Monday, April 2, 2018

April 2nd Pit bull Roundup. Pit bulls shot by law enforcement, injured by their owners, attack small dogs, kill mini horses, run at large and attack, get a huge break in Lakewood, and attack children.

Mansfield Ohio
Richland County

This comes from the "a pit bull's worst nightmare is frequently his owner" file, in a city that dropped its breed ban in 2017.  Anyone reading the linked material should be aware that there is an error in the reporting.  There is no requirement by Ohio law that communities must lift breed bans.  Google Ohio Revised Code and read state law for yourself.  In any case, I digress.

Christopher Vandenberg, age 40, was sentenced to more than three years in prison for slitting the throats of four pit bull puppies.  He cut the puppies after an argument with his wife.  All the puppies recovered and have been adopted out.   This leaves a thoughtful person wondering.  There is no question that the puppies were injured, slightly, but they all recovered.  Owners of pit bulls that maul and kill other people's pets and livestock pay a small fine and prance free.  Why?  
Here is a photo of one of the puppies. This is not a life threatening injury.
Here is a photo of Mr. Vandenberg.  

This is Bella, she was killed and partially eaten by pit bulls in Ohio, shortly before Christmas.
Bella was killed Friday by a pit bull in St. Clair Township, according to the Butler County Sheriff's Office.  (Photo: Courtesy Paul Huesing)
This is Pablo, he was killed in the same attack.
Pablo died Friday in a pit bull attack in St. Clair Township. (Provided by Paul Huesing)
In addition to the deaths of the two mini horses, the same three pit bulls also killed a mini horse on another property on the same day. 
The horse in the foreground is Simon, the the third mini horse killed by Terry Foister's pit bulls.
The owner of the pit bulls that killed Pablo, Bella and Simon got a fine of $150 plus court costs.  Why three years in prison for cuts to puppies and a misdemeanor charge and $150 fine for the deaths of three mini horses?

What are we doing in Ohio?  There are bills in both the Ohio Senate an Ohio House that toughen state law regarding vicious dogs.  The Senate Bill, introduced by Senator Bill Beagle, is called the Klonda Richey Act, named after a Dayton woman mauled to death by her neighbor's dogs in 2014.  There is a companion bill, HB 352,  in the Ohio house, they are exactly the same.  These companion bills are poking along in the Ohio Legislature over four years after Klonda Richey's death.  An Alabama woman, Emily Colvin, was mauled to death by pit bulls on Christmas Eve of 2017.  The Alabama Legislature has already written and  passed Emily's Law,  legislation to hold owners of vicious dogs accountable.

The Ohio bills are well written and deserve passage.  Why can Alabama accomplish something in two months that Ohio still struggles with four years after a mauling death?  What are we doing in Ohio? 

While we are on the topic of the Klonda Richey Bill, there is this interesting story.  Andrew Nason, owner of the dogs that killed Klonda Richey after menacing her for years, has been spending his time in prison, on unrelated charges, by training dogs with the intent to become a journeyman animal trainer.  Per the Dayton Daily News. "  Nason, who is serving a five-year sentence at London Correctional for unrelated felonious assault and endangering children counts, wrote in a motion to a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judge that he has participated in hundreds of hours in the Pets Uniting People Program (PUPP). 
Nason asked Judge Steven Dankof in a fall 2017 pro se (without an attorney) motion to credit his prison community work service toward his court costs. As of Sept. 25, 2017, Nason wrote he had performed 744 hours with PUPP.
A flyer about A-1 PUPP provided by the ODRC said it was a two-year apprentice program that offers a certificate of from the Ohio Dept. of Labor that certifies the graduate as a journeyman animal trainer.
The flyer says the program is for rescue dogs that may have been neglected, abused, surrendered, removed from bad living conditions including puppy mills. The ODRC said the program trains and socializes the dogs for adoption.
Nason wrote that he makes just $18 per month from which he must pay for utilities, health care fees, hygiene purchases and other miscellaneous expenses.
“I think this is absolutely ridiculous,” Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said. “What is the Ohio Department of Corrections thinking? Which then begs the question, do they have any clue about his past?
“If he is enrolled in such a program, maybe he can learn what it means to be a responsible dog owner, and how to properly care for and control a dog.”
An Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman said Nason has not been active with the program since October. No reason was provided why Nason was allowed to enroll or why his participation ended.
Dankof denied the motion."
Andrew Nason.  What are we doing in Ohio? 
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Toledo Ohio
Lucas County

