Norwalk, Ohio Considers Breed-Specific Ordinance for “Pit Bulls”

From the Norwalk Reflector:

…After a lengthy discussion, council asked Law Director Stuart O’Hara to prepare two versions of the resolution for consideration at the next meeting one with language identifying all pit bulls as vicious dogs and another without labeling any breed as vicious and is based solely on a dog’s behavior.

Council also asked O’Hara to make some changes to the original resolution notice to owners of problem dogs would be sent by certified mail, the possible addition to the appeals board for vicious dogs of a veterinarian or canine advocate, dogs to be destroyed would be humanely euthanized by a vet, obedience training required would be approved by the American Kennel Club and a warning sign required for owners to post would only be required in the penalty phase of the legislation.

State law identifies pit bulls as vicious dogs, requires their owners to carry insurance covering possible attacks by their dogs and has rules for housing pit bulls.

The proposed city legislation also identifies pit bulls as vicious dogs and requires the insurance, but also requires pit bull owners to pay a $50 registration fee, install a microchip into their animals and give police a photograph of their dogs.

Mary Tester, who owns a pit bull, asked the city to be “progressive” by not automatically labeling all pit bulls as vicious dogs. “It is a shame that people who take the time to properly socialize a dog are penalized,” she said, adding she supports stiffer penalties for bad owners of any breed.

Dog Warden Bill Duncan said the city needs legislation to handle vicious dogs.

“We need a way to deal with the dogs that actually bite people, but are not pit bulls,” he said, adding he agreed with the proposal to identify pit bulls as vicious. “I don’t believe pit bulls are any more likely to bite, but I believe they can cause significant damage if they do bite.”

Read this article in its entirety here.

Please contact the Norwalk City Council here and politely inform them that breed-specific legislation in any form is ineffective and unenforceable.

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