Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ohio House Approves St. Rep. Sears’ Pit Bull Legislation

COLUMBUS—State Representative Barbara Sears (R-Monclova) today announced that House Bill 14—which revises the stereotyping of pit bills and adds due process in the Ohio Revised Code—passed from the Ohio House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support.
House Bill 14 would remove the Ohio Revised Code specification of pit bull breeds being inherently vicious. Current law defines vicious dogs as having histories of unprovoked aggression as well as any dog commonly known as a “pit bull.” Since a pit bull is not a distinct dog breed, the term often refers to other breeds’ resemblance to the idea of a pit bull, including American Staffordshire terriers, boxers, mastiffs, and bull terriers.
“Current law implies that pit bulls are inherently vicious and are the only dog breed that would attack without provocation,” Rep. Sears said. “It unfairly stereotypes dogs based solely on their appearance and allows truly vicious dogs to continue to roam our streets.”
The American Temperament Test Society, which tests the disposition of popular dog breeds based on unprovoked aggression and temper toward other dogs and people, found that pit bulls received an overall commendable temperament grade of 84.3 percent. Comparatively, they scored more favorably than, golden retrievers (84.2 percent), cocker spaniels (81.7 percent) and Chihuahuas (70 percent). Sears hopes that these findings will help to clear up public misconceptions about pit bull breeds and set a more accurate standard for deeming a dog as “vicious.”
"House Bill 14 holds both the dog and the owner responsible for the dog’s behavior and provides additional tools to law enforcement to protect our communities," said Rep. Sears.
House Bill 14 will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.