A Toledo-area rescue group is recovering from storm damage, but it’s facing repair bills nearly as big as its annual budget.
“Our annual operating budget is only about $2,000,” said Jane Huth, founder and president of You Lucky Dog in Oregon, Ohio. “This is really a huge hit for us because we are not very big.”
Storms caused the city sewer drain to back up into the facility, and while insurance covered much of the clean up, it didn’t cover the $1,500 bill to replace the waterlogged drywall and flooring, Huth said.
Huth said she went to the kennels where the group’s rescue dogs are kept after the storm and saw “water creeping toward the kennels … I knew I had to do something fast,” she said. She created a dam in front of where three dogs resided to keep the water from reaching them, according to the Toledo Blade.
The nonprofit organization, funded through donations, rescues about 25 dogs a year, most of which come from the Lucas County dog warden, Huth said. It recently celebrated its 11th year in operation and its 550th adoption.
Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle said the group houses about four dogs at a time, and has found homes for many dogs rescued from the county shelter, including litters of puppies, nursing moms and dogs recovering from injuries.
Tax-deductible donations to help the rescue group can be mailed to You Lucky Dog, 1510 Blandin St., Oregon, OH 43616.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, damage, dog, dogs, donations, flooding, insurance, jane huth, lucas county, nonprofit, ohio, oregon, organization, pets, rescue, storm, toledo, warden, you lucky dog
She’d left the dog inside her Toledo home when she went to work that day. She’d secured the gate of the fence around her yard. And Duke, even if he did manage to somehow get out of her house, had never left the yard before.
Curry returned home from work to find Duke was gone.
A note was left on her door by the Lucas County dog warden. When she called the phone number on it, she was informed that she was being charged with failure to confine her dog.
Toledo Police had been to her home earlier that day, back in August, after a man said he had been bitten by Duke while strolling down the sidewalk. The man said Duke pushed open the gate, attacked him then returned to the yard.
Duke was seized by the Lucas County dog warden, labeled a potentially dangerous dog, and quarantined for ten days.
She faced a misdemeanor charge that could carry a penalty of 30 days in jail.
She worried about losing her job, and her home, and having to pay hefty insurance fees as the owner of a “dangerous dog.”
And — even though she had left the door to her home unlocked — she still had no idea how her dog got out of it, or the yard.
She heard from neighbors who had seen the man walking through the neighborhood. One said she never saw Duke leave the yard — but did see the man enter it.
It was looking more and more like Duke, as opposed to miraculously escaping both house and yard, had actually just been defending his home, as Curry suspected from the start.
This week, at a pre-trial hearing, the ”failure to confine” charge against Curry ws dropped.
She still faces a charge of “failure to vaccinate.” While she claims she has the paperwork, she was unable to present it within the two days the dog warden gave her. That charge was upheld in court.
And Duke still faces a determination on whether he’s a “dangerous dog,” which could lead to restrictions that include being muzzled, having signs posted to that effect in his yard, and having to kept in a pen with a roof, according to DogHeirs.com.
The Lexus Project is handling the case against Duke and representing him in court. You can learn more about Duke, and help support his cause by visiting these links:
You can read Curry’s explanation of what’s transpired so far in the comments below.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american bulldog, animals, bite, bulldog, burglary, carissa curry, dangerous, defending, defense, dog, dog bites, dogs, duke, home, home protection, legal, ohio, pets, protecting, seized, toledo
The “Suitcase 6″ are headed to new homes.
Found zipped up inside a canvas suitcase left behind a grocery store in Toledo last month, the six bulldog pups and their mom are being awarded to winners of a lottery held among the more than 100 people who wanted to adopt them.
One of the puppies was adopted Monday afternoon by the foster mom who had been caring for him. The other five, and the mother, are being given to those whose names were pulled in a drawing, according to John Dinon, executive director of the Toldeo Humane Society. He said 132 applications submitted by those interested in giving the dogs a new home,
The organization also received more than 1,000 phone inquiries from across the country, according to the Toledo Blade.
The former owner of the dogs, Howard Davis, was charged with abandonment. He was easily tracked down by authorities because he dropped the dogs off in a suitcase with an ID tag that had his name and address on it.
Davis, who was ordered by the judge to neuter and spay all the animals in his household, will be back in court June 22 for sentencing.
At the humane society on Tuesday, Mark Taylor of Toledo was the first of the lottery winners to arrive, showing up 30 minutes before the shelter opened.
