Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ohio: Judie Brown, owner of Caroline's Kids Pet Rescue files lawsuit to prevent criminal prosecution

OHIO -- Caroline’s Kids owners Tom and Judie Brown have hired attorney Gregory Sasse, who has filed a $5 million federal lawsuit in Cleveland against the Lake Humane Society over the seizure of 161 cats from their animal rescue called "Caroline’s Kids Pet Rescue".

In addition, Sasse is seeking to halt criminal prosecution that is already in progress of Ellen Distler and Virginia Lee, volunteer workers at the private Concord Township animal shelter that is devoted exclusively to cats.

“The out-of-control criminal behavior of humane societies is a hidden national problem,” Sasse said in a news release. “Humane societies are privately funded. Their directors and board members often receive generous salaries, and the societies must pay their private police and prosecutors. To get the money they need, humane societies bust pet owners and private rescue shelters, using extortion and threats of arrest and/or prosecution to coerce the surrender of animals and the payment of illegal restitution to the humane society.”

Caroline’s Kids accepts abandoned, feral, ill and dying cats and they are allowed to freely roam the sanctuary. The shelter is funded solely through private donations.

On Nov. 28, Caroline’s Kids was raided by Humane Society officials, who had received a complaint about the conditions of multiple cats.

Humane Society officials claimed more than 60 percent of the cats had untreated medical conditions, many of whom were not sequestered in quarantine areas.

According to the lawsuit:

• Ohio humane societies are not true arms of the state, but rather “self-declared philanthropists” and illegal, corrupt enterprises that allow a private group to hire its own “biased” police and prosecutors.

“The Mafia, at its height, would have envied the illegal enterprise ... and operates under a protective blanket of legal immunity in the name of the state,” Sasse stated. “(Humane Society special prosecutors) have discovered a profitable niche in operating the illegal enterprise and have padded that niche by trampling people who love animals and by tormenting, killing and adopting out pets for profit.”

• Lake County Humane Society officials seized healthy and well-cared for pets and manipulated the press by providing reporters “negative, unpleasant, unrepresentative photographs of animals at a private shelter.” For instance, a photo of a 21-year-old dying cat kept in the Caroline’s Kids hospice unit was given to The News-Herald with the representation that the cat’s condition represented the care given to all animals at the facility.

• Lake Humane Society Executive Director Lee Nesler threatened to call the police if Mentor resident Patricia Nowak continued to visit her “frightened, depressed and suffering seized dog at the Lake Humane shelter.”

• The Humane Society confined seized cats from Caroline’s Kids in small carrier cages for at least three weeks after their seizure.

• The Humane Society attempted to extort the Browns for $48,000 in illegal “restitution” payments.

• The most significant factor in the prosecution of Caroline’s Kids volunteers is that the shelter receives charitable donations that might otherwise go to Lake Humane Society.

• The Humane Society operates an animal “death camp” for unadoptable pets to maximize profits.


>>Read the full lawsuit

The Lake Humane Society released a statement after learning of the civil suit.

“There are currently criminal animal cruelty charges pending in the Painesville Municipal Court against four defendants related to the Caroline’s Kids seizure,” Nesler said in the statement. 

“In addition to the lawsuit, the attorney representing the defendants in these cases published a malicious press release containing false, defamatory statements about those named in the lawsuit and other respected area animal welfare organizations across the state. This statement and lawsuit appear to be intended to derail the pending animal cruelty charges.

“... Any claims that LHS pursued this case, or any case for financial gain is false. LHS is committed to ensuring justice for animals that suffer due to neglect and cruelty and has acted in this capacity since 1937. LHS will seek legal representation to protect its good name and ensure continuing justice for all animals in Lake County.

Ultimately, a judge will decide if these defendants are guilty of animal cruelty, but neither LHS, nor the prosecutor, will be intimidated by these tactics.”

(News Herald - Feb 15, 2017)


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Georgia: Officer says his 'training kicked in' during Rottweiler attack

GEORGIA -- A police officer on his way to work said “my training kicked in” Saturday when he came up on a man being attacked by two dogs.

Social Circle police Officer Robert Orr is being hailed for his quick thinking. Orr shot two Rottweilers that attacked 52-year-old Tommy Joe Byrd in Monroe.

Orr was driving to work from his home in Gratis when he came up on the attack at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday. Orr shot the dogs, causing them to run from Byrd.

Byrd since has been in a medically induced coma at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.

Orr said he was alerted by a car on the side of East Marable Street using its emergency flashers and thought it was a stranded motorist — until he saw Byrd lying on the ground with the dogs.

“Then my training kicked in,” Orr said.

The officer told the dogs to stop, as he said police officers are trained. But when one of the dogs charged at him, Orr shot it twice. Then he shot the other dog.

“One dog died on the scene, the other dog went on down to the wood line,” Orr said. “I gave help to Mr. Byrd, who continued yelling ‘Help, help, help.’

(Walton Tribune - March 22, 2017)

North Carolina: Man, service dog attacked by pit bull

NORTH CAROLINA -- A pit bull attacked a man and his service dog Tuesday morning in north Charlotte, police said.

The man was seriously hurt after the dog bit his face, his hands and his arms. The man's service dog was hurt, but is expected to recover.

The incident was reported just midnight on Redding Glen Avenue near WT Harris Boulevard.

The man was walking his service dog when a loose pit bull crossed the street and attempted to attack his dog. The man intervened and was attacked himself.

"It does scare me. It does alarm me," said neighbor Robert Floyd.

Floyd said there are more than a dozen pit bulls in the neighborhood and many of them escape easily from their yards.

"I have encountered probably six or seven different pit bulls loose," Floyd said.

While Floyd hasn't noticed any aggression toward him or his two dogs, he said he never lets down his guard.

