Swanton, Ohio Doesn’t Know What a “Pit Bull” is Either, Just like Denver and Toledo

Like Denver and Toledo, it looks like Swanton, Ohio can’t tell what a “pit bull” is as defined by their own ordinance either.   Tim Bork of Swanton was recently cited by Fulton County Dog Warden Brian Bannister for having a “pit bull-type dog,” a dog identified by Bannister as a Fila Brasileiro mix, which is a type of mastiff, though Bannister considers it to be a type of “pit bull.”  

Yet the Fila Brasileiro breed is not listed as a “pit bull” “breed” by Swanton’s ordinance, which is why Bork did not register his dog, Bailey. (And as we so often say here, “pit bull” is not a breed because as Swanton’s own dog warden illustrates, the term “pit bull” is subjective and could refer to countless actual dog breeds, their mixes, and lookalikes.)   As a result, Bork was charged with a third-degree misdemeanor, which could amount to a $500 fine and 60 days in jail.   Bork now has a pretrial conference set for 9 a.m., Oct. 9., after a continuance was granted by a judge in Fulton County Eastern District Court.

Swanton_Kayla_Bailey_Tim_Bork[Bailey with her kid Kayla]

So mastiffs are pit bulls now too?   Mastiffs which have 50-60 pounds on American Pit Bull Terriers are now considered pit bulls, and Swanton sees no problem with this?   Really?   So do you see what we mean when we say that countless medium- and even large-breed dogs can be called pit bulls, which is why statistics on pit bulls are wildly skewed and therefore worthless?

 And, as I wrote in a prior post, according to The Toledo Blade,

A DNA test commissioned by The Blade of Bailey shows she is actually a mix of American bulldog, Rottweiler, American Staffordshire terrier, black and tan coonhound, Coton de Tulear, bull terrier, Neapolitan mastiff, and miniature pinscher. She is less than 50 percent pit bull, which is the standard that past Ohio court cases have used in determining whether a dog is a pit bull-type.

No one, including the owner and the dog warden, knew what breed, or breeds, Bailey actually was.   So how in the world can Swanton cite Bork when the dog warden couldn’t even properly identify Bailey’s breeds?  

The Bailey incident should be a wake-up call to Swanton that their breed-specific law (BSL) isn’t working, just like all BSL doesn’t work.   Swanton should opt instead for a dangerous dog (owner) law equally applied across the board for all dog breeds and all dog owners.

See also:

Denver’s Breed-Specific Legislation: Brutal, Costly, and Ineffective
Miami-Dade County: Two Decades of Breed-Specific Legislation Has Produced No Positive Results
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3 responses to “Swanton, Ohio Doesn’t Know What a “Pit Bull” is Either, Just like Denver and Toledo”

  1. What I find funny is how Swanton spends more money and more time going after the good citizens of their village. What Swanton needs to do is spend money to fix their toxic cancer causing drinking water, fix the schools instead forcing new taxes on the already poor citizens, and stop spending so much money taking their own citizens to court. Swanton spent about 4 years in court trying to force a local resident to take down his CB antenna that was hooked to his house. It went all the way to state and the state said the local resident could keep his antenna per state law. Now Swanton is going after a family because they own a dog!!! State law says a dog is to be deemed vicious only by action, not breed.

    What does Swanton think that their little village dictatorship is smarter than our state elected officials??? I THINK NOT!!!! If they were smarter than maybe Swanton would have safe drinking water, schools that did not leak, and a thriving economy where local citizens could afford to work closer to home. Swanton is a town where the only way you get something is if you know someone.

