Ohio Signs Bill to End BSL
Today is an exciting day for pit bull owners in Ohio and anti-BSL supporters worldwide. Earlier this morning, Governor Kasich signed Ohio House Bill 14 into law – effectively ending 25 years of discriminatory breed specific legislation geared toward pit bull-type dogs. Click here to read a background on BSL in Ohio
Ohio’s HB 14 not only reverses the previous law, but helps to strengthen current dangerous dog laws by focusing on irresponsible owners, instead of innocent family pets. Dog wardens and those working in animal rescue will now be able to use their time and resources to protect the public from verifiably dangerous dogs, instead of wrongly targeting family pets that simply “look the wrong way”.
Prior to today’s passing of HB 14, Ohio was the only state with laws that permitted the declaration of a vicious dog based only on the dog’s appearance, without taking temperament or other behavioral criteria into consideration.
It is my hope that other states and countries that have looked to Ohio to set the precedent for BSL will now re-evaluate their existing or proposed laws. As Ohio has shown, BSL is an expensive, ineffective way to prevent dog bites and other acts. At the end of the day, as reinforced by Ohio’s new legislation, the only way to truly keep the public protected and safe from the acts of dangerous dogs is to punish the careless, ignorant owners that have allowed and/or encouraged the behaviors.