BSL in Ohio – Fight It!
It seems that Ohio is well on its way to becoming the most BSL-friendly, and Pit Bull unfriendly, state in the US. Not only do they have a number of counties that outright ban the ownership of Pit Bull-type dogs (the designation is given by Animal Control Officers determining whether or not a dog is a “breed of dog commonly known as a Pit Bull), but they have passed an absolutely unconstitutional, and almost comically prejudice, law designating each and every Pitbull breed dog as a “vicious dog”. According to the lawmaking geniuses in Ohio, “By State Law all Pit Bull type dogs are automatically termed to be “vicious dogs”. It doesn’t matter if the dog is a service dog, guide dog, therapy dog etc. If it resembles a Pit Bull, it is vicious by default. As an owner of a “vicious dog” you are subjected to specific laws regarding liability insurance and how your dog must be confined.”
What are these laws that all Ohio Pit Bull owners must follow? Well, if you are one of the lucky residents that lives in a county still allowing Pits, the first part of the legislation is not so terrible, basically requiring people to be responsible owners. All owners need to make sure their dog is securely confined to their yard, always be under control of the owner when out in public, and walked/run on a leash less than 6 feet.
After these simple regulations is where I start to have trouble. The Ohio law also states that all “vicious dogs” need to be muzzled when outside of the home. Now, if you have ever seen a dog wearing a muzzle, you can agree with me that any dog fitted with a muzzle is automatically about 1,000 times more aggressive and vicious looking, no matter what the actual demeanor of the dog. Odds are that if an owner is caring enough to take their pet out on daily walks in the neighborhood, they also are not harboring some sort of inherently vicious creature that will attack anything that moves. I can only imagine that this mandatory muzzling was done in an effort to further spread hatred and fear throughout the community against this already misunderstood breed; what a shame.
Do not let me forget to mention the $100,000 liability coverage that “vicious dog” owners are required to carry on their pets. Under Ohio’s state law, any dog that falls under their loosely defined Pit Bull category must be liable for up to $100,000 in personal injury/damages due to their supposition that they are likely to attack someone. Once again, here Ohio goes with punishing the responsible owners. Does your state really think that drug dealers or other unsavory characters that are keeping these dogs for protection, or to achieve some sort of status, are actually going to follow this law? Do you think these types of people really care that if they are caught not following the law they can get fined up to $1,000 or spent up to 6 months in prison? Come on… The only people you are hurting financially and threatening with prison is the loving, caring people, who have opened their homes to these dogs, many of whom have rescued a dog from a bad situation to give them a second chance at life. How is that any way to treat someone who rescues an animal?
Oh Ohio, I do not know how you managed to float under my radar for so long, but over the past few years you have been hard at work trying to eradicate Pitbulls and any dog resembling a Pit Bull from your state. Has anyone in your legislation ever even considered the pros/cons of introducing such a program? Are you aware that Pit Bulls (defined here as the American Pit Bull Terrier) perform better in temperament tests than Golden Retrievers? Do you know that many rescued Pits are employed as search and rescue, therapy, and guide dogs? Have any of you actually ever even MET a Pit Bull?!
Let me break it down for you. BSL is all fine and dandy while you are going after OTHER PEOPLE’S DOGS, but I have to tell you, your dog is going to be next. You will soon realize that Pit Bulls are not the problem. After all of the Pit Bulls are gone, the focus will shift to another breed, maybe the German Shepards or Rotweilers, then everyone will jump on the new BSL bandwagon, proclaiming that all GSD’s are vicious are ought to be put down, starting a never ending cycle of hurt, despair and senseless killing; all because you are quick to give into sensationalism and are utterly blind to the truth.
Pit Bulls are not for everyone, and unfortunately for the Pits, they have been gaining popularity over the past few decades, and have found themselves in the hands of ill-willed and irresponsible owners. I am completely against violent animals, and I do believe that any animal that has shown aggression towards humans should seek medical attention, but these dogs are not born this way. It is disgusting people like Tyler Eison and proponents of dogfighting that have led to many of the incidents we hear about all too often in the news. The dogs you hear about are not well cared for family pets, they are abused, neglected and improperly cared for canines, doing what they can to please their master. If you would take the time to carefully examine the extenuating circumstances taking place in most of these attack incidents, it will become apparent that the only thing we have to fear is the evil and careless nature of humans.
To me you are all the same. Anyone that thinks its right to ban/euthanize an entire breed of dog because of the actions of a few is no better than the person holding nightly dogfighting events. You are all killing these defenseless animals, and that is the only thing that matters to me. Wake up Ohio, you are not helping anyone with your BullShit Legislation, in fact, you are helping to make these dogs a lot more favorable to that segment of our society that enjoys breaking the law. To all of you out there in the same boat as me, Tucker and Guapo would really appreciate it if you contacted some of the people below and let them know how much their law stinks. Let me know if you need some help writing your letters:)
For those of you preferring to use the telephone -
Tyrone Yates, bill author #614-466-1308
David Daniels, chairman of committee #614-466-3506
Be sure to ask them about the new legislation in the works that will ban Pit Bulls in the entire state of Ohio – HB 568 (currently put on hold until fall 2008).
David Daniels, State Representative – email@example.com
Representative Tyrone Yates – firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Webster – email@example.com
Comprehensive List of ALL Ohio Reps -
Representative Steve Reinhard, Chairman
77 S. High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
(614) 719-6982 FAX
Representative Danny R. Bubp, Vice-Chairman
(614) 719-6988 FAX
Representative Jim Aslanides
(614) 719-6994 FAX
Representative Courtney Eric Combs
(614) 719-6954 FAX
Representative Diana M. Fessler
(614) 719-3979 FAX
Representative Lynn R. Wachtmann
(614) 719-3975 FAX
Representative John J. White
(614) 719-6966 FAX
Representative John Widowfield
Representative Allan R. Sayre, Ranking Minority Member
(614) 719-6996 FAX
Representative John Domenick
(614) 719-6995 FAX
Representative William J. Healy, II
(614) 719-6952 FAX
Representative Dale Mallory
(614) 719-3586 FAX
Representative Eugene R. Miller
(614) 719-0010 FAX
Representative Robert J. Otterman
(614) 719-6945 FAX
Representative Peter S. Ujvagi
(614) 719-6947 FAX
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