Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Another sad dog attack fatality in Ohio and thoughts on the organization that is now holding the killer dog, a German Shepherd described by neighbors as vicious. What are we doing with dangerous dogs? A two part post.

Another fatal dog attack in Ohio, this time Cleveland.  Two week old Sophia Booth was killed inside the family home by a four year old German Shepherd.  Sophia was in a first floor bedroom when the dog escaped from the kitchen where it had been confined.  The dog bit the infant in the head.  Sophia was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center, a trauma center in Cleveland, where she died.

The dog was considered vicious by neighbors, one stated on camera the he crossed the street to avoid the animal that he called a "vicious junk yard dog".  Another neighbor stated "The dog was vicious. I don't know why you would have that type of dog around your child." She kindly added that the family was in her prayers.

Given the neighbor's statements about the German Shepherd, this is a dog that would be on the radar of Cleveland Animal Control when SB 195 is passed by the Ohio Legislature.  SB 195 was written to tighten up Ohio law and clean up the mess created when legislators allowed animal rights lawyers employed by Best Friends Animal Society to re-write Ohio law.  Since the passage of HB 14 five years ago, fifteen Ohio residents have been killed by dogs.  In the decade prior to the passage of HB 14, five Ohio residents were killed by dogs. Draw your own conclusions.

SB 195 mandates dog wardens to investigate vicious dog complaints made by the public.  Currently there is little to no response to complaints.  When the public is convinced that their concerns will be taken seriously they will make those calls and communities will become safer. If Sophia Booth's neighbors had complained about the dog and those complaints were properly investigated would she have died? Possibly not. The dogs that killed Klonda Richey, Jonathan Quarles Jr, and Maurice Brown were all well known to animal control but allowed to remain in the community.  It should also be noted that all three of these fatal dog mauling attacks occurred in Montgomery County Ohio. The County Dog Warden is Mark Kumpf.  Dog Warden Kumpf has moved from an enforcement model in his county to an education model that is not working, clearly.

This is text from the Court of Appeals ruling that allows the family of Klonda Richey to sue Mark Kumpf
 {¶ 5} In July 2006, Defendant-Appellee, Mark Kumpf, was hired as the Director of the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center (“ARC”) and as the MontgomeryCounty, Ohio, Dog Warden. Kumpf was still serving in those capacities at the time of Richey’s death. Kumpf had been involved in animal control since the early 1990’s, and had changed his philosophy from an “enforcement mode” to an “education mode.” In the enforcement mode, Kumpf’s approach had been to see how many animals he could pickup, how fast the animals could be gotten off the road, and how many summonses he could write. In this mode, he averaged 100 to 150 citations per month. In contrast,Kumpf’s education approach involved issuing fewer summonses and focusing citations on the more serious cases.{¶ 6} After Kumpf came to Montgomery County in 2006, he changed the focus of the ARC from enforcement to education. The number of citations issued to citizens dropped by more than 33 percent in the first two years of his tenure. At first, Kumpf’s bosses were concerned about a drop in revenue. However, Kumpf pointed out that he had taken in 2,000 fewer animals, and that licensing and adoption revenues had increased.{¶ 7} Kumpf also instructed his deputy wardens to write fewer citations because he believed the courts were not doing their job, and were notoriously unhelpful with citation fines and enforcement. In the two years before Richey’s death, out of more than 20,000 calls about animals, only about 697 (about 3.4 percent) resulted in citations. Of 60,000 dogs in Montgomery County, only 12 were designated as “nuisance” or -4-“dangerous” dogs in 2013.{¶ 8} Kumpf was under the impression that before an animal control officer can issue a citation for a “dog at large,” the officer must witness the dog off an owner’s property and not under the owner’s immediate control. However, at Kumpf’s direction,officers were not patrolling. In addition, also at Kumpf’s direction, dispatchers routinely refused to answer phone calls requesting service during business hours. Instead,dispatchers pushed a “divert” button on the phone and calls were sent to voicemail. All of the calls Klonda Richey made to ARC went to voicemail.   

The court is describing taxpayer funded sloth.  Please feel free to read the whole thing. This court ruling perfectly illustrates the failure of the animal control "education" model and just how boldly it was used in Montgomery County Ohio.  This model is used all over our state and the peaceful public is tired of it.    

The loopholes pranced through by Ohio dog wardens must be closed.  SB 195 mandates actual investigation in response to public complaints and it MUST be passed.  The Ohio Senate passed it, as SB 151, unanimously just prior to the end of the last legislative session but the session ended before the bill could be introduced into the Ohio House.  

A two-week-old baby died after it was bitten by a family dog in Cleveland Friday evening, police say.

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Part Two of our post.

The German Shepherd that killed Sophia Booth was taken by the City of Cleveland Kennels. The City of Cleveland Kennels is a strange world but not unusual for an American shelter . It is animal advocacy without thought to public safety. What will they do with the dog?  "Rehabilitate" it?  Send it to a rescue? Adopt it out? Dogs that kill should be euthanized but rescue angels just hate that option.

Here is a bit of background on the City of Cleveland Kennels.

The City of Cleveland Kennels runs a program they call City Dogs. The program exists to promote placements for pit bulls warehoused in the City of Cleveland Kennels.  Currently the City of Cleveland Kennel lists 86 available dogs, 82 of them are pit bulls or pit bull mixes.

Here is the official description of the City Dogs program as noted on the Friends of the Cleveland Kennel website. City Dogs Cleveland is the adoption program of The City of Cleveland’s Division of Animal Care and Control (CACC). This program is supported by Friends of the Cleveland Kennel (501c3). The City Dogs mission is to increase adoptions from the City Kennel by changing the image of the pit bulls who make up the majority of the kennel population, by preparing all adoptable dogs in the kennel for lives in loving homes and by creating as many opportunities as possible for the public to meet and get to know our dogs for the terrific pets they are meant to be."

