Help People. Help Dogs.
Fear and Loathing in Ohio
It’s sad really, when “giants” fall. To hear the death throes of a dinosaur whose abusive reign has come to an end, desperately clinging to the fear that empowered him in the first place.
“You’ll be sorry! You’ll see!”
Sadder still that his methods of “greatness” exacted a physical and emotional toll no one wanted to acknowledge – until it had grown unavoidably obvious.
But enough about Varsity Blues. Former Toledo Ohio Dog Warden Tom “Coach Kilmer” Skeldon (who was dismissed from his job last year) had a predictable reaction to the passage of HB 14 in Ohio. He reiterated the same fear mongering and ignorant tripe that got state-wide BSL enacted in Ohio in the first place. No surprise I guess since he helped push through its passage.
Former Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon called the proposed new law "absolutely ridiculous" and "a step backwards." He said it would be "impossible to enforce. And that's exactly what vicious dog owners want."
"Pit bulls" are the "dog of choice" for gang members and drug dealers, Mr. Skeldon said, and naming them specifically as a dangerous dog gave police officers a way to question their owners.
"Locally, Toledo has a real problem with gangs, and [police] used to use that law to help control the streets of Toledo," he said. "It used to be if someone was out walking two or three 'pit bulls,' they were inviting the police to shake them down. Now, they can walk 10 'pit bulls' and the police can't stop them because they don't have probable cause. You can hide drugs, but it's pretty hard to hide a 'pit bull.' "
This is a prime example of the “these people” mentality we have discussed before and is so often prevalent in communities who enact BSL. It comes down to people – always. There is a mistaken impression that only criminals own “pit bulls.” In addition to that myth, there is the unspoken compliment to that tenet that even if all “pit bull” owners aren’t criminals, it doesn’t matter if decent pit bull owners get caught in the cross fire because they aren’t the right economic class or color for it to matter and they don’t have the money and connections to do anything about it.
We’ve given example after example to dispel this myth, and the people we have profiled are just a drop in the bucket of the real “pit bull” owning community in America. Based on his description of pit bull owners we think Mr. Skeldon would probably fail miserably at the original GDG “Find the Pit Bull Owner” Game (adding to his list of failures).
But, as Coach Kilmer says, "I'm walkin out that door and I want y'all to trust me...follow me out there."
Sorry coach, I'm out.