OH HB 14: A Few Clarifications for the Toledo Blade

While reading an article in the Toledo Blade about Ohio Representative Sears’ HB 14 which would remove the “dangerous” dog definition for “pit bulls” in the state of Ohio, I noticed that the Toledo Blade quoted former Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon who said,

“Here in Lucas County, [“pit bulls” are] the No. 1 biting dog…They’re the dog most often shot by police officers. They’re the No. 1 fighting dog in the world, and they are a criminal tool as far as drug houses and dog-fighting operations are concerned.”

How can “pit bulls” be the #1 biting dog and the dogs most often shot by police officers when there is no such breed as a “pit bull”?   Really?   After all this time, the fact that “pit bull” is not a breed still escapes him?   Of course, according to Toledo’s kill rates, Skeldon had “pit bull”-colored goggles on, and, as I said in a prior post, Skeldon couldn’t tell a “pit bull” from the broad side of a barn.  

The Toledo Blade provided a kinder and gentler description of Skeldon noting that,

“Last year, Tom Skeldon, Lucas County’s former dog warden, testified in support of the breed-specific law on behalf of the Ohio Dog Wardens Association, even through he’d already retired from his job following a public backlash over the shelter’s high euthanasia rates.” [Their type-o, not mine.]

And here again I should note that “euthanasia” means merciful killing.   What Skeldon did in Toledo was not euthanasia; it was just killing innocent dogs for no reason other than prejudice.

The Toledo Blade went on to note that,

“In 2007, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the state’s “pit bull”-specific law as well as Toledo’s ordinance at the time.”

Unfortunately, the Toledo Blade left something out.   They forgot to mention that the Ohio Supreme Court was asked to reconsider that 2007 ruling as there were accusations of evidence tampering at trial; some of the evidence went missing.   And what went missing you may be wondering?   Why the proof that refuted the claim that “pit bulls” were the #1 biting dog and the dogs that forced police to discharge their weapons most often of course!   Curious that.

Gosh, you’d think the Toledo Blade would remember that there were accusations of evidence tampering at trial given that they wrote an article about it!   Shouldn’t that kind of be something the Toledo Blade should include every time they talk about the 2007 Ohio Supreme Court decision that supposedly upholds the “evidence” that “pit bulls” are inherently vicious “breeds”?   Shouldn’t they mention that the evidence went missing that proved that “pit bulls” aren’t inherently vicious?   Indeed, at what point should the media have a finger pointed at them for their complicity in the doggy death crusade undertaken by the likes of the Tom Skeldons of the world?

P.S. And by the way, while the Toledo Blade mentions that it is “animal-rights activists” who want to see the vicious dog designation for “pit bulls” overturned via HB 14, it’s actually breed fanciers and animal welfarists who want Ohio’s breed-specific dangerous dog language to change.   Radical animal rights activists are actually the ones who push breed-specific legislation, not the other way around.

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