Portsmouth, OH, is rewriting their vicious dog ordinance. Their current ordinance is pretty sparse and does not go into a lot of detail about the definition a “vicious” dog or how to maintain it.
Unfortunately, it sounds like the proposed revisions will declare all “pit bulls” (and wolf hybrids) to be automatically labeled “vicious” dogs. Vicious dogs would have to be kept in specific enclosures, and owners would be required to obtain liability insurance.
If Portsmouth’s proposal sounds a bit like the old breed-specific state law (recently repealed), that’s probably not a coincidence. Portsmouth most likely enforced the old state law prior to that law’s revision. Now that the state law is removing BSL, Portsmouth is considering adding similar language into their own law so that they can continue to enforce it.
Please respectfully contact Portsmouth city officials and remind them that Ohio just repealed its breed-specific law for a reason: BSL doesn’t improve public safety, is expensive, and is unjust. Ask Portsmouth officials to remove the breed-specific language from their proposal.
City council email block (NOTE: one councilmember does not have email):
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; TNathan@portsmouthoh.org; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
The proposal will be discussed next at the March 12 council meeting.
City considers vicious dog law
By WAYNE ALLEN, PDT Staff Writer
[…] The ordinance presumes that all pit bulls and wolf-hybrids are vicious animals. […]
A draft of the ordinance was presented Monday to Portsmouth City Council. The next opportunity for Council action will be a first reading of the proposal on March 12. […]
Full article retrieved 3/1/12 from http://portsmouth-dailytimes.com/view/full_story/17699948/article-City-considers-vicious-dog-law
Thanks to Brian for alerting us about Portsmouth!