Neighbor of the victim

"They shouldn't be loose. We have leash laws in the city. We have leash laws in the homeowners' association. This should not be happening," Floyd said.

Animal control officers said the pit bull that attacked the man ran out of a garage.

A neighbor who witnessed the attack rushed in to help the man and his service dog.

"Animal control should be out here holding that owner accountable. The owner should be charged," Floyd said.

Officials did not say whether charges will be filed against the dog's owner.

Floyd said it's time for the rest of his neighbors to keep lock their dogs locked up at home.

"They're being careless. They don't intend for them to get out, but they do get out, so they're just being a little too haphazard, a little too careless,” Floyd said.

Neighbors told Channel 9 that they are taking their safety concerns to the police officer who patrols their community.

The pit bull is in rabies quarantine at animal control after the attack.

(WSOCTV - March 21, 2017)

Illinois: Mother says police refused to come after a pit bull attacked her son; now no one knows where it's at

ILLINOIS -- A mother in the western suburbs is angry over the lack of police response to a pit bull attack on her son.

Chris Kazmierczak is bandaged up today. His mother, Jeanne Cooney, says he will need to undergo rabies treatment if the animal isn't found.

Kazmierczak says he was viciously attacked by a white pit bull that seemed to come out of nowhere.

His bandages are covering up a gaping wound on his left arm. In all, he says he has about 30 bite marks.

Monday night, the 22 year old was walking to his car with a friend near Krempels Park in Bensenville.

"I started running a little bit because I was cold," says Kazmierczak.

He was almost at the car when he heard something running up behind him.

"...(I) turned around to see what it was and next thing I know the thing was on my arm," says Kazmierczak.

The white pit bull had a collar.

Chris says the attack lasted less than twenty terrifying seconds before his friend was finally able to kick and pull the dog off.

"If he wasn't there I don't think I would've been able to get him off. It kept coming back and biting and biting. I'm thankful he was there," he says.

Kazmierczak does construction for a living and he won't be able to work with his hands for at least two months.

"I called when this happened that night and the sergeant decided not to come," says Cooney.

Cooney says Bensenville Police have been slow to investigate the incident. She took him to file the police report yesterday. She says they need to find the dog so this doesn't happen again.

"That dog could certainly kill a child. Could have killed Chris if his friend wasn't here."

Bensenville's police chief says they do take this seriously and they have patrols on the lookout for the dog.

The family also plans on going door to door in this area to get the word out and see if they can help track down the owner.

(WGN - March 16, 2017)

North Carolina: Woman in critical condition after being attacked by two Great Danes

NORTH CAROLINA -- A Linden woman is now recovering from injuries she received Sunday night when she was attacked by two Great Danes near her home.

According to Cumberland County Animal Control Director Dr. John A. Lauby, Monica Stephenson was jogging on Sunnyfield Lane near Linden between 5 and 6 p.m. Sunday when the attack occurred. Dr. Lauby described the attack as “very savage.”

According to Dr. Lauby, Ms. Stephenson was familiar with the dogs and had played with them in the past. The owner of the dogs is Scott Nesbitt.

The dogs, named Nora and Olaf, got out of their owner’s fenced-in yard prior to the attack on Ms. Stephenson.

The new-found freedom sparked a natural instinct in the dogs, according to Dr. Lauby.

“Once they left the property they reverted to their pack-like behavior,” Dr. Lauby said. “They chase things down and attack.”

A neighbor heard Ms. Stephenson screaming and helped get the dogs off her.

Both of the dogs were surrendered to animal control officials and were euthanized.

Dr. Lauby said because leash laws were violated, an investigation will continue, but he said the owners are apologetic.

“They did everything right with these dogs. They were well cared for, groomed and vaccinated,” Dr. Lauby said. “This is just a terrible thing that happened and the owners feel bad about it.”

Ms. Stephenson was first taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and was then transported to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. According to UNC Hospitals spokesperson Tom Hughes, Ms. Stephenson remained in critical condition as of Monday afternoon.

Mr. Hughes could not release specifics on Ms. Stephenson’s injuries. Dr. Lauby also said he could not comment on the extent of Ms. Stephenson’s injuries.

The Fayetteville Observer reported that said one of the bites on the victim’s neck separated a cervical vertebrae from the spine.

According to Dr. Lauby, Great Dane attacks are not common.

“It happens, but it is not one of the breeds you usually see in an attack like this,” Dr. Lauby said.

(The Daily Record - March 21, 2017)

Oregon: Family's 20-lb pet iguana saved from house fire

OREGON -- A fire did damage to a house in Pendleton, but the family — and their 20-pound iguana — were not hurt.

Shawn Penninger, the assistant chief of the Pendleton Fire Department, said the department got the call to 2600 S.W. Goodwin Ave. at 4:43 p.m.

Four vehicles initially responded before the department called for reserves and support from the tribal and Pilot Rock departments.

A family of three lives in the house, and only one adult was home at the time of the fire.

Firefighters removed an iguana from the home and gave it oxygen.

Penninger said preliminary investigation shows the cause of the fire was improperly disposed smoking material. Firefighters cleared from the scene after about two hours.

(East Oregonian - March 10, 2017)

Colorado: DNA test shows Aurora dog not a wolf, despite animal control belief

COLORADO -- Tracy Abbato says DNA results show her dog Capone is not part wolf as Aurora Animal Control suspected.

“The results came back NEGATIVE. Not an ounce of wolf,” Abbato told Denver7.

City of Aurora spokesman Michael Bryant said he couldn’t comment on the DNA test because Capone is mired in an ongoing legal case. Capone will remain at the Aurora Animal Shelter until a court can determine whether he goes home.

The dog’s owners were charged with keeping a wild, exotic or dangerous animal, which was related to suspicion the dog was a wolf hybrid.

