Hearing Set for Dog Breed-Specific Bill in Ohio

Bill would strike the term “pit bull” from Ohio’s definition of dangerous dogs.

Posted: April 13, 2010, 2 a.m. EDT

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Pit bullA bill that would strike the term “pit bull” from Ohio’s statutory definition of dangerous dogs is set for a hearing before the Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, April 14.

Sponsored by Rep. Barbara Sears, R-Lucas County, House Bill 79 would change state law to no longer single out “pit bull” dogs as vicious. As currently written, Ohio law states that if a dog “belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull”, it is automatically deemed vicious and dangerous.

Ohio is the only state to have statewide breed-specific legislation. Owners of these dogs are required to submit reports to the board of health and county dog warden whenever there is a transfer of ownership.

Breed-specific language in state law has enabled Ohio municipalities to enact strict ordinances regarding ownership of “pit bulls.”

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Jewel   Hazel Crest, IL

6/23/2010 9:56:33 PM

was it Michael Vick who started to make the Pit Bulls a bad name? it's such a shame that the media also have given that breed a bad name as well. most of those 'Pits' that i met @ work were very friendly except for the 1 that was very sick due to Parvo that he kept growling @ me... the only dogs that bit me were an angry Chihuahua & a senile English Springer Spaniel.

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K   Lake Havasu City, AZ

4/21/2010 12:25:10 AM

"Breed specific" legislation is unscientific and is based on ignorance, fear and media sensationalism. I'm in my late 50s. When I was little, everyone was terrified of dobies and German shepherds. Now it's "pit bulls". Make animal abuse and animal fighting felonies in all states, enforce those laws, and punish the humans. I'm an atty and I love the 'bully breeds'. Anyone who knows dogs knows that this kind of legislation is just ridiculous.

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John   Austin, TX

4/19/2010 8:40:26 PM

People should know that "pit bulls" are specifically bred to be GENTLE AND FRIENDLY towards humans, but dangerous towards dogs. This is because in fighting rings, the dogs need to be easy to handle and friendly to humnas, otherwise, their handlers would be mauled. The state legislature should know that. But, if properly socialized and trained, pit bulls can be extremely loving towards other dogs too.

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Jane   Philadelphia, PA

4/14/2010 4:56:38 PM

I have owned a Rottweiler and Pitbull. Both were the greatest dogs. I feel that in some ways having these laws in place will actually be a good thing for the breed because perhaps it will show that the breed is not a vicious. A responsible owner will submit any paperwork necessary to assure they are following the law and keeping their dog "protected". I worked in a rescue with many different breeds and was attacked once... by a little hot dog (dachshund).

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