Taylor chose the pup with a spot on his white head, and planned to name him Augustus. “I knew I wanted him as soon as I saw him,” Mr. Taylor said. “He’s laid back. He reminds me of me.”
Jennice and Eddie Collier of Shaker Heights, were also winners, and allowed their 16-year-old daughter, Shontese, to miss school to pick out one of the puppies. Shontese, whose parents said had been asking for a dog for five years, named the one she chose Princess.
Other adopters included an Oregon couple, who chose the solid white puppy and named him Brutus; and David Davison of Toledo, chose the female puppy with the spot on her eye, naming her Petey because she reminded him of the dog on the Our Gang and Little Rascals series.
David and Charlotte Swincicki, who live on 10 acres in Providence Township, adopted Maddie, the mother dog, who stood guard over the suitcase filled with her pups after they were abandoned.
(Photo: THE BLADE / DAVE ZAPOTOSKY)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adopt, adopted, adopters, adoptions, animals, bulldogs, discarded, dogs, drawing, howard davis, lottery, mattie, mother, new homes, ohio, pets, puppies, puppy, suitcase, suitcase six, toledo, toledo humane society
A Toledo man stuffed six English bulldog puppies and their mother into a piece of luggage and abandoned them next to a trash bin — apparently not realizing that the canvas suitcase had a tag on it bearing his contact information.
The bag of pups — three males, three females and their mother — was dropped off behind a city business. They were picked up April 4 by the Lucas County Dog Warden’s office, according to the Toledo Blade.
On Tuesday, two counts of abandonment Tuesday were filed against Howard Davis, who lives about a quarter mile from where the dogs were dropped.
Gene Boros, a Toledo Area Humane Society cruelty officer who questioned Davis, said the man told him he had not abandoned the dogs and had given them to someone in Michigan. Boros said Davis appeared to be in the process of moving out of his home.
Passers-by initially found the dogs and unzipped the bag to give them air, said Julie Lyle, Lucas County dog warden.
“There are witnesses who said that the female is indeed Mr. Davis’ dog and that he had been trying to sell puppies,” said John Dinon, executive director of the Toledo Area Humane Society.
Davis was to be charged with two counts of either first-degree or second-degree misdemeanor abandonment. Davis will be issued a citation and given a court date, but he was not arrested, Dinon said.
The dogs were transferred to the Humane Society, where the pups and their mother, now named Maddie, are reported to be doing well.
They will be going to a foster home by the end of the week and won’t be available for adoption for at least four weeks — possibly longer since they are part of a criminal case.
(Photo: THE BLADE / DAVE ZAPOTOSKY)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animal cruelty, animals, bulldog, charged, cruelty to animals, dogs, identification, luggage, mother, ohio, pets, puppies, pups, stupid, suitcase, toledo
While there’s an old one hanging on my wall, and while I served as a juror once, I have little to say these days about Pulitzer Prizes.
The Pawlitzer Prizes are another matter, though, and, since they don’t really exist, I hereby bestow one on the Toledo Blade.
The newspaper’s report Sunday, asking and answering the question of how many dogs are put down at the local shelter under the mistaken belief they are pit bulls, is the kind of probing, hard-hitting doggie journalism we need more of — as opposed to celebrity dogs, costumed dogs, ugly dogs and cute dogs.
(It’s also the kind of journalism we need more of, in these times of fading newspapers and diminishing depth.)
The story raises some serious questions about how many supposed pit bulls have been and are being euthanized at the Lucas County Animal Shelter, where the decision of who’s a pit bull — as at most shelters — is based on an educated guess, or often an uneducated one, reached solely on the basis of looks.
The story shows that looks can be deceiving.
Written by Tanya Irwin, it’s a piece that should be required reading at every animal shelter. It starts like this:
Lucas is lucky to be alive.
The dog, owned by Laurie and George Hughes of Rossford, was one of the first “pit bull” puppies spared by the Lucas County dog warden in January, 2010, after the county commissioners changed a long-standing policy under which all “pit bulls,” no matter their age or temperament, were automatically destroyed.
The irony is that Lucas, who was transferred to the Toledo Area Humane Society, isn’t a “pit bull.”
As the story points out, recent changes in local and state law mean dogs designated as pit bulls will no longer get an automatic death sentence when they arrive at a county shelter. In practice, though, and somewhat less automatically, they still are often euthanized, due to factors like an overabundance of their kind at shelters.
