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Otis the Boxer

Story ID:5282
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Lakewood Ohio usa
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It is sad to become disenchanted with the place of one's birth. And it has
happened to me. The current administration recently passed a BSL (Breed
Specific Legislation) bill which bans- in this case pit bulls whom they consider
to be a vicious breed. There are no STATISTICS that I know of which makes
this claim. Oh yes, there is a lot of media attention given to any incidences re
them and that is unfortunate. In my opinion, Media has helped fuel this pit
bull hysteria.

No matter the information presented to this administrative group re the
falacy of their thinking in this regard -they would not be swayed from their
determination that pit bulls must be banned in Lakewood, Ohio. Most of us who
were appalled by their stance made sure that they understood our position that
if a dog is vicious -MOST of the time it is because he or she has been trained to
be that way by cruel people.

I remember talking to one of the Ward councilmen saying that we shouldn't
ban the pit bull- but rather that we should ban the people who trained them to
be vicious. And he replied that you can't ban people. No? I don't know if I was
quick enough to answer -- did you ever hear of prisons? That's exactly where
they belong, and of course, the classic example is Michael Vick who I understand
is now rehabilitated and released into society once again. And most of the pit
bulls he and his cohorts so cruelly trained have found good homes with loving
people and they respond in kind -no physical threat to others.

So it came as a shock to many of us that these "leaders" just didn't get it. And
now we are realizing one of the problems connected with this unfortunate ban.
On a recent Saturday morning Lakewood resident Daniel Kier accidentally left
a gate open and Otis his Boxer got out - probably running free as my dogs have
sometimes done when I'm careless with my gate. I don't know how it was that
the police were called unless someone called 911 and reported an agressive pit
bull on the loose.

The police determined that Otis a white Boxer was acting agressively (he was
wagging his tail and barking.) They then tasered poor Otis and dragged him down
with a catch pole and tasered him again. Even though his owner now on the scene
told them Otis was a Boxer, the police insisted he had pit bull in him. Poor Otis
now sits in a cage in what Lakewood euphemistically calls a "shelter." His case
was supposed to be decided this past Wednesday on whether he should live or die
but the police in question were not available. Otis' only crime? He looked like
a pit bull. He hadn't bitten anyone. No one had complained about him before and
now the police say a wagging-tail dog who responded to a policeman calling - Here puppy,
here puppy is an agressive dog?

There was no concern for the possibility that Otis was frightened out of his wits.
Did they have to taser him in the first place? And if they thought they had to,
then why did they taser him again after he was in a catch pole? To most of us -just
another clue as to the lack of concern for this poor dog.

Otis never received any vet attention after the tasering. The shelter also refuses to
get DNA testing to prove that Otis is a Boxer. And now they postponed his "hearing"
because the police in this incidence were not available. If they cared at all - they
should not only have been available on Wednesday but should have been men
enough to say they made a mistake and over-reacted.

I don't know who decided to place Otis' story on Care2 as a petition, but God bless
them. As a result, his story has reached not only the whole United States but
all the countries of the world which subscribe to Care2. The target number for
the petition to free Otis was 2,000 and the last time I checked it was over 5300
persons rallying for Otis. I was also so pleased that persons from these countries
responded for Otis: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic,
Cyprus, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Guatemala, Greece, Hondouras,
Israel, Italy, Ireland, Macedonia, Macao, Mexico, Netherlands, Paraguay, Portugal,
Poland, Russia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, S. Africa, Sweden, Switzerland,
Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and Ukraine.

I perused the over 5,000 comments and some were absolutely wonderful. A
common theme: the police over-reacted - they need training in dealing with
animals humanely. Why was there a need to taser a second time when the pole
rope was on poor Otis already? Many said they have Boxers and clearly Otis was
a Boxer. One said that when you breed specifiy- some dogs may look like pit bulls
but may not be. One opined that the cops should get a taste of their own medicine
or would they like their own dog to be tasered.

Here are some comments which I considered "classic."

Livvy from the United Kingdom: "I will never ever go to Lakewood, Ohio because of
the stupid laws there against dogs. You should worry about gangs using dogs as
weapons rather than specific pit bulls being a threat since it's the owner that
encourages a dog's behavior to be violent. The actions of the officer was just sick......"

Kathie from Illinois "This is an absolute outrage. This poor boxer was clearly
scared to death and the officers were way off in their abusive treatment. Otis is
clearly a Boxer - not a pit."

Carol from Missouri: "How awful. It's pretty bad when you have to worry about
police tasering your pet. Boxers are wonderful dogs. I also think its bad to ban
any breed of dog. It's a generalization to say all dogs of a certain breed are
dangerous. What is our country coming to?"

And lastly from one of the men. Some were a bit more harsh in their denunciation
of the police tactics and I would love to publish them, but then thought better of it.
Michael from Massachusetts had this to say: "Cruelty to animals clearly translates
to cruelty to human beings. We need to be role models for children in how we treat
a life with dignity and respect."

There were so many more great comments and if you would like to see them and
perhaps even leave your comment too or just sign the petition - click onto: