What is HELP FIDO?

Humane Education Leads to Progress
For Informed Dog Owners

Vision Statement: We envision a society free from discrimination, where responsibility, education, love and compassion allow humans to fully respect and understand man's best friend.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Toledo, Ohio - Another example of why BSL does not work

Everyone's favorite dog warden, Tom Skeldon, in Lucas County (Toledo) is in the news again. This guy gets almost as much press coverage as Britney Spears and always for the wrong reasons. The article's headline is "Pit bull seizures decrease slightly from year before" (link above to the full article). This article raises a number of issues, all related to Skeldon's claim that his tactics, and Toledo's vicious dog laws, have made the community safer.
  1. "Seizures of pit bulls are down." First of all, the entire issue of breed determination is inherently flawed unless you have papers showing the breed registry from a group such those as the AKC. Obviously, the kinds of dogs that Skeldon calls "pit bulls" have no such papers so the breed determination is based upon what he thinks they are. As we highlighted previously in this blog post, breed determination is MUCH more involved than that. DNA testing has shown many instances of dogs that "look like" pit bulls actually have no ancestry (or a very small amount) of the breeds commonly defined as a pit bull. Also, there is a group of concerned dog owners up in Lucas County that have gathered information proving that many dogs euthanized (murdered) by Skeldon because they classified by him as a pit bull, actually were not pit bulls at all! Yes, this is truly outrageous!
  2. "33.9% of the dogs seized last year were pit bulls." Following from #1, how in the WORLD is this determination made? Were all of the dogs DNA tested before they were euthanized (murdered)? Also, given Skeldon's widely publicized feelings to eradicate bully breeds from the face of the earth, there is a pretty good incentive to question a possible inflation of this number.
  3. "Dogs bites in Lucas county have actually gone UP in the past year." If the goal of the Toledo vicious dog legislation was to make the community safer, these bit statistics show that those efforts were a complete and utter failure. "...the number of dog bites and attacks investigated by the warden's office increased from 329 in 2007 to 403 last year." That was the last line of the Toledo Blade article. This fact alone makes all the rest of the article irrelevant. Despite slaughtering thousands of dogs over the years, simply because of the way they look, without true behavior testing or TRUE breed determination, the city of Toledo is less safe than it was before and more dogs are biting people.
Pro-Breed Specific Legislation leaning groups (including Skeldon and Lucas County) typically focus only on one group/breed of dogs. They believe the problem is the dogs. The problem is NOT the dogs, the problem is owners and until the focus is rightfully placed on the owners and cracking down on bad owners, the failures of BSL all over the country will continue.

1 comment:

Caveat said...

I'm convinced that only nepotism keeps that conehead Skeldon employed. The man always comes across as a complete airhead.

He has said, in court yet, that he can't identify 'pit bulls' - if a dog looks like a 'pit bull' and isn't, he'll seize it as a 'pit bull'. If it's half 'pit bull' and doesn't look it, he won't seize it. So, all the BS about the breeding is nonsense even according to the dog-illiterate types like Skeldon.

The first thing he said as a govt witness in Ontario (yes, they have to stoop that low to find someone who will support BSL) was that he 'didn't know nuthin' about the dogs in Canada'. No kidding.

I'd love to see the end of Skeldon (and a few others).

These are the dogs of HELP FIDO...our dogs...this is why we are here...