Pit BullPossibly, if Ohio State Representative Tyrone Yates gets his way. Yates has introduced legislation that would make it illegal to even own a pitbull type breed of dog in the state. And if the legislation, H.B. 568, passes, Ohio pitbull owners would have 90 days to surrender their dogs and the dogs would be euthanized, read “killed”, within ten days of being surrendered. Not only that, this bill would actually give a dog warden or other officer that has probable cause to believe a person has a dog that is a pit bull dog, the ability to apply search warrant. With the search warrant the officer will have the authority to seize the pit bull dog and surrender it to the dog warden to be killed.

Currently in Ohio, pitbull are defined as ‘vicious’ dogs regardless of their temperament but their is no ban on owning them and this law has been upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Another bill currently under consideration, H.B. 366, would change the wording of Ohio’s current ‘dangerous’ or ‘vicious’ dog designation, taking pitbulls out unless they actually were dangerous or vicious rather then just because of the breed. It could reduce the spread of BSL throughout Ohio if state law does not define a pit bull as automatically “vicious” because of its breed. As with most legislation, it’s not perfect but a step in the right direction.

Ohioans, it’s time to raise your voices and tell your representative NO to banning pitbulls. It’s time to raise your voices and educate them.

Find your representative here and contact them. Tell them NO to H.B. 568 and YES to H.B. 366.

Educate! Media hype and irresponsible dog ownership has given the the pitbull a seriously bad reputation which is unwarranted. Dog bites are actually down and it has nothing to do with BSL.

Dogs don’t bite because of their breed and communities are not safer unless responsible leaders address the real reasons dogs bite:

1. Pass an effective potentially dangerous dog ordinance:

Assign dogs a level of potential danger,
with restrictions and penalties for each level.

Require spay/neuter, education and training to encourage owners to take responsibility before a serious injury or death occurs.

Dogs and owners can earn lower levels
and dogs can even be declared no longer potentially dangerous.

2. Encourage spay/neuter and support funding for free or low cost spay/neuter.

90% of fatal dog attacks are by dogs that have not been spayed/neutered: There is not a single case of a fatal dog attack by a spayed/neutered pit bull type dog (National Canine Research Council);

81% of dogs involved in bite incidents were not spayed/neutered (Texas 2002 Severe Animal Attack and Bite Surveillance Summary)

3. Mandate spay/neuter for:

Dogs adopted from shelters or rescues or sold by pet stores or online

Dogs impounded more than once after being found at-large or off-leash

Dogs declared potentially dangerous or dangerous

Dogs owned by felons

4. Ban tethering or chaining dogs (also a popular technique by dog fighters to make the dogs more aggressive; the CDC has found tethered or chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite)

Lawrence County, Kansas, adopted an anti-tethering ordinance. From 2005 to 2006, the number of calls concerning cruelty and dog fighting dropped from 800 to 260. Officials attribute the decline in large part to the anti-tethering law.

The USDA and even the AVMA has said tethering dogs is inhumane.

5. Pass and enforce strong at large or leash laws or enforce such laws and encourage micro chipping

82% of dog bites occur as a result of dogs that are running loose (JAVMA, September 15, 2000)

After passing a leash law, the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, reported a 35% drop in dog bites.

6. Address through strong laws and education the problem of animal cruelty

Well over half (61%) of fatal dog attacks are by dogs who were not humanely controlled, or who had in some way been abused or neglected (Delise, Fatal Dog Attacks: The Stories Behind the Statistics))

7. Offer free or low cost training and education about the importance of socializing dogs early and making them part of the family.

81% of dogs involved in fatal dog attacks were isolated and not part of the family (Delise, Fatal Dog Attacks: The Stories Behind the Statistics))

8. Pass and enforce strong dog fighting laws that make all aspects of dog fighting illegal and include bonding and forfeiture provisions; organize a dog fighting task force

9. Require dog breeders to register or obtain licenses, limit breeding by age and numbers, ban breeding for aggression and fighting, ban the sale of dogs in pet stores and along roadsides, street corners or sidewalks; require inspections of breeders’ facilities and track sales of dogs by breeders.

10. Stop the cultural glorification of violence especially involving pit bull type dogs. (Animal Law Coalition)

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