Ohio is years behind on animal abuse compared to other states.
I want to tell you about our story here in Dayton, Oh... and introduce you to our most recent failed attempt to save an abused and horribly neglected dog. For the sake of this story, we will call him 'Blue.' I have always rescued dogs. Usually in my own backyard. We are in Montgomery County Ohio, and most residents here who attempt to save these poor animals know that The Animal Resource Center of Montgomery County (aka ARC) is probably the worst place to get involved, but the only place that holds any power to take action.
ARC has a horrible reputation. Visit their Facebook page and you'll see they have numerous complaints for putting animals down before their mandatory hold time is up, breaking promises to animal owners, not doing their job to help animals. If you run a basic google search... it only gets worse. In almost case that I have found an animal, I refused to call them. If I file a complaint, they will take the dog... and they WILL find a reason to put it down. If a dog is starved for months, and you feed him/her... and try to take it away, what do you think the reaction will be? Should't they be allowed some time to settle down before their temperament is tested? I know if I were starved and someone tried to take my food, I wouldn't be happy about it.
Let me tell you about my friend Blue. Blue is a pitbull. For years he has sat faithfully in a neighbors backyard, chained to a tree. A chain that probably weighs 50 pounds. He was always a happy dog. He would play with kids and dogs on the other side of the fence, and despite that he lived on a chain with no shelter, and no human contact (except through the fence) he was a very sweet loving, and for the most part- healthy dog. I no longer live in the area but i visit occasionally. The whole family is familiar with Blue, we would all give him treats, and sometimes snacks. On February 4th, 2016, I went to visit relatives, stepped outside to find Blue completely emaciated. His entire bone structure showing through his bones. His eyes were sunken in, he was depressed and could barely carry the giant chain because he was too weak. He had an untreated wound on his ear, where the tip had been completely cut off, and his nose had been split open with noticeable dried/frozen blood on it. We immediately fed him and gave him water every day going forward. For days we tried to make contact with the owner and got no response. We were warned by neighbors that the owner was armed and dangerous.
On February 11th, 2016, in order to avoid confrontation, I contacted a well known organization across Ohio. The group requested to remain unnamed, however they also contacted another human agent who is well known and is on T.V. all the time. He personally went to the address himself, after a 2 hour drive. This is the response he got when he tried to speak with the owners and the response I received after he visited "A girl answered the door, stated their dog was healthy and in good condition, they didnt need help with food or vet bills or worming because he sees the vet" So the only explanation for Blue's condition is blatant neglect. They have no reason to neglect or abuse him, yet they do it anyway. About an hour after that agent visited the property, I watched an ARC employee, pull up to the home... knock on the door, get no answer so HE GOT BACK IN THE VAN AND LEFT! This is important to know, you'll understand why shortly. They refused to even read the signed statements we had from 5 different people regarding the treatment and conditions the dog lives in.
The laws for the State of Ohio state this sort of abuse and neglect are a felony. Ohio code 959.131 section 'D' states: "(2) Deprive the companion animal of necessary sustenance, confine the companion animal without supplying it during the confinement with sufficient quantities of food and water, or impound or confine the companion animal without affording it, during the impoundment or confinement, with access to shelter if it is substantially certain that the companion animal would die or experience unnecessary or unjustifiable pain or suffering due to the deprivation, confinement, or impoundment or confinement in any of those specified manners." This law also states anyone in violation of section D is guilty of a felony in the 5th degree!
WHY ISNT THIS BEING ENFORCED?
The laws were written, but poorly. The law states that the local city or county animal enforcement agency (ARC) is who should handle all animal abuse complaints, and enforce laws... but it does not give them any more power to do so. They cannot make arrests, or force anyone to do anything, but the bigger issue is that they barely do their job to begin with! The city has an anti chain ordinance but we would have to record hours of the dog being on a chain in order to prove it and even if I did that, it is still only a misdemeanor and Blue would still be in the same situation. We are left with 1 city law that is barely worth pursuing, the State law that nobody can/will enforce, and ZERO county laws, but the county is the only entity that can enforce it? What good does any of this do?!
