Hearing Set for Dog Breed-Specific Bill in Ohio

Bill would strike the term "pit bull” from Ohio’s definition of dangerous dogs.

Pit bullA bill that would strike the term “pit bull” from Ohio’s statutory definition of dangerous dogs is set for a hearing before the Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, April 14.

Sponsored by Rep. Barbara Sears, R-Lucas County, House Bill 79 would change state law to no longer single out “pit bull” dogs as vicious. As currently written, Ohio law states that if a dog “belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull”, it is automatically deemed vicious and dangerous.

Ohio is the only state to have statewide breed-specific legislation. Owners of these dogs are required to submit reports to the board of health and county dog warden whenever there is a transfer of ownership.

Breed-specific language in state law has enabled Ohio municipalities to enact strict ordinances regarding ownership of “pit bulls.”

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