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Ask the Ohio Senate to Support Removing BSL from State Law!

(Wednesday, January 11, 2012)

Yesterday, the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved House Bill 14, which would remove language existing in state statute for over 20 years that declares specific breeds of dog to be inherently vicious. The bill could be considered by the full Senate as early as next week.

The AKC believes this legislation goes a long way toward ensuring that the rights of responsible dog owners are safeguarded while protecting the community against truly dangerous dogs, regardless of their breed. All responsible Ohio dog owners are urged to contact the Senate and ask them to support this bill. Scroll down for information on how to contact the Senate.

Read AKC's previous Legislative Alert for more information on House Bill 14.

Background:
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. The term "pit bull" is not defined, and left open for broad interpretation by local animal control officials.

Owners of these dogs must comply with numerous regulations, regardless of whether the dog is actually a problem in the community. The breed-specific language in state law has also enabled local Ohio municipalities to enact strict ordinances regarding ownership of "pit bulls" and has led to the ban and euthanasia of numerous dogs in communities throughout the state.

Talking Points:

Contact Information:
To find the name and contact information for your State Senator, use the "Find Your Senator" tool on the Ohio State Senate website (http://www.ohiosenate.gov/).

You can also find the names and contact information for all 33 state senators here.

The AKC Government Relations Department will continue to closely track this bill and provide more information as it becomes available. For more information on House Bill 14, contact us at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.

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