Xenia, OH: BSL / ban kept in revised animal ordinance

Xenia, OH, has passed a new animal ordinance. Rather than remove the breed-specific language that was already in the old ordinance, the new animal ordinance has clarified the language and increased the restrictions for owners of certain breeds. However, there’s also a twist—due to conflicting language in the ordinance, it appears Xenia may actually have a breed ban, not restrictions.

Section 604 of the ordinance defines and describes the following breeds: American Bulldog, Canary Dog, and pit bull terrier (Am Staff, APBT, Staff Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, mixes of these, and look-alikes). It also defines “vicious dog” as all of the above breeds.

Section 618.02 describes the new requirements for keeping vicious dogs (including American Bulldogs, Canary Dogs, and pit bull terriers). These requirements include special registration, liability insurance, special containment, muzzling, and a limit of 3 “vicious” dogs.

And then there’s Section 618.15. This is an old section of the code and was not changed by the recent revisions. This section bans the keeping of wild, vicious, and dangerous animals. In particular, the section bans without exception “vicious domesticated animals.”

Although “domesticated animal” is not defined in the code, we assume it includes dogs; therefore, it seems that vicious dogs cannot be kept or owned in Xenia—to include American Bulldogs, Canary dogs, and pit bull terriers.

See the conflict? The new revisions in 618.02 increase the restrictions on ownership of vicious dogs, but 618.15 bans vicious animals/dogs.

This conflict between the sections leads us to believe that Xenia city council is unaware of the ramifications of 618.15. We also suspect that those charged with enforcing the ordinance are unaware of the ban imposed by 618.15. Although the ban probably isn’t being enforced, if you own any of the aforementioned breeds (including look-alikes and mixes) that are designated as “vicious,” we suggest that you avoid Xenia.

Read the revised ordinance for yourself: http://www.ci.xenia.oh.us/uploads/City%20Clerk%20Documents/2011%20Ordinances%20and%20Resolutions/Ord.%2011-70%20Amend%20XCO%20Chap.%20604%20and%20618%20Animals.pdf

News articles about the recent ordinance changes: http://www.wdtn.com/dpp/news/local/greene_county/xenia-requires-viscous-dog-registration
http://www.wdtn.com/dpp/community/dangerous-dog-registration-in-greene-co

Contact information for city officials:
Jeanne Mills, Council President, jmills@ci.xenia.oh.us
William (Bill) R. Miller, Vice President, bmiller@ci.xenia.oh.us
Marsha J. Bayless, Mayor, mbayless@ci.xenia.oh.us
John G. Caupp, jcaupp@ci.xenia.oh.us
Michael D. Engle, mengle@ci.xenia.oh.us
Dale Louderback, dlouderback@ci.xenia.oh.us
Wesley Smith, wsmith@ci.xenia.oh.us
City Clerk, (937) 376-7235, mjohnson@ci.xenia.oh.us

Email block for cut and paste: jmills@ci.xenia.oh.us; bmiller@ci.xenia.oh.us; mbayless@ci.xenia.oh.us; jcaupp@ci.xenia.oh.us; mengle@ci.xenia.oh.us; dlouderback@ci.xenia.oh.us; wsmith@ci.xenia.oh.us; mjohnson@ci.xenia.oh.us

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