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Old September 6th, 2006, 02:16 PM
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Cathy1 Cathy1 is offline
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Boxer accused of being a Pitbull Executed

'Vicious' dog case leaves 2 counties at odds

C.M. SCHMIDLKOFER

The recent death of a St. Paris family's pet has animal control authorities in two counties disputing how the case was handled.

At issue is "Ditto" - a one-and-a-half-year-old boxer mix belonging to Darrell and Tamara Hupp and their five children.

The Hupps adopted Ditto over a year ago from the Clark County Humane Society and have in their possession adoption papers stating Ditto was a boxer mix.

Clark County Humane Society Executive Director Ed Sisler said Wednesday the agency does not adopt out pit bulls or pit bull mix dogs as family pets.

When Champaign County Animal Warden Mandy Randall responded to a call in St. Paris about a loose dog, she noted - based on her 14 years of field experience and professional training - that Ditto looked like a pit bull or pit bull mix.

Ditto's death Saturday has Clark County and Champaign County animal control officials in disagreement about how Randall acquired and euthanized the dog Saturday.

Ditto allegedly escaped his family home about 9 a.m. that day, running past a 5-year-old child who had opened the door. He romped to a neighbor's house where he was reportedly detained in the yard by the homeowner who called the Champaign County Sheriff's Office, which called Randall.

Randall said she took one look at Ditto and suspected he may be a pit bull or pit bull mix breed.

While these dogs are not illegal to own in Ohio, there are certain stipulations required of such dog owners, including a $1,000 liability insurance policy for each dog of this type, Randall said.

Vicious breed?

Only pit bulls and pit bull mixes can be characterized by their breed to be "vicious," according to a 2004 Supreme Court ruling and, therefore, subject to stiff penalties when found running at large. All other dog breeds must be determined "vicious" through a court process, said Clark County Chief Deputy Dog Warden Ben Smith.

If "vicious" breeds are discovered running loose in the community, owners can be fined $1,000 and receive six months in jail.

While Ditto's face could be described as "friendly," he also had the build similar to a pit bull.

While Ditto displayed a nonaggressive and cooperative nature with Randall, she said she had to issue a citation to the fullest extent of the law to the Hupps.

"I didn't have $1,000," Mr. Hupp said Monday. "I told her my dog was not a pit bull and I had adoption papers proving it."

He indicated he and his wife felt intimidated and accepted Randall's offer to relinquish Ditto into her authority in lieu of the citation.

Now the property of the Champaign County animal warden, Ditto was administered a fatal injection by Randall that day.

Judgment call

Dogs found loose are normally kept up to two weeks to find their owners before being adopted out or euthanized, Randall said. But if a dog owner signs over a dog to the warden, those time limits don't apply.

There is no dispute Randall acted legally, her detractors said Monday. But Clark County animal authorities disagree with her tactics.

Sisler said at the very least the Hupps might have been intimidated into giving up their dog and at the worst a valued family pet's death could have been avoided if the Hupps could have been allowed to follow due process and reclaim Ditto.

Sisler added that he knows of no certified training offered to animal wardens that effectively teaches how to determine with accuracy a pit bull or pit bull mix.

Randall said she acted in the best interest of residents by removing what she believed to be a potentially harmful dog from the community.

She opts to euthanize pit bulls and pit bull mixes rather than adopting them out because she finds potential adopters typically want to exploit their potentially aggressive nature to protect illegal drug activity.

Smith said Clark County looks at each dog on an individual basis. If a dog of any breed is examined and found to be safe the dog isn't euthanized, he said.

Also, Smith said the Clark County Humane Society scrutinizes potential adopters so that abuses Randall referred to are unlikely to happen.

And while pit bulls and pit bull mixes are not adopted out by the agency, it will refer those successfully passing temperament evaluations to rescue groups, Smith said.

There is one thing all parties agree on and that is Ditto's death could have been avoided.

Randall said all the Hupps had to do was take the citation and they would have Ditto today. They could have posted bond and gone through the court process.

She added the fact that Ditto was a victim of mistaken identity was unfortunate but that she had to act on information she had at the time of the incident in the interest of the community at large.

"It's very sad," she said Monday.

Mr. Hupp said if Randall had just walked to his house three doors away he could have shown her the adoption papers. He would have been cited with a $150 fine for having a dog running at large, rather than with a $1,000 for having a vicious dog running at large.

Smith and Sisler said the whole incident could have been avoided if Randall hadn't made a snap judgment on Ditto's breed and possibly taken more time explaining the options to the Hupps.

Mr. Hupp added Ditto meant a great deal to everyone.

"Now I've got five children crying at home," he said.