The newspaper conducted DNA tests on six dogs that were originally labeled as pit bulls by the Lucas County dog warden. Using the Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel Insights DNA test, it determined only one was predominantly American Staffordshire terrier and Staffordshire bull terrier. Two had some “pit,” and three of the dogs had no “pit bull” breed in them at all
“We really don’t care what breed he is, he’s a good dog and we love him,” said Hughes. “I think it’s awful what people say about ‘pit bulls’ or dogs that look like ‘pit bulls.’ It’s like racism, except against dogs.”
Two other dogs, despite their labels, were pit-free: Carly, who turned out to be an American bulldog -American Eskimo mix, and Bandit, whose breeds were boxer, Scottish terrier, Chinook, Doberman pinscher, black Russian terrier, Irish setter, Glen of Imaal terrier, and dogue de Bordeaux.
Based on factors like a large head or broad chest, dogs are being mislabeled as pit bulls – a subjective judgment that, in the case of Toledo and Lucas County, and many other jurisdictions, can determine whether a dog lives or dies. It often also determines, in communities across America, whether you can rent, the cost of your insurance, and even whether you’re allowed into town in the first place.
Then you have the “pit bull mix,” an equally dangerous designation, also used to unfairly ban, restrict or single out dogs. Is it based on having a majority of pit bull blood, a small percentage (as my dog does, according to our own experiences with DNA testing), or any at all? No. It’s also most often a guess, based on looks, that allows even more dogs to be discriminated against.
Former Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon, who departed the office amid complaints over its high kill rate and his insistence that all dogs he deemed pit bulls must be killed, said he never considered the DNA tests to be reliable, and therefore made no use of them.
Dr. Angela Hughes, a veterinarian and the veterinary genetics research manager at Mars Veterinary, told the newspaper that the reliability of the tests has increased over the past four years, and now stands at about 80 to 85 percent in the case of the cheek-swab tests.
That’s a far better record than many an animal shelter probably has. At most of them, classifying a dog’s breed is a guessing game. Dogs shouldn’t be put to death based on a guess. In Lucas County, the article notes, thousands may have been.
“It’s impossible to know how many dogs Mr. Skeldon killed claiming they were pit bulls when they weren’t, but based on the kill rate during his more than 20 years as warden, the fact that close to half the dogs at the pound traditionally have been labeled pit bulls, and the DNA tests The Blade performed, easily thousands of dogs could have been killed because they were mislabeled pit bull.”
The Lucas County dog warden’s office continues to euthanize perceived pit bulls because it is “at capacity for ‘pit bull-type’ dogs.” Dog Warden Julie Lyle told the newspaper that — despite Ohio having recently revamped a law that labeled all pit bulls dangerous – the shelter has yet to begin adopting out pit bulls.
The state’s new dangerous dog law, which brings an end to pit bulls being automatically designated as dangerous, goes into effect May 21. But even then, pit bulls, due to their numbers, will likely remain the type of dog most often euthanized.
Dr. Amy Marder, director for the Center for Shelter Dogs, has proposed that dogs adopted from shelters in the United States simply be identified as “American shelter dogs.”
The North Shore Animal League in New York has done away with the pit bull label, in part because it’s not actually a breed, anyway. Instead the league refers to dogs who have “the look” as terrier mixes.
Lucas County dog warden Lyle thinks that approach is deceptive.
“When people think of terriers, they think of small, cuddly dogs, not large dogs,” Lyle said.
She said that, unless a breed is mentioned by people surrendering a dog, she and her deputies designate what breed a dog is. Currently about 40 percent of the dogs the pound takes in are designated as pit bulls.
Lyle said she was not surprised that there were cases they had gotten wrong. Overall, she said, she thinks she and her staff have done a good job deciding who is a pit bull and who is not. She said she doesn’t see any reason for the pound to change how it identifies a dog’s breed.
I can think of three: Lucas, Carly and Bandit.
(Graphic from the Toledo Blade; photo by Lori King / Toledo Blade)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american shelter dogs, american staffordshire terrier, animals, appearance, breed testing, breeds, bully, dangerous, dna, dna testing, dog, dog warden, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, guessing, investigation, killed, labeled, looks, lucas county, mislabeled, mixes, mutts, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, shelter dogs, shelters, staffordshire bull terrier, terriers, testing, toledo, toledo blade, warden, wrongly
Somehow, he was able to get out the front door — even though it had a dead bolt lock.
Somehow he managed to do all this despite having been attacked earlier in the day by four dogs, despite the bleeding wound and a large bandage around his belly, despite being sedated, despite the cone around his head, and despite the intravenous tubes dragging behind him when he was spotted walking down West Sylvania Avenue in Toledo.