Here is a story that was not reported in the media but was reported on Facebook.  A pit bull attacked a small dog owned by a woman appearing to be in her 60s.  A neighbor ran to the scene and helped the woman, her small dog, and another woman escape to safety.  The small dog owner was bitten and bleeding.  Police and an ambulance were called to the scene.  The Toledo Blade did not report this attack.  Not surprising.  Thank you Mr. Louden!

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Forest Park Ohio
Hamilton County

A Forest Park pit bull owner has finally been arrested for allowing his pit bulls to run free in his neighborhood.  Investigators have been called to the home of Wade Hill Jr. 62 times since January of 2017.  A child has been bitten by the pit bulls requiring 29 stitches to his face. The mail carrier is on high alert, the FedEx driver has been menaced, peaceful neighbors and local police have also been menaced.  The pit bulls have been taken to the SPCA but have been returned to the owner.  Police are attempting to get a court order to remove the dogs.  After 62 calls in a year, this should not be a problem.  What are we  doing in Ohio?   

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Colerain Ohio
Belmont County  

Colerain residents are in the same situation as those in Forest Park, they are prisoners in their own homes while a neighborhood pit bulls runs free.  This dog has bitten and menaced residents.  Per Fox 19 News " "It just runs around terrorizing the neighborhood. It keeps people from getting in their houses. It actually bit my husband's leg," said Kim Thompson, who lives next to the dog owner.
She says the dog cornered her child as well. "It's so scary my son. He has little toys that he rides out front, motorbikes, and things and he got stuck down there in a circle and the dog went right for him," she said.
Another neighbor who didn't want to be identified tells FOX19 NOW the police were called to his home a few weeks ago after the dog bit him.
"He's standing there at the end of my driveway. I say get out of here, get out of here and he comes up to me like he's going to bite me and I back up then he nipped me on the back of my leg," said the resident.
Luckily he wasn't hurt but he fears it will get worse if the issue isn't addressed."

Local authorities state that they are unable to act on complaints because the dog is already gone by the time they get there.  Residents are encouraged to take photographs of the dog at large.  What?  Authorities have a great many of these photographs.  Write the citations!  Get this dog off the street so peaceful people can go on about their lives.  
Several Colerain residents say they feel like prisoners in their homes because a dog is terrorizing their neighborhood. (WXIX)
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Westerville Ohio
Delaware and Franklin Counties  

Two Westerville Ohio police officers were shot to death, ambushed by a local resident with a history of domestic abuse, animal abuse, and parking tickets.  In their coverage of the deaths of these two police officers notes " Smith was charged with animal cruelty in 2016 as neighbors called to report he had beaten a brindle pit bull puppy that was then put outside at the Crosswind Drive location. A judge was able to sign a search warrant for the Humane Society to take the puppy."  

A study was done, in Ohio, linking ownership of high-risk dogs and criminal behavior in the owner.   The study begins with this quote. 

This study examined the association between ownership of high-risk(“vicious”) dogs and the presence of deviant behaviors in the owners as indicated by court convictions. We also explored whether two characteristics of dog ownership (abiding licensing laws and choice of breed) could be useful areas of inquiry when assessing risk status in settings where children are present.Our matched sample consisted of 355 owners of either licensed or cited dogs that represented high or low-risk breeds. Categories of criminal convictions examined were aggressive crimes, drugs, alcohol, domestic violence,crimes involving children, firearm convictions, and major and minor traffic citations. Owners of cited high-risk (“vicious”) dogs had significantly more criminal convictions than owners of licensed low-risk dogs. Findings suggest that the ownership of a high-risk (“vicious”) dog can be a significant marker for general deviance and should be an element considered when assessing risk for child endangerment."

