After 25 years of ineffectiveness, the State of Ohio finally eliminates statewide breed-specific law

After 25 years, the State of Ohio has eliminated its statewide breed-specific law.

Gov. John Kasich signed the bill Tuesday morning eliminating the law that automatically declared the “pit bull” to be an inherently vicious dog. Ohio’s breed-specicific law was enacted in the summer of 1987, but never resulted in the improved community safety it sought. The law did result in discrimination and unjustified shelter killing. The new law will take effect in 90 days. In addition to dropping any reference to a specific breed of dog from the law, the new law will redefine current designations of “vicious” and “dangerous” dog, create a third lesser category of “nuisance” dog, create a process for dog owners to appeal law enforcement’s labeling of their dogs, and place the burden to prove the classification by clear and convincing evidence on the dog warden.

(Prepared in part from a report in the Toledo Blade.)