One pit bull recently placed from the City Dogs program attacked a full grown horse in the Cleveland Metroparks only a week after it was adopted.  The dog was adopted on 7/27/17 and attacked on 8/2/2017. This was a "terrific pet"? You can't wave a magic wand and "change the image" of pit bulls because that magic wand does not change DNA.
Shelters frequently get dogs that are simply impossible to place due to obvious aggression.  The City of Cleveland recently used the time honored tactic of sending the dogs across state lines to a new area where the dogs are unknown. City Dogs recently sent several of Cleveland's unplaceable pit bulls to Longmont Humane society in Longmont Colorado, long known for quick and questionable "rehabilitation" of  pit bulls known to be vicious and dangerous, we will get to that shortly.  Here is a photo of the City Dogs team getting ready to send Cleveland pit bulls to Colorado, a 1329 mile trip.  I hope no taxpayer dollars were spent on this.

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Here is a look inside the truck. No Chihuahuas making this trip.  

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Another getting ready to be loaded into the truck.

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Does Longmont need any more pit bulls?  The answer is clearly no. Hang in there with me for a short trip through the insanity that is no-kill pit bull advocacy.  Here is a link to a video of Dr. Pam Reid PhD on the topic of Sheltering Dangerous dogs. The video runs nearly 40 minutes and you will never get those 40 minutes back but she makes points that I don't think she intended to make.  View the whole thing but pay attention at about 27 minutes and 43 seconds into the video.  She begins to tell the story of Dragon, a pit bull seized in a dog fighting case, purchased by an informant and fought several times.  Keep in mind that Dragon is game bred, pit trained and tested and was involved in a dog fighting operation. If, as breed advocates love to tell us, "it's all in how you raise 'em" dogs seized in dog fight busts are the most dangerous dogs on earth.  That does not trouble breed advocates. Dragon, living evidence, was held at a shelter for an extended period of time and became a favorite of the ATF agents involved with the case. PLEASE watch Dragon's introduction to live dogs.  This dog is simply vicious but the ATF agents, while they did not want to actually take Dragon home to their own families, they wanted him rehabilitated and placed, they liked him. You just can't account for personal taste.

Dragon was transported across state lines from Virginia to the Longmont Humane Society in Colorado.  Aimee Sadler is, or was, the trainer in charge of "remedial socialization" at Longmont. While Sadler has been in charge of "rehabilitating" MANY pit bulls, Dragon, a pit fighter from Virginia, was her first pit bull seized in a dog fight bust. Sadler felt he was "rehabilitated" and on the adoption floor just FIVE DAYS after arrival at Longmont. Please watch the video to see the magical process.  Dragon was eventually paced with a family, I bet their neighbors were thrilled.

It should be remembered that Longmont has a sketchy reputation for "rehabilitation."  A 2013 Times-Call article titled Longmont Humane Society Faces Dangerous Dog Case stated " in 2012, nearly 16 percent of reported dog bites in Longmont were traced to dogs adopted out of the Longmont Humane Society. So far in 2013, 13 percent of reported bites were from humane society dogs."  

Here are just a few cases that made the news.

In 2014, Longmont Humane Society placed a pit bull with a young woman.  The dog had a history of aggression while in the shelter prior to placement and had been previously placed and returned for an unknown reason. Aggression would be a safe bet. The dog went missing after the new owner left it with friends and eventually turned up in Portland Oregon in the possession of a 16 year old girl. The Longmont graduate pit bull made the news for killing a Pomeranian while on a streetcar. Longmont Humane Society offered to transport the pit bull back to Colorado for the legal owner but that offer was, not surprisingly, refused.

Here is a photo of the Pomeranian.

In 2013, Bridgett,  a pit bull owned by the Longmont Humane Society and fostered by volunteers escaped and attacked a leashed dog being walked in the neighborhood by his owner, just 4 days after being placed in the household.  Here is Bridgett's history " Longmont animal control officers investigated the case and learned that Bridgette had a history of biting animals and humans and a judge declared her to be a "dangerous dog" in Mesa County. According to police records, in October 2012, she bit a handler who pulled on her leash after Bridgette charged to attack two kenneled dogs. In March 2013, her previous owner was walking her on a leash and she saw another dog and bit through her leash to attack it. She badly injured the miniature schnauzer in that case.
Her previous owners had taken her to the Longmont Humane Society before the dangerous dog hearing, according to police reports. After she was surrendered, police records noted, she got into a fight at the humane society in May 2013. She was in training to work on aggressive behaviors. Trainers ultimately determined she was progressing well and she was released to a foster family when a volunteer at the humane society offered to foster her, police reported." 
"Progressing well"? Are there any clear thinking adults associated with Longmont Humane Society?

In 2012 Chocolate, a newly placed pit bull from the Longmont Humane Society attacked and killed a leashed Yorkie being walked by her owner.  Shelter staff told the new pit bull owner that Chocolate, was "selective about dogs she got along with" but had gotten into a "fight" while at the shelter. This statement candy coats a vicious dog that went on to kill a tiny and beloved pet in full view of her hysterical owner.

The frenzy to "save them all" without thought for public safety puts the public at risk.  Longmont Colorado and Montgomery County Ohio are extreme examples of the failure of current public policy regarding vicious dogs but these practices exist all over the United States. These are the organizations tasked with protecting the public.  Where are the adults?

Does Longmont Colorado need Cleveland's pit bulls?  No.

Does Ohio law need to be changed for the purpose of public safety?  YES!