Just a few minutes ago, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed HB 14 into law. HB 14 removes the designation of all "pit bulls' as being potentially aggressive and replaces the law with a breed-neutral, behavior based law.
A huge congrats goes out to the many people in Ohio, Representative Barbara Sears, as well as many national organizations, for their diligent work in making this happen. I've gotten the pleasure to meet many of the folks involved in this repeal over the years and am blown away by their knowledge and dedication. To everyone who worked for years to make this happen, congrats.
The repeal passed with 70% of the votes from the House of Representatives, 84% from the Senate, and a confirming approval of the Governor. Not only does the signing of the bill end the reign of the breed-specific law in Ohio, the decisiveness of the voting indicates the changing nature of attitudes about breed-specific laws among lawmakers who are continuing to note that breed-specific laws are not an effective solution to solving dog bites -- but that behavior-based ordinances are.
Ohio's Breed-Specific law has stood since 1987. At the time, the state legislature passed a bill through very quickly after a very well-publicized attack involving a physician who was attacked after visiting a prostitute. The law was passed as an act of Panic Policy-Making -- and stood for 25 years. In spite of knee jerk policy, the Ohio law has been used by breed ban advocates as a reason why breed-specific laws are a good idea (even though Ohio was the ONLY state with a law targeting breeds of dogs and 14 states actually forbid such legislation).
But the law is no more: signaling not only a change in laws but a change in attitudes, a change in perspectives, a change in the ideas of what constitutes effective canine legislation and a change in the lives of the owners of these types of dogs.
This is good for the dogs. And for the people.
Great news out of the state of Ohio today. Great news indeed.