While a DNA test might have proven that Capone is 100 percent dog, his owners still face charges of keeping an aggressive or dangerous animal, allowing him to roam at large, failure to obtain an animal license and failing to make sure the dog had a rabies vaccine.

Tito Serrano, who co-owns the dog with Abbato, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, Bryant said.

Bryant said the dog was picked up because it was running at large and acting aggressively. Animal Control ordered the DNA test after the department’s animal experts observed his physical characteristics and believed them to be consistent with those of a wolf hybrid.

If the tests had determined the dog was a wolf hybrid, it would not have been returned to the family because Aurora city ordinance prohibits exotic animals.

A disposition hearing scheduled for Aurora Municipal Court at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday could decide if the dog goes home or remains at the shelter pending a trial that would be set at a later date. The hearing will determine whether public safety can be assured if Capone is returned home, Bryant said.

If not, the court could order Capone surrendered to Animal Services. Bryant said it is too early to predict whether that would lead to the dog being euthanized.

(The Denver Post - March 20, 2017)


Virginia: Sheriff's deputy kills pit bull which attacked him during arrest

VIRGINIA -- A sheriff's deputy shot and killed a pit bull that attacked him as he was making an arrest.

The Winchester Star reported Saturday that a deputy with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office had gone to a home in Stephens City Thursday evening to arrest a man wanted in Harrisonburg.

Sheriff's office spokesman Capt. Aleck Beeman said the pit bull ran out of the house and attacked the deputy after the man who was being placed under arrest opened the door.

The deputy was treated for minor injuries.

The county commonwealth's attorney ruled the shooting to be justified.

( - March 12, 2017)

Florida: Toddler hospitalized after attack by dog in Miami home

FLORIDA -- Panic erupted outside a Miami family’s home after, police said, a neighbor’s dog bit a 14-month-old girl in the face, Saturday morning.

Surveillance cameras captured a woman carrying a child into a neighboring unit, located in the area of Northwest 21st Avenue and 26th Street. A dog is then seen following them inside.

Moments later, several people are seen pouring out of the unit with their hands on their heads after, Miami Police said, the toddler was bitten.

News of the frightening incident traveled quickly throughout the neighborhood.

“At first I thought it was [my child], because my mom called and said, “Oh, my God, the baby’s face almost got ripped off!'” said area resident Laidy Ducos.

Ducos’ mother, Maria, who lives near the home, heard the screams before rushing in and calling for help. “The [toddler’s] mom was obviously going nuts, picking up her daughter, trying to clean the blood off her face, screaming,” said Ducos. “That’s when [my mother] grabbed the phone and called 911.”

The young girl’s family said the incident happened while she was eating. Relatives said the dog bit her in the face while trying to grab a piece of chicken.

“I love animals, but it’s crazy,” said Ducos. “Animals shouldn’t be attacking babies.”

What unfolded afterwards outside the residence happened fast. The dog’s owner flagged down an ambulance and first responders rendered aid as soon as they arrived.

The child was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital Pediatric Center. Fortunately, her wounds were not life-threatening and she is expected to be OK.

Meanwhile, emotions ran high outside the home, as two people started fighting.

Miami-Dade Animal Services later responded to pull the dog from the home.

According to the victim’s family, the dog involved in the attack belongs to a neighbor. Officials described the canine as a female brown brindle terrier mix.

Ducos said she is concerned for her 8-month-old niece. “That dog tried to fight our dog one day, was really aggressive towards him,” she said, “so my mom said he needs to be put down, because he came here once and tried to fight our dog.”

Animal Services officials said the owner has made a request to euthanize the dog.

(7News - March 11, 2017)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

New York: After man can't stop pit bull attack, police arrive and shoot the dogs

NEW YORK -- Two pit bulls that had been viciously chomping on a man for over 15 minutes in a Brooklyn home were shot and killed by police because the officers were unable to whack the dogs off with a two-by-four, witnesses and police said.

Officers responded to the home on Hancock Street in Bushwick around 10:30 p.m. Saturday and saw the dogs viciously attacking Paul “Nitty” Davis, 50, who had been renting out some space in the basement.

Davis was taken to King’s County Hospital with bites to his arms and legs and is in stable condition, officials said.

Devon Dixon, another resident of the home, said Davis was a bloody mess, but was awake and alert when he was put into the ambulance.

Dixon admitted to The Post it was the fault of his animal-loving character that the aggressive dogs were inside the house.

He rescued them two weeks earlier, he said, because he saw the dogs chained up and unattended in the yard of a neighbor, who he knew had taken off on a trip to Pennsylvania.

“They were both drooling out the mouth and people were going across the street to get away from them,” he said. “I fed them right there, then brought them home.”

Dixon said he was hosting a party Saturday on the first floor of the home when the dogs suddenly began growling and attacking Davis one floor below.

As Davis screamed, Dixon said he called the cops, grabbed a two-by-four and went to help.

“I see Nitty, he’s over on the couch with both dogs on him. One’s got his leg and the other one’s got his arm,” said the still-shaken 26-year-old.

He said he tried to hit them with the beam, but they charged at him.

“I jumped over the couch and ran out of the room and slammed the door,” he said.”The dog ran back and jumped on Nitty …At that point they were full-flesh into him.”

Dixon said four or five officers responded to the call.

“I told them ‘I’ve been hitting them with a two-by-four, I’ve been spraying them with mace, and they’re not letting go.’”

Dixon said responding officers also tried to pry the frenzied beasts away from their victim with the beam — but ended up having to take out their weapons.

“I heard at least ten gunshots. It was at least a whole round. But they had to — Nitty was losing a lot of blood. They bit him all the way down to his bone where you could see the definition of his bone. You could see the veins in his legs and everything.”

