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Pit Bull laws changed at last! - 3/6/12
At last my pit bull can come out of the closet.
For 25 years, Ohio has been a bad place to be a pit bull. It was the only state in the Union with a breed specific law against "Pit Bulls", defining a vicious dog as one who 1.) has seriously injured a person, 2.) has killed another dog. or 3.) is of the breed commonly known as a Pit Bull. Yep. If you're a pit bull,and you fall into the hands of the dog warden, you're dead.
I've been worried about this pit bull hysteria ever since I adopted my dog Hazel from the Humane society, where they described her as a "boxer/basenji mix" (wink, wink). What if my insurance agent saw her? Would I lose my homeonwer's insurance? What if the dog warden saw her in my yard? Would I be fined because she wasn't in a six foot enclosure with a muzzle? Could they even confiscate her and euthanize her? Better to keep calling her a basenji mix. She kind of has some basenji-like qualities. I can even pretend it's true.
Now, thanks to House Bill 14, she can be whatever she wants to be. The bill was sponsored by Barbara Spears(R) of Monclova and voted in 67-30. The new law eliminates any reference to breed, and adds a category, Nuisance Dog. Here is the new law: a vicious dog is one who has without provocation seriously injured a person. a dangerous dog is one who has injured a person or killed another dog, and a nuisance dog is one who has, while off its own property, has menaced or tried to bite a person. This law will help animal control officers find ways to cite irrresponsible owners without worrying about whether a dog is a "pit bull". It means that good dogs don't have to be destroyed, but can be given loving homes.
And it means Hazel and I can go for a walk in the neighborhood.