Just what is a “pit bull”? According to Ohio state law, a vicious dog “belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog.” The legal definition of “pit bull” in Ohio hinges on the words “commonly known.” But who decides common knowledge? (I’m not aware of Ohio holding any public vote to determine which breeds count as “pit bulls.”)
The dogs in question in this article, Cane Corsos, are also called Italian mastiffs. They are one of the many molossoid/mastiff breeds out there (i.e. English Mastiff, Bullmastiff, Great Dane, Neapolitan Mastiff, Boxer, etc.). They are related to “pit bulls” only in the same way any of these other mastiff breeds would be—distant cousins sharing an ancient molosser ancestor.
Another ‘vicious dog’ case in the courtroom
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The eventual focus of this case – just what is a Pit Bull?
[…] Three dogs are being held at the warden’s office. The owner claims they’re Cane Corsos, not Pit Bulls. The dog warden disagrees.
[…] “There’s no question. They are not Pit Bulls and we can prove it right now. We have paperwork showing that they are Cane Corsos and that their parents were, and their great-grandparents were Cane Corsos,” says Smith.[…]
Full article retrieved 10/21/09 from http://abclocal.go.com/wtvg/story?section=news/local&id=7066998
Thanks to KC Dog Blog for the link to this article, and thanks to Smith’s attorney for the heads up.
Was the dog that got attacked running loose? Surely the owner of the Cane Corsos had his dogs on leash? If the dog was running loose, his owner had to learn the hard way to be more responsible with his dog, as any dog running loose can get itself into trouble. Why is the focus on the breed of dog and not on the irresponsible owner that had his dog “at large” and on enforcing the leash law in that town. If one dog was not loose, there would not have been a dog fight.
I completely agree, Kathryn. If this was a fence fight, it wouldn’t have made the news. It does seem most likely that the neighbor’s dog was off leash since they have no mention of or quotes from the neighbor in question. Maybe there are parts of the world where dogs are legally allowed to run loose? That’s all I can figure to explain this complete ignoral of the cause of the fight, which should be the most important thing in a dog fight or bite case.