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Please Support Ohio HB 79 to Remove BSL from Ohio Law!

(Monday, May 04, 2009)

In mid-March, Ohio Representative Barbara Sears of Lucas County introduced House Bill 79, which removes the term "pit bull" from Ohio's statutory definition of dangerous dogs.

Ohio is currently the only state to have enacted statewide breed-specific legislation. The current law states that if a dog "belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull", then it is automatically considered vicious and dangerous and the owner is 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 also enabled local Ohio municipalities to enact strict ordinances regarding ownership of "pit bulls".

The American Kennel Club strongly supports House Bill 79 and other measures that recognize that dangerous dogs should be defined by their deeds, not their breed. The AKC urges communities to establish a fair process by which specific dogs may be identified as "dangerous" based on stated, measurable actions, impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible owners, and establish a well-defined method for dealing with dogs proven to be dangerous.

The AKC strongly opposes any legislation that determines a dog to be "dangerous" based on specific breeds, and lauds the Ohio representatives who seek to remove this discriminatory language from state law.

How You Can Help

  • Contact your State Representative and express your support for House Bill 79. To find you Representative and their contact information, visit the Ohio General Assembly web site and type in your zip code in the "Locating Legislators" section of the home page.
  • Thank the sponsor and co-sponsors of House Bill 79 for their support in removing the breed-specific language from statute. Their contact information is as follows:

    Rep. Barbara Sears (Sponsor)
    77 S. High Street, 10th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-1731
    Fax: (614) 719-6946
    E-mail: district46@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Michael Skindell (Co-Sponsor)
    77 S. High Street, 13th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-5921
    Fax: (614) 719-3913
    E-mail: district13@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Gerald Stebelton (Co-Sponsor)
    77 S. High Street, 10th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-8100
    Fax: (614) 719-0005
    E-mail: district05@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (Co-Sponsor)
    77 S. High Street, 10th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-3760
    Fax: (614) 719-3975
    E-mail: district75@ohr.state.oh.us

  • Contact the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and ask him to schedule a hearing on HB 79.

    Rep. John Domenick (Chair)
    77 S. High Street, 12th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-3735
    Fax: (614) 719-6995
    E-mail: district95@ohr.state.oh.us

  • Contact the members of the House Agriculture Committee, tell them you support House Bill 79 and ask them to request Chairman Domenick schedule a hearing on this bill.

    Rep. Allan Sayre (Vice Chair)
    77 S. High Street, 14th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-8035
    Fax: (614) 719-6996
    E-mail: district96@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Jeff Wagner (Ranking Minority Member)
    77 S. High Street, 10th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-1374
    Fax: (614) 719-6981
    E-mail: district81@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Richard Adams
    77 S. High Street, 10th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-8114
    Fax: (614) 719-3979
    E-mail: district79@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Troy Balderson
    77 S. High Street, 11th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 644-6014
    Fax: (614) 719-6994
    E-mail: district94@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Linda Bolon
    77 S. High Street, 13th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-8022
    Fax: (614) 719-6971
    E-mail: district01@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Terry Boose
    77 S. High Street, 10th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-9628
    Fax: (614) 719-3958
    E-mail: district58@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Timothy Derickson
    77 S. High Street, 11th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 644-5094
    Fax: (614) 719-6953
    E-mail: district53@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Dan Dodd
    77 S. High Street, 11th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-2500
    Fax: (614) 719-6991
    E-mail: district91@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Matthew Dolan
    77 S. High Street, 10th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 644-5088
    Fax: (614) 719-6998
    E-mail: district98@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Jennifer Garrison
    77 S. High Street, 14th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 644-8728
    Fax: (614) 719-6993
    E-mail: district93@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Dave Hall
    77 S. High Street, 11th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-2994
    Fax: (614) 719-6997
    E-mail: district97@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Dennis Murray
    77 S. High Street, 13th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 644-6011
    Fax: (614) 719-6980
    E-mail: district80@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Deborah Newcomb
    77 S. High Street, 13th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-1405
    Fax: (614) 719-6999
    E-mail: district99@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Mark Okey
    77 S. High Street, 11th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-1464
    Fax: (614) 719-3961
    E-mail: district61@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Raymond Pryor
    77 S. High Street, 11th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 644-7928
    Fax: (614) 719-6985
    E-mail: district85@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Margaret Ruhl
    77 S. High Street, 11th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-1431
    Fax: (614) 719-6990
    E-mail: district90@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. W. Carlton Weddington
    77 S. High Street, 11th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-5343
    Fax: (614) 719-3581
    E-mail: district27@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. James Zehringer
    77 S. High Street, 11th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43215
    Phone: (614) 466-6344
    Fax: (614) 719-3977
    E-mail: district77@ohr.state.oh.us

Additional Resources

For more information, contact AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.