 Draw your own conclusions.

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Cleveland Ohio
Cuyahoga County

City Dogs, a pit bull placement organization at the Cleveland City Shelter is looking for anyone willing to adopt their pit bulls.  More than 100 dogs are available, and they are pit bulls.  Look out Lakewood, many of these dogs are likely to find their way into your city.   Lakewood recently dropped their breed ban in response to complaints from a Lakewood woman who owned a pit bull (yes the proud owner of a pit bull in a city where the breed was banned).  This pit bull owner failed to keep her banned breed dog confined and it was picked up by animal control and ordered out of town.  She demanded that the city change local law to suit her particular form of irresponsibility.  This seemed logical in Lakewood and the law has been changed.  The chances that pit bull owners in Lakewood will contain and insure their pit bulls is just about zero as has be demonstrated in communities across the United States. 

The reason the City of Cleveland shelter is full of pit bulls?  Aggression and irresponsibility.  Lakewood City Council, say hello to you newest residents.     

One of the dogs up for adoption. (Source: City Dogs)
This City Dogs pit bull is looking for a new home.  

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Fort Dodge Iowa/Ohio

Well, here is good news for residents of Ohio.  A pit bull declared vicious by the Ft. Dodge Iowa Board of Animal Appeals will be given another chance - in Ohio.  Wow, lucky us.

In November of 2017 a pit bull owned by Nash Wheaton and Mariah Hocking jumped a fence and killed a cat in the cat owner's yard.  The cat owner was injured while trying, unsuccessfully,  to rescue her pet.  The pit bull also entered the home of the cat owner, apparently unsatisfied by merely killing the cat.

What is a pit bull owner to do in this circumstance?  Pack the pit bull up and run is the usual answer and Ms. Hocking did exactly this.  She brought the pit bull to Ohio.

Per the Messenger, Hocking " brought the dog back to Fort Dodge for the hearing in the second floor conference room of the Municipal Building Wednesday afternoon.
Hocking said the dog does well around people and has never hurt anyone.
Jacob Naatz, the Fort Dodge police officer who handled the case, said in his experience with the animal it was not aggressive towards people.
Naatz said he has dealt with the dog on more than one occasion. He said each time, the dog harmed or attempted to harm another animal.
According to city code, a dog is considered vicious when it kills another domesticated animal without provocation.
“There is no question the dog killed another animal and did it without provocation,” Fort Dodge City Attorney Mark Crimmins said.
Board members Dr. Michael Bottorff and Bob Martin were the only board members in attendance, so the decision on the dog had to be unanimous.
Bottorff is a veterinarian in Fort Dodge.
The board determined the dog vicious, but is allowing Wheaton and Hocking to pick the animal up from the Almost Home Humane Society of North Central Iowa today.
Hocking is to take the dog back to Ohio, where it is to remain.
According to Bottorff, if the dog is seen or heard from in Webster County again, it will be put down.
“We’re all animal lovers here,” Bottorff said. “We don’t want to see the dog destroyed.”
Newsflash for Dr. Bottorff, we are animal lovers here in Ohio and we would rather see your vicious pit bull destroyed in Iowa than have it kill peaceful pets here.  If this pit bull is too vicious to remain in your city it is too vicious to ship across state lines.  The Ohio city is unnamed but local animal control should be notified that a vicious dog is about to be shipped into town.  The county dog warden should be notified as well.

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Chillicothe Ohio
Ross County

A Chillicothe police officer was charged by a pit bull and shot it.  Per the Chillicothe Gazette "  According to Chillicothe police chief Keith Washburn, officers went to a home on North Sugar Street around 5 p.m. Wednesday. The chief said a child opened the door and a large pit bull charged at one of the officers, growling. The officer retreated and when the dog continued to charge at him, Washburn said the officer fired two shots at the dog."

