Rescuers Facing Legal Troubles For Defending Bosco The Pit Bull

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

March 3, 2016

Bosco is safe in a foster home, but the humans who fought for him are facing legal issues.  Earlier this year, Facebook was ablaze with posts and blogs about Bosco, the Pit Bull-type dog from Ohio.

One cannot look at a picture of Bosco without smiling. He is the epitome of a blocky-headed, tipped eared, hanging jowled kind of Pit Bull Terrier-type dog. In his pictures he looks happy. He looks goofy. He looks like a dog who knows and loves a good game of ball. What he doesn’t look like is a dog who is at the center of a complicated bite controversy.

bosco 1

The bite, which was minor, was deemed by the investigating police officer as having been provoked by the injured party.  In other words, as is often the case, the bite was caused by something the human did wrong.  Bosco has shown no signs of aggression before or since.


When the bite occurred, the Lucas County Pit Crew, the rescue group who had placed Bosco, regained custody of him, and placed him in a local foster home to complete his 10-day quarantine period.  It is routine in the county for dogs to complete quarantine in a home instead of the county pound. The LCPC has had a stormy relationship with the county dog warden, and felt that it was safer for Bosco to be in a home.

bosco bite

Unfortunately, the county did not agree and contacted Jean Keating, Lucas County Pit Crew Director, and asked that Bosco be released to the county dog warden.  Keating resisted the request and referred officials to the Pit Crew attorney.  The county ultimately obtained a warrant to seize Bosco from his foster home.

The Fulton County, Ohio pound has historically been a dangerous place to be a Pit Bull Terrier-type dog. Until recently, Pit Bulls who entered the facility were automatically euthanized, unless they were reclaimed by their owners. Public outcry caused the county to begin allowing approved Humane Societies to pull dogs (with the approval of the dog warden), but officials still refuse to adopt Pit Bull Terrier-type dogs to individuals.

Once the county had possession of Bosco, dog warden Brian Banister wasted no time having him declared a dangerous dog.  Keating worried that the designation would allow the county to euthanize Bosco at the end of his ten-day hold.  She took her case to social media, and thousands of people began calling and emailing county officials.  Keating credits this onslaught with saving Bosco’s life.  He was released to the LCPC as soon as his quarantine was complete.

However, Fulton County has filed Misdemeanor Criminal Charges against Lucas County Pit Crew members Jean Keating, Andrea Walter, and Kevin Bauer. Ms Keating and Ms. Walter are both charged with obstructing official business and violating a rabies quarantine. Mr. Bauer is charged with violating the rabies quarantine by serving as Bosco’s foster home after the bite.

Legal fees are expensive. In order to raise funds to help pay for a lawyer and any other associated costs the Lucas County Pit Crew is holding a series of fundraisers.

puttin on the glitz

This next Saturday, March 5, the group has its major annual fundraiser: Puttin’ On the Glitz – Canine Fashion Show Extravaganza.  Bosco will be attending the fashion show and will be modeling a bandana once worn by Ray the Vicktory Dog. Ray wore the bandana at a rally to support the end of breed discrimination in the state of South Dakota. His adopters have donated it to help raise money for the defense of the LCPC members.

ray bandana

After the fashion show, the bandana will be auctioned off on the LCPC Facebook page. Bidding will begin at 7:00 pm Easter Time and will close at 10:00 PM Eastern Time. This is a chance to own a one-of-a-kind keepsake and to help in the fight for pit bull terrier type dogs.

bosco 2

Bosco doesn’t know or understand that he has caused such an uproar. He is safe and happy at his foster home. And although his “dangerous dog” designation affects his ability to find a permanent home, everyone involved in the case knows that eventually he will have the family he deserves.

Featured Image via Lucas County Pit Crew

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

March 3, 2016

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