Davis’s niece, Diana Rodriguez, 21, said she rushed over as soon as she heard. She said she had met the dogs during her last visit and was already alarmed by the younger dog’s demeanor.

“He had that ‘I don’t give a f–k’ face,” she said.

“These dogs didn’t really know us. We didn’t know about these dogs. We had the heart to bring them back here when the real owner had no heart. They played like they were nice, but they were really f–king vicious.”

(NY Post - March 12, 2017)

Indiana: Police Officer Attacked by Pit Bull During Domestic Violence Call

INDIANA -- A Gary Police Officer was treated at the scene by Gary Fire Department personnel early this morning after he was attacked by a pit bull during an investigation regarding a domestic violence call.

According to the report from Lt. Thomas Pawlak, officers were dispatched to the 4200 block of Van Buren at approximately 4:00 a.m. after juveniles in a home called 9-1-1 to report their mother was being battered.

According to Lt. Pawlak, the home was dark when officers arrived and no one answered the door. Juveniles inside the home then texted 9-1-1 dispatch to tell them that they were in the home, feared for their safety and were not allowed to answer the door.

Officers ultimately made contact with a female resident who had blood on her shirt and a swollen eye. The female denied she was being battered and the male would not come out. Officers determined that the female had an Order of Protection against Mario Moody.

Officers determined from conversations with the female that Mario Moody was in the basement of the house.

As officers attempted to get Moody to come out to speak with them, someone set a pit bull dog that had been locked in a bedroom free.

Officers fled the residence and the pit bull pushed through a door and pursued them into the front yard of the home.

One officer was attacked by the dog and was on the ground with the pit bull attacking him. Fearing for his partner’s safety, the other officer discharged his service weapon fatally wounding the pit bull.

The officer that was attacked sustained injuries to his left thigh and buttocks area. He was treated at the scene by Gary Fire Department.

Mario A. Moody was arrested and charged with invasion of privacy.

(NWI Gazette - March 19, 2017

United Kingdom: ‘It was determined to finish my dog off’: Warning after terrifying attack on pet at Chapel St Leonards

UNITED KINGDOM -- A Westie owner from Chapel St Leonards has described a terrifying attack by a Pit Bull-type dog that has left his pet fighting for its life.

Nine-year-old Charlie was almost home after his teatime walk on Saturday when the dog pounced on him and grabbed him by his neck.

Charlie’s owner, Derek Wood, said: “We had just got through the entrance to the Sandy Acre Chalet Site when this Pit Bull-type dog jumped on Charlie and got his mouth round his neck.

“I got down on the floor to get the dog off and the owner managed to get the dog but it broke free and attacked again.

“I got Charlie away and at one point had my hand was in the Pit Bull’s mouth to keep him off.

“We managed to get through my gate but the dog was still jumping up at the fence.
"If it had been a child walking their dog they could have been killed" - Derek Wood, owner of attacked dog
“Then it managed to get over the fence and was jumping up at my chalet window. It was determined to finish Charlie off.”

Mr Wood said he called the police but the dog and its owner were gone before they arrived.

He said: “The dog’s owner had the cheek to ask me if I had a spare lead.

“Charlie was covered in blood - that attack must have gone on for 10 minutes. It was terrifying.”

Charlie was taken to the emergency vet at Spilsby. Mr Wood said: “Charlie has two or three deep puncture wounds in his neck and has a drain in. He didn’t have a good night and we are taking him back to the vet later today.

“But he’s being very brave. He can’t jump up like he usually does but he wants to walk.”

Mr Wood and his wife, Susan, have had Charlie since he was six weeks old.

“We would be lost without him. This has really upset us,” said Mr Wood.

“We want to warn anyone walking their dog in the area to be vigilant if they see the dog. If it had been a child walking their dog they could have been killed.”

The Pit Bull-type dog has been described as plain lightish brown. If anyone has any information that could help police find the owner, call 101, quoting incident 360.

(Skegness Standard - March 14, 2017)

Texas: Pit bull put down after attacking Garland 10-year-old. City officials say they can't do anything unless the officer actually sees the dog in violation. I'm calling BS on that one...

TEXAS -- Garland Animal Control put down a pit bull that had been well-known in a neighborhood.

Residents say they had complained about the dog multiple times in the past. And over the weekend, it attacked a 10-year-old boy.

The young boy was taken to Cook Children's Hospital after the attack Saturday with several bites on his upper body.

The owners turned the pit bull over to animal control, and the dog was euthanized for rabies testing. Despite multiple calls to animal control, neighbors don't think animal control did enough to prevent this.

10-year old Jowell Boyer has scratches and bites all over his body and staples on the back of his head.

Jowell was playing in this back alley with his twin sister while their dad was working inside the house when the dog came out from under the fence and straight for them. His sister ran to a nearby dumpster to get away.

“She jumped in and laid down as far as she could,” Jowell recalled.

But he didn't make it that far. Jowell says the dog went straight for him, tackling him to the ground.

“The dog was biting me, swinging my head, on my neck,” he said. “I was thinking I was going to die or something. But I was very, very scared when that happened.”

The 10-year-old says he got free and started kicking the dog before the owner intervened, calling the dog back to the house.

But neighbors say the problem was a long time coming. They had called animal control multiple times before complaining the dog was behaving aggressively and once running loose.

“I kid you not, it took four leaps for him to get over here,” said neighbor Olivia Hernandez. “And I mean he charges the fence hard.”

Garland Animal Control says they responded to complaints about the same pit bull five times since last November and cited the owners for failing to register the dog.

They also gave them a 30-day deadline to put up a six-foot fence to replace the chain link fence a neighbor photographed before Saturday's attack.

“Each time we went out there, we never observed the dog running at large,” said Jason Chessher with the city of Garland. “So there's no option for enforcement unless our officers observe a violation.”

How is that possible? If a witness is willing to come in, be sworn in by a sitting judge and testify as to what they saw... when police respond to a domestic violence call and the victim says her boyfriend beat her up, do the police tell her, "Well, we didn't see him punching and kicking you, so we can't do anything about it. Call us when he beats you again. Maybe we'll get here in time to actually see him beating you. Bye!"

City officials say they did what they could according to the policies in place.

“We work at least one bite a day, 350 to 400 bites a year,” Chessher explained. “It would be nice to prevent all of those, but we simply can't.”

But for Jowell’s family, that answer is not enough.

“There's proof right here they did not do enough,” said Rick Boyer, Jowell’s father. “That is an unacceptable answer.”

The boy’s family plans to pursue a lawsuit against the dog's owners and the city. They also said they want to pursue charges.

Garland police are investigating but no charges have been filed.

(Fox4 - March 17, 2017)


Illinois: Rottweiler shot after charging kids, police officer

ILLINOIS -- A big dog was shot and wounded in Naperville when it charged some children, then went after a police officer.

Two Rottweilers somehow got out of their house and roamed the 5000 block of Christa Drive Wednesday afternoon.

The kids were chased as they got off a school bus; when the dogs turned on the police officer, he shot one of them in the leg.

Both dogs ran back to their home. The injured one was treated.

The owner was charged with letting her dogs run loose.

(WGN - March 16, 2017)

Colorado: Unsuspecting families end up with 2 dogs linked to fatal attack. Police have no plans on doing anything about it.

COLORADO -- Otto was dropped off at the Polk County Humane Society.

Chubbs was given away through a Craigslist ad.

The new owners say their pet boxers have become friendly members of their families. But both owners said they were unaware when they got them that the dogs had been connected to a gruesome attack several months earlier.

Christian County Sheriff's Office investigation documents reveal the two boxer dogs were linked by DNA analysis to the fatal mauling of an elderly Rogersville man in late 2015.

The new owners say they were surprised when investigators contacted them and sought permission to swab the dogs' mouths for saliva to get a DNA sample as part of their probe into what killed rural Rogersville resident Werner Vogt.

More than a year after Vogt died, the sheriff's investigation into his death remains open.

"Otto" arrived at the Polk County Humane Society on Feb. 9, 2016, nearly three months after Vogt was savagely attacked while riding his bicycle near his family's home. Olen Asby said he at first didn't notice the brindle boxer back in one of the pens, but quickly made a connection with the dog.

"I hated the name Otto," said Asby, who lives in rural Halfway north of Pleasant Hope. "He didn't seem like an Otto, so I named him Bubba."

Bubba was skittish at first but eventually warmed to Asby's family members and their two other dogs. The large boxer filled a void left after Asby's beloved  English bulldog had to be put to sleep.

Olen lives with his parents, Wayne and Carla Asby, who said they found Bubba to be a gentle and friendly companion inside their house.

"He'll come up with me and sit on the couch," Wayne Asby said. "Eighty percent of the time he'll lay right there at the top of the stairs and watch the windows, waiting for Olen to get back here. From the day we got him, he hasn't made any attempt at biting somebody or attacking anything."

Carla Asby said she was shocked when a sheriff's investigator called out of the blue three months after Bubba had been adopted, asking permission to get a saliva sample.

"He said there's a case in Christian County involving a dog attack," she recalled. "Oh my goodness. I remembered hearing about that. Why would they think Bubba was involved in that? You're thinking 'our dog might have killed someone.' Your mind goes crazy trying to process that."

They consented to the test, still not believing Bubba could have been involved. Asked whether she was worried Bubba might pose a danger to her family or young relatives, Carla Asby said "no."

"He's a love bug. That's what he is."

According to sheriff's investigators, the DNA swab from Otto, now called Bubba, came back with genetic markers that were a perfect match with dog saliva found on Werner Vogt's clothing.

Carla Asby said there was no indication in an adoption document provided by the man who left Bubba at the humane society that the dog might have been involved with the Vogt attack.

In the information she received during the adoption process, Carla Asby said the man who left the dog there described the boxer as a "couch potato" that was scared of cars and people, but didn't give any real reason why he was giving up the dog.

Jessie Shepardson, director of the Polk County Humane Society, looked up the initial paperwork that was provided by the man who dropped off the dog. She said there were "no red flags" that arose during the transaction. On a standard form about the dog that asks whether the dog had bitten anyone within the past 10 days, the man marked "No."

The owner purposely lied:

"Joseph told me at the time this occurred he owned four boxers, Chubs, Otto, Hugo & Bruno," Elliott wrote in his report. "Joseph said the dogs that were running loose at the time of the attack were Chubs, Otto and Hugo.

"Joseph said since the attack, concerned that his dogs could have been responsible, he got rid of Chubs and Otto. It seemed to me that Joseph believed his dogs were likely responsible, and told me he just couldn't allow himself to keep the dogs, especially since he has a little boy."

She also recalled that the man noted the dog "doesn't do well with little kids — he knocks them down — and would do well with a family where there were adults only and no kids." There was no mention of the fatal attack involving Werner Vogt in any of the paperwork that was filed by the man who brought the dog in, she said.

The Asbys' rural residence, surrounded by cow pastures with few homes nearby, isn't fenced, and the family said Bubba mostly stays indoors but is allowed outside without a leash to run with the family's large outdoors dog named Billy.

"He just stays around the area," Olen Asby said, of Bubba. "He doesn't get off the land at any point. He always comes back."

Olen said his biggest fear is that because of the incident involving Werner Vogt, he might be forced to give Bubba to the authorities.

"I would be broken in half, and mad because they did instead of just letting him be, you know," he said.

The Asbys acknowledged they were warned about Bubba's past by the investigator who took the DNA sample.

"He said, 'I will tell you if he bites someone and causes major problems it would come back on you'," Carla Asby recalled.

