A 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.”