The unfortunate story of Gremlin, a therapy dog that cannot visit special-needs children in Parma schools because “pit bulls” are prohibited in Parma, has brought to the public’s attention one of the many problems with BSL: everyone is punished by breed-discriminatory laws, whether you own a dog or not.
If there was ever a time to ask Parma city council to repeal their breed ban, the time is now. You will be in good company. Some Parma residents are already contacting their councilmembers to express their thoughts. Please be respectful when corresponding.
Contact Parma city council:
Parma City Hall, 6611 Ridge Road, Parma, OH 44129
Tel: (440) 885-8091
Fax: (440) 885-8087
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Next regular city council meeting: November 21, 7 PM. Parma City Council meets on the first and third Mondays of the month for Regular Council Meetings. They also meet on the second and fourth Mondays of the month for Committee Meetings. Minutes and agendas: http://www.cityofparma-oh.gov/citycouncil/council-minutes.aspx
Three important things to know.
1) Therapy dogs are not service dogs! Service dogs are “exempt” from breed-specific laws under the ADA. Therapy dogs like Gremlin are not exempt from BSL.
2) Gremlin is banned from the entire city of Parma due to city ordinance. The school district is not responsible for the ban.
3) Ohio state law is breed-specific. Even if Parma repeals its breed ban, Ohio state law still designates “pit bulls” as “vicious” dogs and places special restrictions on ownership. HB 14 seeks to repeal statewide BSL.