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Ohio Looks at Repealing Breed-Specific Law

(Tuesday, May 03, 2005)

In response to a state Supreme Court decision last year that declared part of Ohio's breed-specific dangerous dog law unconstitutional , Representatives Kathy Walcher and Shawn Webster are sponsoring HB189. The bill makes significant revisions to the state's dangerous dog law, the most important being the repeal of an existing breed-specific provision that automatically declares "pit bulls" vicious dogs. The bill also:

  • Expands the definition of vicious dog to include one that has killed or caused serious physical harm to a person (without provocation), has killed another dog (without provocation) or has been trained or used for fighting purposes.
  • Grants owners whose dogs have been deemed vicious the right to a hearing, full adjudication, and an appeal
  • Requires strict care conditions for vicious dogs
  • Limits owners to one vicious dog per household
  • Provides that officers who preside over vicious dog hearings must have completed courses in canine behavior

AKC and concerned dog owners have long opposed Ohio's breed-specific dangerous dog law. HB189 provides a wonderful opportunity to replace that statute with a reasonable, enforceable law that will keep communities safe without unfairly punishing responsible owners. While there are some details of the bill that we would like to see amended, AKC believes that HB189 represents an extremely important step forward for Ohio dog owners. The Canine Legislation department will monitor developments closely and share them as they become available.

What You Can Do:

  • HB189 was recently assigned to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and will be heard on Wednesday, May 4th at 8:30. Please contact the committee members below and urge them to support the repeal of Ohio's breed specific law and the opportunity to further develop a non-discriminatory, enforceable dangerous dog bill for the state. Your voice is especially important if your representative sits on the committee! To find out who represents you in the Ohio House of Representatives, visit: http://www.house.state.oh.us/jsps/Representatives.jsp.

House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee
State Capitol
Columbus, OH 43266-0603
Phone: 614/644-6014

Rep. Jim Aslanides (R) [Chair]
Phone: 614/644-6014
Email: district94@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Jim McGregor (R) [Vice Chair]
Phone:614/644-6002, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district20@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Timothy J. Cassell (D)
Phone:614/466-4308, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district63@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Tony Core (R)
Phone:614/466-8147
Email: district83@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. L. George Distel (D)
Phone:614/466-1405, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district99@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Matthew J. Dolan (R)
Phone:614/644-5088, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district98@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. John Domenick (D)
Phone:614/466-3735, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district95@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Clyde Evans (R)
Phone:614/466-1366, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district87@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Jennifer Garrison (D)
Phone:614/466-4306, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district93@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Bob Gibbs (R)
Phone:614/466-2994, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district97@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Mike Mitchell (D)
Phone:614/466-8010, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district26@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Steve Reinhard (R)
Phone:614/644-6265, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district82@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Allan R Sayre (D)
Phone:614/466-4308, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district96@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. John M. Schlichter (R)
Phone:614/644-7928, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district85@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Derrick Seaver (D)
Phone:614/466-1507, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district78@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Arlene J. Setzer (R)
Phone:614/644-8051, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district36@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Jeff Wagner (R)
Phone:614/466-1374, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district81@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Kathleen L. Walcher (R) (Co-Sponsor)
Phone:614/466-9628, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district58@ohr.state.oh.us

Rep. Tyrone K. Yates (D)
Phone:614/466-1308, FAX:614/644-9494
Email: district33@ohr.state.oh.us

  • Thank the bill sponsors for introducing this important bill!
    The Honorable Kathy Walcher
    77 S. High St
    13th Floor
    Columbus,OH 43215-6111
    Telephone: (614) 466-9628
    Fax: (614) 644-9494
    Email Address: district58@ohr.state.oh.us

    The Honorable Shawn Webster, DVM
    77 S. High St
    13th Floor
    Columbus,OH 43215-6111
    Telephone: (614) 644-5094
    Fax: (614) 644-9494
    Email Address: district53@ohr.state.oh.us

  • Watch AKC's Web site for further updates.

For more information, contact:
Ohio Valley Dog Owners
www.canismajor.com/orgs/ovdo
ovdo@canismajor.com

Canine Friends of Cleveland
PO Box 37140
Maple Heights, OH 44137
216-556-5PET
413-812-4282 (fax)
Melanie Tierney
aegis66@earthlink.net

AKC's Canine Legislation department
919-816-3720, doglaw@akc.org