

Quick review, Bosco was a stray pit bull picked up in Toledo and placed by the Lucas County Pit Crew with a family in Fulton County Ohio. Bosco bit the new owner on the third day in his new home and was returned to that rescue group.  There is no love lost between Fulton County officials and the Lucas County Pit Crew.
Click here for background information on Bosco and the legal problems he created for the Lucas County Pit Crew.  There are lots of links.

bosco 3

Bosco was eventually placed with a breed expert in Arizona, conveniently getting him out of Ohio where he was a designated dangerous dog.  Things are still not going well for Bosco but the new owner is relying on long distance training tips and advice from others, including Steffen Baldwin.

Per Bosco's new owner "Bosco is the greatest little dog…who happens to have a real problem with anxiety.
I have postponed writing this post, because it’s hard to admit that sometimes the things you have always done are not working.  Kevin and I have had challenging dogs in the past, but they have easily responded to all of our positive reinforcement without issue.  That hasn’t been true of Bosco."

Click here for the story of Bosco's current meltdown, up to and including "acting out" against his new owners. This couple is building their lives around creating a bubble of calm around a dog apparently so "stressed" that anything can trigger dangerous behavior.  Baldwin comes into the story with this quote.

"The final straw was when he was so stressed by a walk that he acted out towards Kevin.  The situation was no longer okay.  Something had to be done…not just for safety, but for Bosco’s happiness.
So, with the help of our vet, a behaviorist in Florida, and a dog trainer who I trust implicitly (yes I mean you Steffen Baldwin) we started Operation Make Bosco Happy.  We are primarily depending on nutraceuticals…nutritional supplements to help him become calmer.  Along with exercise and some other calmative items, we are working to help Bosco accept his world.So here’s what is currently in our arsenal:
  • DAP collar. This is a pheromone collar that works through the dog’s own body heat.  It gives out the same calming scents a mother dog gives out to her puppies.  Each collar lasts about a month.  You can also get a diffuser to plug in and flood your whole house with this calming scent.
  • NutriClear Free by Biotics is a nutritional supplement for detoxification and metabolic clearing. It is a powder that you mix with water (it smells like a vanilla milkshake).  Bosco thinks it is the tastiest thing ever and slurps it down before I can even stand up from setting the bowl on the floor.
  • ComposurePro supplement treats which have been proven to lower anxiety levels in dogs and cats.
  • Phosphatidylcholine by Biotics. According to their website this is “a supplemental source of this important phosoholipid, which is a major constituent of cell membranes, and is important for normal cellular membrane function and repair”.
  • Bio-B Complex by Biotics, a high potency dose of important B complex vitamins
  • A treadmill for exercise. Walks are currently to upsetting to Bosco.  Everything in the world is seen as dangerous.  With time we are hoping to resume walks, which should be a happy activity for a dog.  In the meantime, a few minutes of treadmill time will help lower his anxiety level.
  • Rescue Remedy in his water.  RR is a great natural calmative.
  • A minute dose of Clonidine, which is an anti-anxiety medication.
Is " Operation Make Bosco Happy" making Bosco safe?  Are nutraceuticals REALLY going to fix Bosco? Who will guarantee the safety of Bosco's neighbors?  Will the insurance of the Lucas County Pit Crew cover the expenses of anyone injured by Bosco's anxiety?  Will Baldwin's insurance cover medical bills for humans or pets injured when Bosco's anxiety gets the better of him?  Baldwin also gave long distance training advice the owner of another rescue dog, Joe Dirt.  This did not go well either, Joe Dirt was appropriately euthanized after two serious attacks on his rescuer.  Links to the advice given by Baldwin are broken but here is the announcement of Joe's passing.  

Are those intent on saving dangerous dogs even concerned with the safety of the peaceful public?  Do they consider the safety of their neighbors?  Do they consider the safety of other folks peaceful pets?  Are we just opportunities to "socialize" their dangerous dogs?

The president of the Lucas County Pit Crew, Jean Keating, was Ohio's premier breed advocate until Steffen Baldwin moved into the state and began his campaign of self-promotion.  It is now a toss up for who gets the championship title.  Both these breed advocates are currently in questionable positions.

For the final chapter of the Bosco story please click here.