All About Dusty Canine: Dog Three of the MC Quad

May 5th, 2011 - The first day we were allowed access to evaluate the 4 dogs at Monroe County Animal Control. The dogs had been there since the beginning of March. We gave them basic vaccines and flea preventatives, assessed their overall condition, etc. The dogs were in in flimsy temporary kennels, about an inch separating each kennel from the next. We never saw any aggression between the dogs.

Evaluations by Joanie Wazney, Director of Operations, Buster Foundation. Assisted by Margaret Svoboda and Trina Stillwagon

First Meeting/Contact at location: Monroe County Animal Control: Thurday, 5-5-11

Summary: General Assessment and Evaluations

Dusty, approximately 9-10 months old, fawn with white markings, intact female weighing approximately 45 lbs. No signs of a first estrus, but I would expect it any time. Body condition was excellent, no visible fresh abrasions/wounds or any old scarring was evident. I believe Dusty to be a littermate to Razzle.

She was the happiest and most attentive of the four and very puppy like in her vocalizing and jumping around (wiggly butt/body). She was accepting and tolerant of all petting and stroking even soliciting more when I let up. Ate treats happily out of my hand and accepted my hand in her bowl, also eating kibble and canned food out of my hand. Cleaned/handled her ears, held her paws and tail. She was non-reactive to the other dogs, extremely attentive while on lead with great focus. No reaction when she got her vaccines and anti-parasitics. Dusty is wonderful, and appears to be a very balanced puppy.

Click here to see the full evaluation.

Educational documents submitted as evidence (Matrix used by evaluators throughout process).

A. Traits and Characteristic: Pit Bull and Pit Bull Type Dogs

B. Evaluation Matrix: Four Categories for Measuring Dog Tolerance Levels

May 6th, 2011 - This day was our first "official" round of evaluations (temperament testing: food tests).

Evaluations by Trina Stillwagon, General Manager, MSPCA. Assisted by Lauren Mosher.

Location: MCAC - Common outside area: Friday, 5-6-11

Initial/Intake Assessment and Evaluation Notations by Trina Stillwagon, General Manager, MSPCA.
Dusty DOB: 9 -10 mos.
Pit Bull (APBT-X) Sex: F - In
ID/License #:
11-0489 (04) Color/Markings: Fawn-White
Monroe SPCA Evaluator/Tester:
Trina Stillwagon
Margaret Svoboda

Summary of Follow-up Assessment and Evaluation: Appropriate behavior/responses. Overall appears to be a friendly, responsive, very affectionate and attention-seeking dog. Exhibited mild submission (in kennel), intermittent during interaction with evaluator, but no signs of cowering, fearfulness, resentment (people/dog) and no aggression, hand-shyness, timidness, guarding, etc. Exhibits increasingly confident body posture – tail-wag-relaxed (after removal from kennel). Accepts/tolerates all handling, touching, petting, examinations easily/readily – solicits more. No agitation or reactiveness toward other dogs (kennel-mates). Good responses/attentiveness to praise/encouragement and redirection/correction. Overall disposition/temperament appears sound – tolerant - balanced and responsive.

Notations/Recommendations: Dusty exhibits Tolerance Level 1 dog tolerance traits – appears to be a very soft dog. Extremely social, attentive, eager to please – balanced/very responsive. Accepts all correction/redirection – Tolerant and accepting of people and new situations. Non-reactive to other dogs.
Start/continue leadership/good manners training, social interaction, and daily exercise routine – confidence boosting. Recommend foster home placement with experienced handler - asap, Follow-up evaluation in two-four weeks and continue as needed/appropriate. Good candidate for adoption with proper placement/experienced adopter (no young children at this time/until further evaluation).

Click here to see the full evaluation.


May 9th, 2011 - This is the day Monroe SPCA and Buster Foundation discover Monroe and Reilly severly injured, according to MCAC personnel, after we left on Friday, 5-6-11. MCAC did not provide treatment or veterinary care to either of the injured dogs as required by Michigan law. Dusty and Razzle were not injured.

Summary by Margaret Svoboda, Director, Buster Foundation.

Location: MCAC - 5-9-11

Notes on Dusty: Dusty is eager to get out and be with us. When we get her out she just wants to give kisses and run and play. We can find no injuries on her and she has none of the strange sticky stuff that the males have on them. We clean her ears out and walk her. She is very confident.


May 19th, 2011 - This was our follow-up evaluation (temperament testing).

Evaluations by Trina Stillwagon, General Manager, MSPCA. Assisted by Margaret Svoboda.

Location: Training Center: Indoor/outdoor: Friday, 5-19-11

Follow-up Assessment and Evaluation Notations
Name: Dusty DOB: 9 -10 mos.
Breed: Pit Bull (APBT-X) Sex: F - In
ID/License #: 11-0489 (04) Color/Markings: Fawn-White
Evaluator/Tester: Trina Stillwagon
Assisting: Margaret Svoboda

Summary of Follow-up Assessment and Evaluation: Extremely attentive, eager to please, active, and
social with people/other dogs. Adjusts well to new situations. Very well-balanced, seeks and is very
responsive to human leadership. Accepts all correction/redirection. Very soft dog. Puppy-like behavior. No
remarkable changes/negative behavior/responses noted.

Notations/Recommendations: Dusty exhibits as a Level 1 (dog-social) dog. Very adoptable. Recommend
immediate placement in foster home (asap). Recommend also continue training, social interaction and daily
exercise routine w/proper placement/appropriate match w/experienced owner/adopter. Adoption Readiness
Category 2, adoption placement restriction recommendations at this time – no children under 12 – single
dog placement only – more training/socialization. Expect restrictions to change.

Click here to see the full evaluation.

June 27th, 2011 - The Prosecution's "Expert" evaluator, Dr. Katherine Houpt, DVM, PhD arrived at the Monroe Co. Animal Control to evaluate the 4 dogs. These are the videos of her FAILING assessment of Dusty. 

Actual notes from Dr. Houpt's written assessment are as follows:

Dog  206 in cage 33 brown female with white markings Dusty

Wiggled at approach, stare and squat. Bit hand when petted and when eating.

avoided witch

Snarled at doll

jumped but no aggression to male or female dogs

The results of the testing indicates that the following animals: the two males Monroe 207 Reilly 212 that both demonstrated aggression to other dogs and one female Dusty 206 who snarled at the doll should be humanely euthanized because of their lack of any useful purpose and the public safety threat the pose." MCL 750.49(18) aggressive whereas Dog 210 Razzle --- may be safe

Katherine Albro Houpt VMD PhD
Professor emeritus
Cornell University

Dusty 1 (Houpt Test Point 1)

Intimidating, eye contact - standing  1 min


Dusty 2 (Test Points 2 and 3)

Intimidating, eye contact - eye-level & crouched  1 min each

Watch Dusty when Dr. Houpt crouches down. Dusty instantly play bows. She also calms down dramatically.


Dusty 3 (Test Points 5, 8, and 9)

Hand test, Food test, Doll/Child test, Witch/Stranger test

Dusty 4 (Sparring and Teasing, Apparently substituted for test point 4, which was never performed. Test point 4 should have been "A strange dog led past the kennel.")

Dusty 5 (Sparring and Teasing, same as above.)


Dusty's Facebook:​ofile.php?id=1000025724318​50&sk=wall