Yesterday, I tried to dive into a little detail on the court case that ruled the Toledo BSL Unconstitutional. Then, last night, the Toledo Blade reported that Toledo has in fact ceased enforcing their current breed specific regulations.
County Administrator Mike Beazley said, "We've directed them not to enforce Toledo's law."
Previously, the article notes, dog wardens had been able to venture on to Toledoans' property and seize dogs that look like 'pit bulls'. But such actions have now stopped.
No word yet on whether Toledo will appeal the court ruling or whether they will just be changing their ordinance.
Interestingly, buried in the last paragraph of the Blade article mentioned something that, in my opinion, is a really big deal. Here's the last paragraph:
The city of Toledo has a contract with the county dog warden to enforce its local laws. Last year the contract was for up to $146,882. The contract calls for the city to pay the dog warden's office $100 for every citation issued against a “pit bull” or “pit bull” mix dog.
So, in other words, Toledo was providing an incentive to Lucas County's dog wardens to pick up 'pit bulls' and kill them in the shelter (the shelter has a well-known policy against adopting out 'pit bull type' dogs). Last year, Lucas County took in and killed over 1000 'pit bulls' -- which could have meant up to $100,000 in incremental revenue for the dog warden's office based on the city incentive to do so. No wonder Skeldon and his crew were so focused on 'pit bulls', allowing dog bites to increase and shelter kill rates to hover around 77%. Their incentive was to capture, and kill, 'pit bulls'.
Hopefully the city of Toledo will not only re-write their law to not include breed specific language (which was ruled to be unconstitutional by the court), but also rewrite their contract with the Lucas County Dog Warden's office to incent activities that are good for citizens and for dogs -- like maybe declining bite rates, decreased shelter killing, better return-to-owner rates, etc. Now THAT would be real success.
One other note on this court case. I've been amazed that outside of the city of Toledo, no other media in the state have mentioned the story or the reality that it will have an impact state-wide on all cities with BSL beyond the state law.
More good news for the residents and dogs in Toledo...