Letter Carrier Support
UPDATE 09/03/08: A letter carrier offered his support of Skeldon. He writes, "[Skeldon's] expertise and training has helped many a carrier stay out of harm's way. " He also mentions the smoking gun video played in the Toldeo v. Tellings hearing. "We have seen video of pit bulls that were sedated but still holding on to an object with their locked jaws."
Once you've seen the video you won't have any doubt about a pit bull's jaws. The dog was so sedated it was unconscious, and it still held onto the wire as it hanged in mid air. We hope to get it online for you one day. Steve Cherry, the letter carrier, also notes another powerful attribute of Skeldon's. "Some may not find Tom politically correct but none will ever find him neglecting the safety of the public."
As a letter carrier for the last 15 years, I am glad we have Tom Skeldon as the dog warden of Lucas County.
Tom visits each station once a year in the spring and shares his insights and wisdom on how to protect ourselves from a dog attack. His expertise and training has helped many a carrier stay out of harm's way. His office responds to our calls in a timely fashion, sending a crew out immediately if it is a serious case.
We have seen video of pit bulls that were sedated but still holding on to an object with their locked jaws. While any bite is serious, the pit's can be fatal or devastating.
Tom trained dogs in Vietnam for the Army, so he knows first hand the nature of dogs. He has also witnessed the destruction they can cause.
Some may not find Tom politically correct but none will ever find him neglecting the safety of the public. I hope these groups that want him removed can come to a compromise and work out their differences without over reacting and going to extremes, which it seems they have.
I can say with certainty that Tom has the carriers' vote of confidence.
- Steve Cherry, Oregon
08/23/08: Dog Bite Attorney Supports Skeldon
Dale Emch is a Toledo-based attorney. He also writes The Blade's Legal Briefs column and previously worked as a reporter and editor at The Blade. Emch recently wrote a piece that supports Skeldon. It is exceptional. Emch nails the true gunners after Skeldon too: "pit-bull fans who make money by fighting or breeding the dogs." Here is the editorial by Emch in part:
Mr. Skeldon deals with the fallout from pit bulls every day. He's seen the injuries caused by these dogs and also has seen how they've become the dog of choice for dope dealers and gang bangers. In 1993, his office seized 50 pit bulls. In 2007, that number climbed to 1,354.
Given all that, it would be shocking if he didn't take the pit bull problem seriously.
Maybe in that scenario, a petition to remove him from office would be warranted, but not for enforcing Toledo's pit bull ordinance - which the Ohio Supreme Court ruled last year was constitutional.
I'll give the petition organizers the benefit of the doubt that they sincerely believe we should blame the deed and not the breed. I'll assume their motives are pure, albeit misguided.
But since the time I wrote my story about Mr. Skeldon, I've always believed that most of the people gunning for him are pit-bull fans who make money by fighting or breeding the dogs.
And in that fight, I'll side with Tom Skeldon and the other dog wardens throughout Ohio who have the courage to do their duty and tell it like it is.
08/15/08: Support the Lucas County Dog Warden
Toledo, OH - Tom Skeldon needs your support, and you can give it by leaving a comment at this blog post. Skeldon is the Lucas County, Ohio Dog Warden and the most experienced employee of the United States when it comes to dog law enforcement, particularly pit bull law enforcement. He is currently under fire by a "pet advocacy" group, AKA a pit bull advocacy group.
The City of Toledo, where Skeldon is empowered, does not ban pit bulls, but the city does enforce Ohio State and Toldeo pit bull restrictions. If you put these two together, the restrictions appear as the following: $100,000 in liability insurance; a chain leash and muzzle when off-property; a special containment facility that includes a secure top; and households are limited to owning a single pit bull.
A "pet advocacy" group called 4 Lucas County Pets is demanding that Skeldon be fired. Tamara Ernst, one of the founders, claims Skeldon does not collaborate enough with animal rescue shelters and promotes discrimination against pit bulls by treating them as inherently vicious dogs, "the canine version of racism." (Using the word "racism" in relationship to a dog breed is not supported by the U.S constitution.)
The group has created an online petition and has gathered over 800 signatures so far. One of the comments left reads, "i don't have a dog, although my boyfriend does, and I support this petition." Another says, "This is just humiliating ridiculous. Seriously." The group plans to submit the petition to county commissioners and request a public meeting about Skeldon. The group has yet to set a deadline or signature goal.
Pit bull advocates have flooded the county commissioner's office with complaints about Skeldon. The commissioner said he has received more emails and phone calls from so-called "constituents" complaining about the dog warden than any other matter. Emails and online petitions hardly validate senders as constituents. We hope commissioners are not fooled by pit bull propaganda tactics.
Tom Skeldon is a national hero to victims of serious dog attacks and family members, plastic surgeons and doctors, first responders, senior citizens, parents that desire their children to have full scalps and limbs and pet owners that suffer the wrath of pit bull attacks. We leave you with several golden Tom Skeldon quotes to further emphasize the man's genuis. The first quote directly relates to this pet advocacy group:
- "A lot of rescue groups ... don't have a long record of standing. They almost tend to be cults of personality around a few activists."
- "Some humane groups have been manipulated by these pit bull factions to where they fight breed-specific legislation using scare tactics like 'your breed will be next.' And for 13 years, their breed hasn't been next."
- "Nationally when you talk about maimings and disfigurations and death, pit bulls are so far ahead of the next closest type of dog you can't even see them in the rearview mirror."
- "When we go into a drug house, as we do regularly, I do not run into Lassie and Rin Tin Tin. We run into pit bulls."
- "[The owners] all think that these pit bulls are nice sweet animals and some of them are, but by the time they get to be a year and half or two years old, they're pretty intent on what they're bred to do and that’s grab a hold of things and shake it until it's dead."
07/16/08: Noncompliant Pit Bull Owners Cited After Lakewood Hearing
05/01/08: Lucas County Dog Warden Nails Aspect of Pit Bull Problem
12/11/07: Online Pit Bull Forum Blamed for Skewing Survey Results
02/21/05: Bulldog Approach to Warden's Job Makes Skeldon a Favorite...