I can think of a few things I would like to do to that animal warden, but if I was in that situation I would have found $1,000 to get my dog back.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 03:33 PM
RVT092481 RVT092481 is offline
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99% of the time, you cross a boxer with anything and it turns out looking like a "pit bull". Any person in the animal industry would know that. I've had similar things happen (thankfully not to the extent of wrongful euthanasia). But I've had people with boxer crosses call looking for breed DNA testing to prove that their dog is not a pit bull.
So sad what has happened to the dog world...
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Old September 7th, 2006, 01:03 AM
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ChancesMom ChancesMom is offline
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That is soooo sad....

Even if the dog were a pit bull, they did not say that the dog was dangerous...

I was watching something today and some nimnod said that pit bulls have an enzyme in them that make them dangerous no matter what... Unfortunately that information televised and uttered by a lawyer was heard by millions who believe it...
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Old September 7th, 2006, 02:26 AM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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Quote:
Even if the dog were a pit bull, they did not say that the dog was dangerous...
Yeah but...

Quote:
Only pit bulls and pit bull mixes can be characterized by their breed to be "vicious," according to a 2004 Supreme Court ruling and
WTF? This makes me really angry. Now apparently the supreme court is taking their time to rule on stuff like whether or not certain dog breeds can be considered vicious? It's not even just the fact that they ruled that (which is completely ridiculous) it's the fact that they took the TIME to rule on it. It should have never went that far. It's ridiculous that taxpayers have to pay for this kind of B.S.

Quote:
She opts to euthanize pit bulls and pit bull mixes rather than adopting them out because she finds potential adopters typically want to exploit their potentially aggressive nature to protect illegal drug activity
How the heck did she decide that? Did she do a study? Did she personally go visit everyone who was willing to adopt? Did they come in and tell her that's what they were going to do? Sounds like she's talkin out her @**. And she euthanizes the mixes too, how per se can she tell if they even have pit bull in them. I guarantee all she's doing is going "well, looks like it's got pit bull in it".

I dunno what else to say.
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Old September 7th, 2006, 08:15 PM
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erykah1310 erykah1310 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChancesMom
I was watching something today and some nimnod said that pit bulls have an enzyme in them that make them dangerous no matter what... Unfortunately that information televised and uttered by a lawyer was heard by millions who believe it...
I have heard countless times that " No matter what all Pitbulls 'snap' , its what they were bred to do"
Some people are just plain idiots.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 06:38 PM
Cygnet Cygnet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBirdIsEvil

How the heck did she decide that? Did she do a study? Did she personally go visit everyone who was willing to adopt? Did they come in and tell her that's what they were going to do? Sounds like she's talkin out her @**. And she euthanizes the mixes too, how per se can she tell if they even have pit bull in them. I guarantee all she's doing is going "well, looks like it's got pit bull in it".

I dunno what else to say.
My Bird is Evil,

I don't think you are being quite fair to this rescuer. Sadly, the problems facing rescuers or shelters who want to responsibly place rescue pit bulls are very different and more complicated than the problems facing rescuers or shelters who want to responsibly place golden retrievers.

Say you run a shelter and the girlfriend of a person suspected of being a dog fighter comes in and applies for your biggest, strongest pit bull to take home. Assuming you are lucky enough to know she is a girlfriend of a known dog fighter (which in the vast majority of cases you won't) what do you do about it? She professes to want the dog as a pet for her children and to take him to obedience classes and to neuter him, and she understands all about responsible dog ownership. She answers every question right. If you run a public shelter, what excuse do you give to your Board of Directors when she complains if you turn her down? But if you let her adopt the dog, how do you feel when you check on him a week later and she innocently tells you "he ran away. I looked everywhere for him, but I can't find him?"
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Old September 14th, 2006, 06:42 PM
Cygnet Cygnet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erykah1310
I have heard countless times that " No matter what all Pitbulls 'snap' , its what they were bred to do"
Some people are just plain idiots.
I have never heard anybody say that pit bulls "snap." I have people (including the most responsible pit bull owners I know) say that they spend a lot of their time reminding other pit bull owners that they should never forget what pit bulls were bred to do.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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Why didn't Mr. Hupp just go to his house three doors away and get the adoption papers?
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Old September 14th, 2006, 07:22 PM
Cygnet Cygnet is offline
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I expect that the Hupps would say that they were told that their dog was a pit bull and maybe they would even say they were told that the adoption papers didn't make any difference. But I guess I have a lot of sympathy for the dog here, but limited sympathy for the owners who willingly signed their supposedly beloved pet's death warrant by signing him over to animal control, and only after he was dead decided it was worth making an issue about it.

Maybe Ms. Hupp should have thought more about her "five children crying at home" before she decided to surrender her dog to certain death.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 07:29 PM
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Hmmm., yet another example of how BSL kills innocent dogs! Very, very, sad.
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