Micah Risher stopped his car, and he and his passenger, Cara D’Amato, got out to help him, according to the Toledo Blade.
“Once he calmed down a bit, he stopped panting and lay down on the pavement next to me and started to relax,” D’Amato said, noting that he was bleeding through his bandages. “He really seemed to be more stressed out than anything. He was very sweet.”
Risher walked to the animal hospital, just down the road, and saw the front door unlocked and smeared wih blood. He called police, who arrived not long after a member of the veterinary hospital’s staff did. According to Bob Dunlap, the veterinary hospital’s business manager, Fritz had been sedated and was to undergo surgery Thursday, but escaped before the operation.
“I should have warned them to put extra locks on his cage,” said Fritz’s owner, Jeannie Pilatowski of Toledo.
Fritz has severe separation anxiety and hates being caged, she said. “I was upset when I first heard about [his escape], but I don’t blame them because I have seen what he can do. This dog is a magician.”
Even when they secure Fritz’s crate with clips, or wire it shut, Pilatowski said, he still manages to get out.
Pilatowski said she was walking Fritz and her other dog, Gomer, when they were attacked by a pack of four dogs.
Fritz had his surgery late last week and is now back home.
(Photo: Toledo Blade)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal hospital, attacked, bandaged, cone, crated, dead bolt lock, escape, escaped, escapes, fritz, german shepherd, houdini, injured, kenneled, magician, ohio, toledo, vet, veterinary, west toledo animal hospital, wounded
No one actually saw what happened, the Toledo Blade reports, but X-rays of the dog showed extensive leg injuries that looked more consistent with a fall than getting hit by a car.
“It’s too bad she can’t just tell us what happened,” said Melissa Hagemann, office and personnel manager at Maumee Bay Veterinary Hospital in Oregon, Ohio, where the dog, who’s being called Gretel, is being treated.
Gretel was spotted on Interstate 280 by Julie Cox, an unemployed Oregon resident, as she took her son to school. She assumed the dog had been hit by a car and died.
On her way home, though, she saw two other women standing with the dog and stopped.
“They said that she had actually been in the middle of the road hobbling around on three legs and they stopped to get her to the side of the road,” Cox said. “They helped me get her into my car and I took her to my vet.”
Dr. Kevin Soncrant, who named the dog Gretel, estimated she was between 4 and 6 years old. Soncrant and area KeyBanks were taking donations for the leg surgery that was scheduled to be performed Friday at West Suburban Animal Hospital.
The Toledo Area Humane Society is looking into the incident, but John Dinon, executive director, said that it might be difficult to confirm what happened, given there are no known witnesses.
The overpass has six- to eight-foot high chain-link fence on both sides.
Once Gretel recovers, she will be put up for adoption:
“We’ve already gotten calls from a lot of people interested in adopting her after she’s fully recovered,” Hagemann said. “She has a really good temperament and is going to make someone a great pet.”
(Photo: Toledo Blade)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 280, adopt, adoption, animal cruelty, animals, boxer, cruelty to animals, dogs, fence, freeway, good samaritan, gretel, highway, injuries, interstate, julie cox, kevin soncrant, keybanks, leg, maumee bay veterinary, mix, overpass, pets, pit bull, thrown, toledo
The proposed law is currently in the state House and, if it passes there, would still need to be approved by the Senate, according to a Fox News report.
The proposal comes on the heels of two Ohio cities — Cleveland and Toledo — rewriting local ordinances to require restrictions be imposed on troublesome dogs based on behavior, instead of breed.
Under Ohio’s current, breed-specific state law, pit bull owners are required to have $100,000 worth of insurance, and a specific containment area for their pet.
“You could have the sweetest pit bull in the world and you would have those restrictions I could have the meanest chihuahua in the world and there would be no restrictions,” said John Dinon of the Toledo Area Humane Society.
Toledo changed its dog rule last year, and Cleveland recently followed suit.
Dinon believes labeling a dog based on its behavior will help keep more citizens in Ohio safe: “It protects people a lot better because right now if you have a dangerous dog that isn’t a pit bull likely nothing’s going to happen.”
The changes in Cleveland were sparked by a pit bull owning councilman, according to the Toledo Blade.
“It just seemed fundamentally wrong to say that a certain breed is bad. That’s like me saying that all people that come from northwest Ohio aren’t good people,” said Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone, who introduced the legislation. “In today’s day and age to really determine and know what a breed is [is] virtually impossible with all of the cross-breeding that goes on.”
