Friday, January 2, 2009

Skeldon uses laws to target pit bull breed- Letter to the Editor

I'd like to respond to the Dec. 21 letter in the Readers' Forum headlined "Some people just shouldn't own pets." It is common sense that the Lucas County dog warden should be a source of information on what it takes to be a responsible pet owner. And I do agree that some people just shouldn't own pets. Education and information could help reduce the number of irresponsible pet owners.

I also agree with the writer that a dog that commits a crime against humans may need to be removed from society. However, this is not what the dog warden does. Regarding pit bulls, in an Aug. 14 story in The Blade, Tom Skeldon said that in 2007 his office seized 1,354 pit bulls, or about 350 more than in 2006. The majority of those pit bulls were euthanized by lethal injection.

In our wildest imagination, does anyone think that all these dogs were vicious or that they committed "crimes against humans?" I am sure that very few of these dogs posed a threat to humans. I know many were beloved pets.

Mr. Skeldon uses onerous laws against pit bulls, which he promoted, as a measurement for how well he's protecting society. When limited animal control resources are used to regulate a certain breed of dog without regard to its behavior, the focus is shifted away from routine effective enforcement of laws that have the best chance of making our community safer. That is why the ASPCA, Humane Society, National Animal Control Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association, among others, are against the breed-specific laws promoted by Mr. Skeldon.

Every year, Mr. Skeldon needlessly kills a large number of dogs. That is why many informed residents of Lucas County would like to see him removed from office.

Dan Grove

Robinwood Avenue

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