Reynoldsburg, Ohio Ad Hoc Committee to Review Pit Bull Ban after ACO Confuses Mastiff with a Pit Bull

Just like Denver whose Animal Control Officers are unable to tell the difference between what their own ordinance defines as a pit bull and a Boxer mix, so it would seem Reynoldsburg, Ohio cannot discern between a pit bull as defined by their own ordinance and a Cane Corso/Presa Canario cross, breeds which are both mastiffs which can weigh over 100 pounds.   Compare these mastiff breeds at approximately 100 pounds to dogs typically defined in breed-specific legislation (BSL) as pit bulls — American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers; dogs typically weighing no more than 65 pounds — and you can see why BSL is ineffective legislation.

BSL is ineffective and for precisely that reason: communities spend more time trying to figure out what a pit bull is as defined by their own ordinances that other potentially dangerous dogs and irresponsible dog owners fall through the cracks.   For instance, how many irresponsible dog owners were overlooked on Nov. 1 when Leazaun Thornton was cited for supposedly having a pit bull in Reynoldsburg where pit bulls are banned, even though her dog is a Cane Corso/Presa Canario cross?  

In fact, according to the Reynoldsburg News, “a Reynoldsburg officer took a photo of the dog and showed it to Franklin County dog warden Joe Rock, who identified the dog as a pit bull.”   But a mastiff is not a pit bull, and there is in excess of 30 pounds of dog flesh on Thornton’s dog to prove it.  

Perhaps that’s why the Reynoldsburg City Council created an ad hoc committee at its Nov. 12 council meeting to review Reynoldsburg’s pit bull ban.   Yes, because clearly Reynoldsburg’s BSL isn’t working.

As one of the ad hoc committee members, veterinarian Joel Melin, said,

“My experience over 35 years of practice is that it is not a breed problem, but either an individual animal issue or owner-driven behavior” . . .  

“By all means, dogs that are dangerous and their owners should be held responsible for their actions . . . It is not right to state any breed is going to be dangerous and therefore ban or restrict all.”

Let’s hope the entirety of the ad hoc committee and the Reynoldsburg City Council concludes same, because as even the White House now acknowledges, BSL is,

“largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.”  

Indeed, breed-specific legislation can even be harmful to a community’s safety since BSL in some areas —  like Denver and Miami-Dade counties and in cities like Winnipeg — has actually seen dog bite rates increase.


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