Under the changes in Cleveland, authorities can classify any type of dog as a “Level 1” threat to public safety if it attempts to cause harm to a person or domestic animal, and as a “Level 2” threat if it bites or otherwise injures a person or animal.
Owners of these dogs must abide by strict regulations that include keeping the animal in a secure enclosure, muzzling the dog while out in public, and obtaining a minimum of $100,000 in liability insurance. Those who violate the rules can be fined up to $1,000.
The rules are similar to those laid out in Toledo’s vicious dogs ordinance, and, as with Toledo’s, they don’t set forth restrictions based on breed alone.
“I was really proud as a policy maker and as a dog owner to see the foresight and vision on the [Toledo City] council’s part to examine this based on fact, not fear,” Zone said. “Too often you get council people who will try to make policies based on fear or peer pressure that they’re hearing from the community.”
Despite the local changes, “pit bull” owners continue to face requirements for additional restraint, muzzling, and liability insurance under state law.
The Ohio General Assembly is expected to vote before the end of this month on whether to remove the pit bull-specific language from the law.
Cleveland council member Zone said he rescued a pit bull puppy hit by a truck outside his office three years ago. When an animal control officer told him the dog would be automatically destroyed because it was a pit bull, Zone took it home. Since then, Gordon has become a much-loved member of his family.
“It just goes to show that when you show love and care to an animal they give it back tenfold,” he said.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, behavior, bill, breed, breed specific legislation, bsl, city council, cleveland, council, dangerous, dogs, gordon, house, insurance, john dinon, labeling, labels, law, laws, matt zone, ohio, ordinances, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, proposal, rescue, restrictions, senate, shelter, toledo, toledo area humane society, vicious
Two men were arrested in Toledo after they allegedly took turns shooting a German shepherd while he howled in his cage.
The dog, named Sarge, was hit by six shots, but survived. He’s now being held by the Lucas County dog warden.
One of the men, Lawrence Mick, 57, the dog’s owner, is in the Lucas County jail, where he was being held on $25,000 bond. He’s charged with a third degree felony for using the weapon, and if convicted, he could be sentenced to one to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The other charges he faces in connection with the incident, including cruelty to animals, are all misdemeanors.
Mick has a drug conviction and is prohibited from using a firearm, the Toledo Blade reported.
Mick and another man, Adam Collins, are accused of taking turns shooting the captive dog with a 25-caliber pistol Friday in Mick’s backyard with a 25-caliber pistol.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 14th, 2010 under videos.
Tags: abuse, adam collins, animal cruelty, animals, cage, caged, captive, cruelty, cruelty to animals, dog, german shepherd, lawrence mick, lucas county, news, ohio, ohmidog!, pets, pistol, sarge, shooting, shot, toledo
Meet Tom Skeldon, the dog warden — yes, they still use that prison-esque title there — for Lucas County, Ohio.
If he seems a tad perturbed in this video, part of a Toledo Blade report, it’s because a lot of folks — many of them part of the “criminal element,” he says — are calling for him to resign.
Animal-rights groups say Skeldon refuses to work with them and is focused on killing dogs — 2,483 last year and 1,848 so far this year, based on a Blade review of records in the dog warden’s office.
About three of every four dogs that enter the pound don’t make it out, and are instead injected with fatal doses of chemicals each week, frozen in room-sized freezers at the pound, and buried in area landfills. Lucas County’s dog adoption rate was a dismal 13 percent, much lower than in neighboring counties.
The continued killing is at the center of recent calls for the warden to step down. Among those requesting he depart is the Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates, whose members, armed with candles, staged a vigil outside the pound last month.
Skeldon, however, says the facility’s adoption and kill rates are “statistically glowing,” and that those calling for his resignation are misguided. He told the newspaper that his staff euthanizes only the lamest, oldest, meanest, and most incorrigible of the dogs in their care. Except for unlicensed “pit bulls.” They kill all of those. The dog warden’s office has killed at least 932 “pit bulls” or “pit bull” mixes this year, including 46 “pit bull” pups.
One Lucas County Commissioner, Ben Konop, has also suggested Skeldon resign.
Skeldon, who has been warden since 1987, said that he will not step down from his job and vowed to stay until his retirement, “sometime in 2011.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adoption rate, adoptions, animal control, blade, criticism, dog, dogs, euthanasia, lucas county, ohio, pit bulls, pound, resignation, shelter, toledo, tom skeldon, vigil, warden