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OH Update: Ask Governor Kasich to Sign the BSL Repeal!

(Friday, February 10, 2012)

The Ohio General Assembly has overwhelming approved House Bill 14, a bill that would finally remove the term “pit bull” from the state’s definition of “vicious dog” and hold all dog owners accountable, regardless of the breed they own.

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 Governor John Kasich and ask him to sign this important piece of legislation.

Click here for the Governor’s contact information and e-mail form.

Background:

Ohio is currently the only state to have enacted statewide breed-specific legislation (BSL). 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.

House Bill 14 would remove the term “pit bull” from state law, and create the designations of “nuisance”, “dangerous” and “vicious”. An amendment was added in the Senate to require that any individual who declares a dog to be under one of these designations to prove it by clear and convincing evidence.

Talking Points:

Read AKC talking points on breed-specific legislation.
Read AKC Issue Analysis "Why Breed-Specific Legislation Doesn’t Work"

For questions or more information, contact AKC Government Relations at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.

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