  2. Just got into an argument with someone in Denver on a public dog park forum on facebook. Total hysteria – citing a link to a pregnant woman who suddenly was turned on by her pit bull and killed. This woman said they should be banned as they “routinely” turn on their owners. How can anyone even say that. I said one more thing, that I thought the comments on the article said a lot (most people providing common sense) that the dog was not even a pure “pit bull”, was an intact male, some said he’d only been in the home a week and the female pit did not take part in the attack, interestingly. I pointed out the great ASPCA article on them which makes a lot of sense and said I don’t get into breed hysteria arguments and left it at that. So ridiculous. She said in all her years of rescue she had only seen a trail of tears and devastation but offered no personal experiences. Meanwhile, I admit some natural previous fear of the breed until I started working with the animal shelter and have helped find homes for adoptable pit bulls. They are basically great dogs and real people lovers most of them. I’m a terrier lover and have a Jack Russell. I wish I could have one of the pits but I don’t have a place with a yard and most places where I will be moving back to in Colorado, don’t allow them. I admit I would worry about having two terriers together as I know how mine can get if stepped on the wrong way and the dog would probably have to be a non-fighting breed. But to bash an entire breed and spread ignorance and hate is something I felt I had to speak up against. I hate controversy, especially online arguments, but I did it for the breed as I saw a chance and I really want to help some of these dogs. We’ve found some great homes for a few of them and they are doing well – with kids too and cats.

  3. Hi Cat, and thanks for your message. I can appreciate your struggle. But just to make it clear, there is no such thing as a “fighting breed” or breeds and your listing of a Jack Russell should illustrate why. Terriers, including Jack Russells, can have what has been called “terrier tenacity.” Like other breeds, this simply is referring to “gameness.” As I. Lehr Brisbin, Ph.D., who is a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and an expert in the training, behavior, and the anatomy of bulldog breeds, has defined it, gameness, where it is found,

    “is the ability or willingness to continue doing an action once begun, i.e. ˜stick-to-it-iveness. Gameness, in itself, is not a negative trait. For example, the ability to carry out duties or trained tasks, despite injury, distraction, or frustration, is desirable in [“pit bulls”] which have been trained to be search and rescue dogs, protection dogs in the U.S. military, drug sniffing dogs, and therapy dogs.”

    In other words, dogs are bred for certain traits like strength or agility, and if the breeder is successful in breeding those traits, it is still up to the owner to train the dog in what to do with those traits. So, like I said, there is no such thing as a “fighting breed.” People train dogs to do good things or bad things. It’s not the dog’s fault. Just like German Shepherds were trained to go after Jews during the Holocaust or to “police” African-Americans during the Civil Rights era, it doesn’t mean German Shepherds are inherently racist, it means their owners and handlers trained them to do bad things.

    I had a Labrador Retriever once who never retrieved a thing in his life, including the tennis balls I used to throw in the water. He hated the water and he hated retrieving. So, breeding isn’t as precise a science as some would have you believe, and even if you’re lucky enough to end up with certain traits, like a Labrador that actually likes the water, you still have to train him to do things like retrieve, and even then he may not do it. Ever hear that expression, “That dog won’t hunt?” That’s what it means. You can have a so-called retriever, or a pointer, but that doesn’t mean that even if you train them to retrieve and point that they will, or do so up to your standards.

    Yet still, the urban mythology about the so-called “pit bull” persists. Just the other day I saw on some forum a man refer to a “pit bull’s” “locking jaws” and just couldn’t believe in this day and age that someone would still believe in such foolishness. As I write quite often, the locking jaws thing is an urban myth. Dr. Brisbin has likewise said that,

    “The few studies which have been conducted of the structure of the skulls, mandibles and teeth of [American Pit Bull Terriers] show that, in proportion to their size, their jaw structure and thus its inferred functional morphology, is no different than that of any [other] breed of dog. There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of any kind of locking mechanism unique to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier” (Source: American Dog Breeders Association, “Discover the American Pit Bull Terrier”).

    Dr. Brisbin has also testified in a court of law under oath that,

    ” . . . pit bulls [which the court defined earlier as American Pit Bull Terriers] do not have locking jaws. Based on actual dog dissections and measurement of their skulls, the evidence demonstrated that pit bull jaw muscles and bone structure are the same as other similarly sized dogs. No evidence was presented to demonstrate that a pit bulls bite is any stronger than other dogs of its size and build. He stated that, contrary to information relied upon and perpetuated by earlier case law and law review articles, assertions that a pit bull can bite with a ˜force of 2,000 pounds per square inch have absolutely no basis in fact or scientific proof.”

    So hopefully this information clears things up. There are a lot of bad people out there pushing a lot of bad information because they have an agenda to exterminate not just so-called “pit bulls,” but all domesticated pets. So, it is necessary to refute this misinformation where you find it.

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