The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

March 3, 2014

Few licensed dogs labeled as dangerous despite law

(Continued)

Uneven enforcement

In his written statement, Kumpf said the wide disparity in the number of dogs getting labeled dangerous or vicious is “not an inconsistency.”

“People have the misconception that designating dogs as dangerous eliminates problems,” Kumpf said. “This is actually the exact opposite.”

Kumpf, like Straley, said the county’s goal is to “get them off our streets.” Animal control officers make an effort to persuade owners to voluntarily relinquish their dog, avoiding the designation process altogether.

“We don’t want more of these dogs in our county,” Kumpf said. “We want less, and ideally, none. Allowing people to keep dangerous dogs poses an ongoing and continuous potential threat to public safety.”

Harold Brown, director of animal control for Greene County, said the majority of the dogs that bit or endangered someone in his county were released voluntarily by their owners and euthanized.

One of those owners, Fairborn resident Michael McKinney III, agreed to euthanize his eight-year-old American bulldog, Milo, even though he said no thorough investigation was ever conducted to challenge a landscaper’s story about what happened.

McKinney said the landscaper alleged Milo jumped the 4-foot fence last July, bit him in the upper back and jumped back over the fence, returning to McKinney’s yard.

Milo weighed 70 pounds , suffered from two bad hips and, according to the veterinarian who examined him, was not physically able to clear the fence twice, McKinney said. Still, he agreed to put his dog down, saying, “the law is the law.”

“I would have bet my life upon it that he’d never bite anyone, period,” McKinney said. “He was a great dog.”

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