Dan Kilmer, who lives west of Springfield, said he got a similar warning when investigators came to take a DNA swab from the boxer dog he got through a Craigslist ad.

Like the Asbys, Kilmer had his new boxer dog, named Chubbs, for several months before he was contacted by the Christian County Sheriff's Office seeking a saliva sample from his family's new pet.

"We were looking for a boxer because we used to raise them," said Kilmer, who lives in a rural subdivision west of Springfield. "The owner wanted to meet us at a neutral place so we met her at a pet store on Republic Road. Chubbs seemed like a good dog."

The Craigslist ad listed the dog for $100, which Kilmer said he was happy to pay, but the owner decided just to give the dog to him, with no payment at all.

Anyone else think the reason he unloaded these dogs is because he KNEW or SUSPECTED that it was his dogs that had attacked and killed his neighbor??

Chubbs has turned out to be a friendly member of the family, Kilmer said, and has caused no problems.

But when his wife got a call from investigators seeking a DNA sample from Chubbs, Kilmer became concerned. He had seen media reports about the fatal animal attack involving Werner Vogt and soon learned from the DNA testing that Chubbs was linked to the incident.

Because Chubbs has been such a good family pet, Kilmer said he has no plans to get rid of him. But Kilmer also said he would not have taken the dog had he known Chubbs was connected to Vogt's death.

Chubbs is contained behind a tall metal fence and is never allowed to run free, Kilmer said.

"He's either in the house or in the fenced yard," he said. "He's very well natured, one of the best dogs I've ever had."

Polk County and Greene County sheriff's offices have been alerted to the location of both dogs, according to a Christian County Sheriff's Office investigative report. Like the Asbys, Kilmer said investigators warned him about possible consequences if Chubbs were to bite somebody.

"They said if something happens I could be brought up on felony charges myself, because now I know about him," he said.

Despite that, Kilmer said he still has no plans to get rid of Chubbs.

"I've got nieces and nephews who come out here all the time and there's been no problem," he said. "He's not shown any aggression and has never been rough with anyone."

(News leader - March 11, 2017)

Read more: has a very thorough breakdown of how this case was seemingly bungled. How does it take 2 years to get DNA results? Why didn't they seize the dogs when they suspected them? The owner suspected the dogs were involved in the death of his neighbor, but still pawned the dogs off to the shelter and someone on craigslist without ever telling them his suspicions. Now it doesn't appear that the police intend to seize and destroy the dogs either. 

New York: Judge Orders Death for Dogs That Fatally Mauled Mom in Her Own Home

NEW YORK -- A Mariner's Harbor woman has lost a bid to save her family dogs that the city marked for death after they fatally mauled her mother, a judge ruled.

The German shepherd mix-breed dogs, Jacob and Panda, attacked and killed Daisie Bradshaw, 65, in her Simonson Avenue basement apartment on Oct. 25, 2016.

Bradshaw's daughter and the dogs' owner, Dawn Schoentube, 47, testified on March 3 that her mother was disoriented after taking prescription medication and prompted the vicious attack by startling the dogs.

The city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene notified the family in February that the dogs would be euthanized.

The city's health code allows pets to be put down if they attack or kill someone in a place where that person is allowed to be and the animals are still deemed to be dangerous.

Schoentube argued during a March 3 hearing at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings that the dogs should be saved because her mother encroached on their turf.

"She shouldn't have been there," Schoentube, 47, who had been living in the basement apartment at the time, said at the hearing in Lower Manhattan. "Yes, she was my mother, but she was an intruder in my apartment."

She also suggested that her mother had had a epileptic seizure, confusing the dogs and causing them to maul her.

Administrative Law Judge Noel Garcia was not convinced by the testimony, ruling that "the evidence established that Jacob and Panda are dangerous dogs under the health code and are a risk to public safety."

German Shepherd mixes? The left looks like it has some pit
in it and the one on the right looks like a red heeler mix.

He recommended the pets be humanely euthanized as allowed under the code. The Health Department has no timeframe for when it will euthanize the dogs.

Ray Schoentube, Dawn's husband, said he had a copy of the judge's ruling but had not read it yet.

He complained that his wife had reached out to animal control officials about seeing Jacob and Panda, but her calls were not returned.

(DNA Info - March 14, 2017)


Colorado: Pit bull attacks Craig police officer while on domestic violence call Saturday

COLORADO -- Officer Jeff Bond with Craig Police Department was greeted with an unpleasant surprise when he knocked on the door of a Davis House apartment on School Street in the early hours of Saturday morning.

He and Officer Will Roland were responding to a domestic violence call around 2:30 a.m. — reportedly loud and suspected to be physical — but when the woman opened the door to her apartment, according to police notes, two adult pit bulls sprang out and attacked Bond.

The two dogs sank their teeth into his left arm and left hand. Bond already had his taser in hand in case a physical fight was still under way and was able to tase one dog, temporarily disabling it, Craig Police Commander Bill Leonard said.

The other dog quickly turned to attack Roland, who, in an instant, drew his firearm and fired a single shot at the dog, severely wounding it.

“As I recall from watching the video, the approximate time from when the door opened until everything was done as far the dogs were concerned was five seconds or less. It was really fast,” said Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta.

Additional police officers, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado State Patrol responded to the scene, and Bond was transported to The Memorial Hospital. No stitches were required and he is expected to return to duty for his normal shift this week.

“He’s still sore obviously. The wounds will have to finish healing but are not enough to keep him away from work,” Vanatta said.

The pit bull that was shot was treated by a local veterinarian, but did not survive.

Neighbor Baden Whitehead had recently returned home from work when the incident took place, and said he heard officers knock at least twice and then kick the door in. He had known the dog that was shot; it belonged to the resident of the apartment, who was not involved in the dispute.