The dog was only slightly injured and made a full recovery.  Local residents were urged to control their dogs.  * eye roll *

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Willoughby Hills Ohio
Lake County Ohio
This is as good a time as any for another law enforcement shooting of a pit bull story.  This time is was a Deputy U.S. Marshall who shot a pit bull while that Marshall was attempting to arrest a sex offender on a federal warrant.  Per "Patrick Denning, 57, was hiding in a back bedroom of the home and was arrested, Elliott said. He was wanted on a warrant for failing to register as a sex offender, after his conviction in Nevada for lewdness with a child under 14 years old."

The pit bull survived.   Why are pit bulls so often found in the company of felons?

A deputy U.S. marshals shot a pit bull that tried to attack him on Thursday morning, U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said.

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Mansfield Ohio
Richland County

More from Mansfield in this long overlooked story.  Richland County Commissioners deny responsibility for any decision on euthanization of two pit bulls that killed a tiny and peaceful pet.  Per the Mansfield News Journal. "Commissioners discussed the issue Tuesday for over 30 minutes with Hettie Rohwer, whose Maltese/Chihuahua mix was mauled and killed in one of the attacks on March 1 in the area of West Third Street and Penn Avenue in Mansfield.  Rohwer asked why county Dog Warden Dave Jordan has not taken the offending animals to a veterinarian to be euthanized.  “I checked with the (Mansfield) law director and his assistant and those dogs do not have to be held any more.  They can be put down at any time,” she said.  “I was told by the law director that the dog warden would have to transport the dogs to be put down.”  Commissioners’ chairwoman Marilyn John said the euthanasia issue was something that is between Mansfield Municipal Court, the city law director’s office and the dog owners’ attorney. “This is not something to bring to this meeting to negotiate,” she said.  “What the law director does is up to his office.”  Commissioner Darrell Banks pointed out that the dog warden is under court order to hold the dogs and that is all he can do."
The caption under this photo states that this woman is speaking to Richland County dog warden Dave Jordan after a dog escaped from this home and killed other dogs.

Stop the dithering and put these dogs down. Protect the peaceful public.

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Hillsboro Ohio/Peebles Ohio
Highland County/Adams County

This is a complicated story.  A former Hillsboro woman,  who had been ordered by the courts to NOT own dogs due to prior abuse and irresponsible behavior, was found in possession of sixteen dogs, at least one of them stolen.  Olivia Gale Youst, 27, and Molly Elizabeth Salser, 26, were charged with petty theft and tampering with evidence after the sixteen dogs were confiscated.  Please read this story yourself, how do people get away with this stuff for so long?  Yost's history includes charges that her pit bull constantly ran at large in Hillsboro and killed a German Shepherd within an hour of being caught by the county dog warden and returned to Yost.
Per the Times Gazette.  " The dog warden said Yost seems to prefer pit bulls and chihuahuas and that there is some question of whether or not she owns all the dogs that were in the Peebles home.
The Adams County Sheriff’s Office has pictures of the dogs on its Facebook page with the following message: “These dogs were recovered from a residence located in the area of Jones Rd in Peebles, OH. If you recognize any of these dogs and they belong to you or know the owners please contact the Adams County Dog Pound at 937-544-2431. If your dog is recovered and want to pursue theft charges please contact the Adams County Sheriff Office at 937-544-2314.”
Some of the dogs that were confiscated Sunday from the Peebles home of a former Hillsboro resident are shown in these photographs.
Confiscated dog, not looking too good.

Two more, also not looking too good.


Salzer                           I have nothing further to say about this one. 

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Brooklyn Ohio
Cuyahoga County

A 13-year-old boy was attacked by a pit bull while he was walking home from school.  A classic pin-and-run attack.  The pit bull owner, a female, had been talking on her phone with the pit bull's leash under her foot.  The pit bull lunged at the boy, biting him on the bicep. Per News 5 Cleveland "The bite was bad enough, but Timothy and his parents got really fired up when the woman left without calling for help or giving him contact information, so she could show proof the dog was up-to-date on his rabies shots.
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In a huge computer glitch, about a year's links to Ohio pit bull maulings has just disappeared.  Makes my life easier but a sad loss.

Ohio pit bulls will do their very best to keep me busy.  I remember a few of these items, will write about them and try to stay current in the future.