After all of this, and another complaint, and investigation was supposed to be held by the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. We never heard anything back on that. As of today, ARC threatened me, and protected the owner! This is the latest response from ARC:
"Our evaluation of the dog both 02/11 and 02/15 (with the owner present in close proximity on 02/15) finds that the score of 1-2 is accurate with the dog being slightly less than ideal but not UNDERWEIGHT. Our officers observed the dogs stools which were well formed and consistent with a dog receiving adequate nutrition (no diarrhea or obvious parasites). The owner been apprised of the Dayton tethering ordinance (not enforced by our agency) The chain was of sufficient length to reach the garage and and bowls. He advised that he is going to place a dog house outside in addition to the garage which the dog has access to during the day. He noted that he will taking the dog inside some evenings as needed. Absent your letter our office received one anonymous complaint on 02/11 which was received at 10.:26 dispatched at 11:26 and cleared at 12:29 It has been observed that the alleged complaint has been observed since October of 2014 but has waited until February 2106 to lodge an official complaint. We handled this immediately upon the first complaint and did so again when we received your email. The cruelty and neglect complaint is without merit and is being closed as unfounded. As stated in the opening, no probable cause exists to seize or confiscate this animal. removing it absent probable cause may constitute theft and, anyone to gain custody an owner by alleging violations of the Ohio Revised Code would b e subject to potential theft by deception charges. Anyone attempting to obtain the animal by intimation is also subject to potential charge theft by intimidation or threats. All of these under ORC 2913.02 and are misdemeanors of the First Degree Our office responded and conducted an investigation on February 11 and determined the dog was care for in compliance with the applicable Ohio Revised Code. The owner has a 2016 license for the dog. As a follow up in response to your letter, our office conducted a second inspection today 02/15 and again found no violations of the code. The dog is not emaciated , has access to shelter, and unfrozen water and is currently licensed. the dog is not suffering, injured or in a state that present and imminent threat to its life, health or safety and no probable cause exists to remove the animal."
If this is true then why do I have VIDEO on my phone time-stamped that same day, February 11th, of him trying to drink from a frozen water bowl?Why did I witness with my own eyes, the agent leaving the home without ANY contact with the owners, or entering the backyard? Why did they say they would bring the dog in the house if need be, but the temperature that day was documented at 22 degrees, with a wind chill bringing it close to 0, and I have video at multiple times during the day that poor blue never left his chain, and walks funny because of his feet being cold? WHY do I have pictures of him less than 24 hours beforehand, with bones showing through his skin? If this is the job they are trained to perform than they need a serious overhaul.
Blue was not AS emaciated when they saw him because WE were feeding him, which they were aware of and I have pictures and video of that as well. I have pictures of the injury they said does not exist. They said he was in good shape on the 11th yet all my pictures and videos still show his ribs, and a bloated belly from them trying to hide the abuse. I have CLOSE up from February 10th, showing he is completely Emaciated, yet he magically got better overnight?
pics are here : https://goo.gl/photos/peCc7gMEZNDGaAm5A
ARC has lied and as you can see above is now threatening me for trying to help the dog escape his abuser, on top of filling false reports, and failing to do their basic job duties. I will ensure all videos and proof I have accompany this petition. I am asking Ohio, ARC and our Governor to step up and do the right thing. Amend these laws so they can actually be enforced, give the county the power they need and tell ARC they cannot take short cuts that will cost an animal its life! This abuse could've been stopped but as of today 03/03 Blue is STILL on that chain in the rain and cold, Still no dog house!
If he is in better condition today, does that mean we turn the cheek and pretend like the abuse never happened? We are being punished for feeding a dog that otherwise would have starved and died. Now that he has been fed, I suppose we are supposed to forget it all happened right? JUST BECAUSE HE MAY BE IN BETTER SHAPE NOW DOES NOT MEAN THE ABUSE DID NOT OCCUR!
Blue is one of 12 dogs cited in the city of Dayton living on a chain. Some are fed, some aren't. This is not only inhumane but it is also what creates aggresive dogs! You will also see upon a basic search that Mark Krumpf (the director of ARC) is well known in the media for ignoring complaints. A woman was mauled by a dog after his office was called numerous times prior. In 2013 he was accused of making false statements on a report to execute a warrant for a property. This is just the beginning of the complaints against him and his office. I believe ARC needs a NEW DIRECTOR, someone who hasnt lost their passion for animals. Someone who can run ARC in a way that those of us who rescue animals wont be afraid to call them.
Ohio has a Good Samaritan that law that states anyone can remove a dog that is neglected or abused, as long as the owner is notified. Now that ARC is involved they have threatened anyone who wishes to invoke that right. Most people call ARC for help, not knowing that if they seize the animal, it will die, or they could be threatened like I was.
HELP ME HELP BLUE AND ANIMALS LIKE HIM ACROSS THE STATE BEFORE ITS TOO LATE! ARC NEEDS A NEW LEADER THAT WILL NOT ENCOURAGE LIES, AND THAT WILL ACTUALLY HELP ANIMALS IN NEED INSTEAD OF ONLY ACTING WHEN IT BENEFITS THEM.
This is the website for ARC: http://www.mcohio.org/departments/animal_resource_center/index.php
Let them also know how you feel about the situation: but we ask that you keep any contact professional. This will explain the Good Samaritan law mentioned above: https://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/goodsamaritan.html
This is the link to the current State laws: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/959