Colerain Township, Ohio May Consider “Pit Bull” Restrictions

Editor’s note: Again, what is a “pit bull”?   There is no such breed.   And since what folks refer to as “pit bulls” often runs the gamut of actual breeds and their mixes, it’s clear that Colerain Township has a free-roaming dog problem, not a “pit bull” problem.   As we have seen time and again with municipalities seeking to push breed-specific legislation (BSL), a free-roaming dog problem, especially in this economic downturn, is usually due to a lack of Animal Control enforcement.


…Colerain Township Trustee president Dennis Deters said he’s received at least five complaints about the dogs from residents in recent weeks. That follows an incident last month in which Colerain Township Police Officer Steven Karwisch was bitten by a stray pit bull and eventually shot and killed the dog.  

Deters said he wants the board to talk about whether there’s anything the township can do through home rule.

Home rule allows adopting townships expanded legislative authority and more power to enforce township resolutions.

…[Deters] said he’s asked Colerain Township Law Director James Reuter and Police Chief Dan Meloy to be ready to discuss the issue at the township’s first meeting in September.

Reuter said in 2004, the township passed an ordinance regarding the registration and training of vicious dogs, not pit bulls specifically. That resolution was based on a section of the Ohio Revised Code that the Ohio Supreme Court held was unconstitutional later that year.

Read this article in its entirety here.

Please contact the Colerain Township Board of Trustees here and politely inform them that breed-specific legislation in any form is unenforceable, ineffective, and unconstitutional.   It sounds like they simply need to enforce the law they already have in place. Please also inform them that Toledo’s breed-specific ordinance was ruled unconstitutional in January because it exceeded the purview of home rule power.   The Ohio Senate is also currently considering a repeal of the definition of “pit bulls” as dangerous via an amendment to HB 55.

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