**Updated: January 8, 2016**
As of late afternoon on January 8, Bosco has been released from the Fulton County Dog Pound and is back with the Lucas County Pit Crew. The legal battle over the Rabies quarantine is still ongoing, but the rescue group’s Facebook page had only words of gratitude this evening:
And just in case you were wondering – apparently, Bosco will likely be adopted by a member of the Pit Crew.
Watch a video of Bosco reuniting with his rescuers below:
The case of a Pit Bull named Bosco is gaining steam as an Ohio rescue group – the Lucas County Pit Crew – fights to clear his name and save his life. A petition has been created at Change.org on Bosco’s behalf. The Fulton County Dog Warden seized Bosco after accusations that he was involved in a bite incident at the home of his former adopters. He is now being held in quarantine at the Fulton County Dog Pound, raising questions as to why he was taken from the custody of the LC Pit Crew.
The adoptive family contacted the Lucas County Pit Crew to come and retrieve Bosco after the incident which occurred less than three days after his adoption. He was then placed in a volunteer foster residence pending the quarantine period and investigation, as is standard practice in a situation like this.
The rescue organization, its director, and two volunteers have been brought up on criminal charges for supposedly violating the Rabies quarantine and obstructing justice. The Pit Crew is shocked at the actions of the Dog Warden and the Fulton County Prosecutor’s Office.
Lucas County Pit Crew Founder Jean Keating and her attorney Kirsten King spoke to ABC regarding the charges:
It is not a crime to stand up and speak out against an injustice. That is your right as an American. The Lucas County Pit Crew did not do anything wrong, all we did is support Bosco. We hope to take him home soon.
It is Ohio law that the accused dog remain confined to a home within the county during the 10 day Rabies quarantine. Law also states that ownership of the pet cannot be transferred during that time, which the Prosecutor alleges the Pit Crew violated. They are fighting all charges, stating that true ownership of Bosco at the time of the bite is up for debate. The Lucas County Pit Crew still holds the only current Ohio state dog license for Bosco, which they feel constitutes legal ownership despite the brief adoption.
Brian Banister, Dog Warden for Fulton County, seized Bosco from the volunteer foster home and has insisted he remain in the custody of the county for the remainder of the Rabies quarantine period, scheduled to end January 8.
As per the petition, the Pit Crew suspects Mr. Banister’s actions are motivated by a personal vendetta against Keating due to his own views on Breed Specific Legislation and Pit Bulls. They feel that Bosco is being held unlawfully and that his life may be at risk. Jean Keating told ABC:
I believe that if this situation had occurred with any other dog,we would not be here talking about this. I think if we had not stepped up for Bosco he would already be dead. He’s only alive because of the outpouring of support that has come in for him. Support has come in both locally and nationally.
The Change.org petition calls for Bosco to be released immediately back into the care of the Lucas County Pit Crew. They are asking the County Commissioners and Prosecutor to override the decision made by Warden Banister.
They are also fighting to prevent Bosco from being officially declared a “dangerous” dog which could put him at risk for euthanasia (see current Ohio state dog laws here). Keating does not agree that Bosco meets the criteria of a vicious or dangerous animal at all. She told ABC:
I have been involved in several situations with dog bites where the choice is made to euthanize the animal. Sometimes that is necessary. That is not the case with Bosco, he is a super sweet dog. He like kids, other dogs. He is basically a big lap dog.
Further compounding the issue is the fact that the Lucas County Pit Crew believes that Bosco may actually be falsely accused in the incident.
Another dog with a known bite history was also present in the residence at the time of the injury to the former adopter. They feel that the victim of the bite may be protecting the responsible dog by accusing Bosco instead. Based on their previous experiences with dog bite situations, the adopters were likely unaware of the extremes Dog Warden Banister and the Prosecutor’s office would take this case to. Keating says:
I think an injustice has happened here and I hope justice prevails when it’s over. In the end, I hope Bosco is returned to the Pit Crew so that he can be adopted into a loving home, which he certainly deserves.
If you would like to sign the petition to release Bosco or contact the Commissioners and Prosecutor regarding his case, visit change.org. Follow the Lucas County Pit Crew on Facebook for updates on the case.