“The dog has no malicious instinct whatsoever, but when someone breaks down your door, they’re going to come after you,” Whitehead said. “The dog was just protecting its owner, but in my opinion, the police did nothing wrong, they did their job.”

The pit bull that had been tased ran away from the scene and was located later by Animal Control. It is currently being held until the courts determine the dog’s fate and whether it should be euthanized, Leonard said.

“Officer Roland’s reaction when the dog tried to attack him was almost instantaneous,” Vanatta said. “He had seen the dog attack one officer and then saw it coming for him and he was trying to protect himself, which is what I would expect him to do.”

Though all police officers are trained in techniques for dealing with aggressive dogs, the incident took place too quickly and suddenly for the officers to apply those techniques in this case, Vanatta said.

A use-of-force review board will investigate the incident per department policy, which is required any time officers use a firearm outside of training, recreation or for euthanizing injured wildlife on roadsides.

The woman, 28-year-old Sheena Gipson, was arrested on charges of alleged domestic violence, third-degree and second-degree assault, and unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog.

The man, 28-year-old Russell Cole Billings, jumped out a window as officers were arriving. He was apprehended within a couple hours with a cut to his face caused by his window exit, which required stitches. He was arrested for allegedly obstructing a peace officer.

(Craig Daily Press - March 15, 2017)

Texas: 10-Year-Old Fights Off Pit Bull Attack. Parents say animal control didn't do enough to keep him safe.

TEXAS -- A 10-year-old boy in Garland is recovering after fighting an attack by a pit bull.

Jowell Boyer now has 27 stitches and staples in the back of his neck. He was walking home on David Drive when the dog mauled him.

His family says the city didn’t do enough to keep him safe. Since November, there have been three complaints filed with the city by neighbors who say the dog was able to get out by jumping the fence.

City officials say a citation was issued once, but they then had trouble tracking down the owner.

Garland Health Director Jason Chessher said, “Based on the review of the records that we have it appears that our staff had followed all of the procedures we have in place.”

Jowell’s father, Rick Boyer, wants changes to be made to prevent an incident like this from happening again. “I’d like to see that the policies and procedures in regards to dangerous dogs and dangerous dogs that have been identified as a nuisance… the policies and procedures be reviewed and updated,” he said.

The owner was located after the attack and with their permission the dog was taken by Garland Animal Control and euthanized.

(CBSDFW - March 16, 2017)

Pennsylvania: Victim wants dog declared dangerous, pit bulls banned

PENNSYLVANIA -- A resident wants a dog that attacked him and his wife last month declared dangerous and put down, or at least quarantined, he told the township supervisors on Monday.

Thomas J. Conlin also asked the officials to consider banning pit bulls, the same breed of dog that attacked and bit the couple, causing his wife, Marie, to fracture her leg, as they were walking on Maple Street on Feb. 22.

Conlin said that was the second time the dog has bitten someone.

Debra Whelan, who also was at the supervisors’ meeting, was bitten by the same dog in March 2016, he said. She showed a photo of a puncture wound on her arm and said the dog bit her through two shirt sleeves, one of them corduroy.

“Nancy Whelan’s case was never cited,” Conlin said. “It happened last March. I was the second attack, my wife was the third.”

John Graham, a state dog law enforcement officer, cited the owner of the dog, Samarjit Sidhu, of 304 Maple St., for allegedly harboring a dangerous dog and for allegedly failing to have the dog under reasonable control Feb. 22 in the 300 block of Maple Street.

The dog was identified as a male American red-nosed pit bull terrier, reddish brown and 2 years old, according to the citations.

Conlin said they saw the dog running loose with its leash trailing before it attacked.

“The dog ended up biting me first,” Conlin recalled for the supervisors. “He bit my arm. I punched him in the face.”

But the dog then bit his wife, on the hip and pulled down, causing her to fracture her leg, he said.

“My wife was brutally bruised,” Conlin said. “That dog has more protections than us human beings.”

He told the township officials that there is no dangerous dog ordinance in the township.

“I’m not a dog hater,” he told the supervisors, noting he has owned a black Labrador and a golden retriever. “I’m asking you to look at your zoning law. We citizens are unprotected.”

Supervisor Bill Lynn told Conlin he looked into the issue and the dangerous dog citation means the owner can plead guilty or contest the ruling. If the dog is found to be dangerous, the owner has 30 days to give up the dog, put it down or, if he keeps it, to put it in an enclosure, place a muzzle when its outside those confines and also buy a $50,000 surety bond.

According to the law, the owner also must obtain a license and register the dog at a cost of $500 per year, post warning signs, pay court-ordered restitution to victims of the attack, implant a microchip in the animal and have it spayed or neutered.

However, Pennsylvania’s Dangerous Dogs Law, enacted in 1990, prohibits municipalities from banning specific breeds, according to the township solicitor’s research.

Supervisor T.S. Scott said people should be able to walk the streets without fearing an attack from a dog.

“I empathize with how you feel,” he told Conlin. “You feel emotional. We’re all frustrated by this. But if we outlaw pit bulls, what’s to say the next day, it’s a German shepherd.”

Scott said the attacks have more to do with a particular dog than with a particular breed.

Supervisor Chairman Ken Woodruff said the supervisors need to look at the township ordinance.

Township Police Chief Sean McGinley said he spoke with Graham, who told the chief he would help the township with its dog policy.

The chief also noted that those who are licensed to carry a gun can use deadly force on a dog if it is attacking.

(Daily Item - Mar 15, 2017)


West Virginia: Frank Miller arrested on animal cruelty charges, failing to register as a sex offender

WEST VIRGINIA -- A Kanawha County man was arrested on animal cruelty charges and failure to register as a sex offender, court records show.

Frank Miller, 43, of Hernshaw, is charged with cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor, after authorities were notified about fourteen dogs and two cats “living in squalor” without proper food, water and medical treatment.

Wounds and scarring were noticeable on many of the dogs, according to the criminal complaint.

Authorities say Miller was given a matter of days to correct the situation, but failed to do so and was charged Thursday, March 9.

West Virginia State Police say Miller is also a sex offender and was housing the dogs on a rental property. State Police say Miller failed to provide the address on Lens Creek Road in Hernshaw with the West Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry.

Miller is facing 16 counts of animal cruelty and four counts of failure to register as a sex offender.

He is being held at the South Central Regional Jail. His bond was set at $25,000.

Full Name: Frank Edward Miller
Arrest Age: 43
Gender: Male
Birthdate: 10/02/1973
Height: 6'02"
Weight: 161 lbs
Arresting Agency: Kanawha County, West Virginia
NOTES: PTF Pretrial Felon

(WSAZ - March 13, 2017)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Florida: Lake County Animal Shelter taken to task for repeatedly adopting out aggressive dogs

FLORIDA -- Reccycle plastic, not dogs. That’s a lesson Lake County must learn.

After at least two recent instances of pit bull mixes biting people, Lake County Animal Control has changed its rules so that those adopting the animals know up front whether the creatures have been aggressive at the shelter and whether they’ve been returned by an owner for biting.

It’s a good policy, but it’s not enough.

Starting about two weeks ago, the shelter began giving all potential adopters copies of an animal’s record, which includes notes by workers taking care of the critters at the shelter south of Tavares on County Road 561.

Workers don’t tend to be shy in their evaluations. A couple evaluations, for example, had noted, “Not adoptable!!” after they tried to deal with Big Man, a pit mix that still managed to be placed on the adoption floor.

During a "meet and greet" in an enclosed room with Disney mechanic Chris Luhrs and his pregnant partner Julie Grant, the pit bull attacked Luhrs.

The animal kept biting while Luhrs bellowed at Grant, who was pinned in a corner, to get out of the room. Blood sprayed all over, and Grant — a pit-bull lover — started beating on the glass walls to get help.

A worker came running with a mop and used it to beat the dog off Luhrs.

Article: Man recovering from attack by pit bull up for adoption at animal shelter

Grant said a worker had told the couple Big Man the pit bull was “the shelter favorite” because of his calm demeanor, and she mentioned no problems.
Um, no. Just no. County records show four documented aggressive incidents of threatening shelter workers, including one in which he threw himself at a chain-link fence and gnawed it to get to the person on the other side.

He’d been marked for euthanasia and yet, there he was — loose in a room without an effective rabies shot with a pregnant woman. How did that even happen?

Knowing a dog’s record also might have helped a Eustis resident who took home a pit mix from an adoption event Feb. 22.

Four days later, the dog named “Heaven” attacked and bit Matt Waldron on his arms after he spoke sternly to her for doing her business in the house.

The animal enforcement officer who came to fetch Heaven noted in her report, “Once I physically saw the dog, I recognized her from Lake County Animal Services due to her documented aggressive behavior while at the facility and her prior aggressive action with our Animal Enforcement Unit.”

Yep, another recycled dog.

Heaven had been surrendered to animal control for the first time on Dec. 20 because she kept trying to attack the owner’s three children. He requested euthanasia. 

At the shelter, Heaven bared her teeth, snarled at people walking by and lunged against the chain link fence. The shelter director labeled her “unadoptable.”

Later, however, the animal consultant helping Lake change to a “no-kill” shelter for $12,000 “evaluated” the dog and saw “no concerns.” So much for the experts.

So has this two-time loser been put down?

Of course not. We don’t want to kill nice puppies. She was shuttled off to an unnamed "rescue" group that probably will pawn her off on someone else.

Let's not forget that this rescue is NOT required to disclose anything to the person who takes the dog off their hands. They can lie and say she was part of a cruelty case and was abused, making the person sympathetic and more willing to take the pit bull.

Heaven the vicious pit bull was sent to an unnamed
rescue, a rescue which is NOT legally required to tell any
adopter what they know about this dog's history. 

Saving dog lives is a worthy goal but never at the expensive of people.

Aggressive dogs should not be offered to the general public, but animal control is unwilling to make that hard decision. Instead, the operation has instituted a color-coded warning system.

A green tag on a kennel indicates the dog has no history of bad behavior and all observations from the time the animal came to the shelter are “positive,” said Brian Sheahan, Director of Lake County’s Department of Community Safety & Compliance, which includes Animal Control.

Yellow warns that the animal has something in its history that might cause the adopter to pause. For example, the dog may be aggressive to other animals or may have bitten someone, but not severely. Also, the dog may be aggressive in a kennel but friendly on the outside.

A red/pink tag tells the public that the dog has a “severe” behavior problem and that it would be more like welcoming the Hound of the Baskervilles than Lassie into the house. Still, a person who wants an aggressive dog can adopt it.

Sheahan said allowing aggressive dogs to be readopted “is currently being evaluated.”

So for now, shelter workers ask questions about the circumstances — was it a little nip, a slight snarl? Or did Bruno grab the family cat, break its neck and toss it onto the sofa? They try to determine whether the aggression was a “warning” behavior or something more.

That’s risky. Lake needs to tighten the rules for allowing adoption of aggressive animals. Such creatures shouldn’t be up adoption by the public.

Another change since Big Man attacked in February is that people who want to view dogs are required to sign forms saying they won’t sue the county if the animal rips their face off during visit.

This is just lawyer gunk.

The goal shouldn’t be to avoid legal action while adopting out aggressive dogs. It should be to match safe animals with responsible families.

If the shelter stops recycling vicious dogs, chances are good there won’t be trouble.

(Orlando Sentinel - March 8, 2017)