HB 350 is now up for a vote Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 28, 2000. The proposed bill will make restrictive changes to Ohioís current dangerous/ vicious dog law.
Ohio is the only state in the union to have breed specific legislation at the state level. In Ohio a breed commonly identified as a pit bull dog is considered vicious. Dogs that seriously injure or kill a person, cause other than serious injury to a person, or kill another dog are also defined as vicious. Communities throughout Ohio have added other pure and mixed breeds to the pit bull definition.
If passed, HB 350 will REQUIRE MUZZLES on any vicious dogs when off the owner's property. This presents a serious problem for owners of dogs that are classified as vicious based only on appearance, NOT behavior.
No provisions are made for allowing a dog to be unmuzzled, unless it is hunting or in training for hunting.
HB 350 also makes it a felony to "debark or surgically silence" a vicious dog; to posess a vicious dog that has been debarked; or to "falsely attest" that the dog is not a vicious dog when signing a waiver provided by a veterinarian who will debark or surgically silence the dog. A debarked dog will be considered a deadly weapon.
Owners of debarked dogs may be charged with a 4th degree felony if their debarked dog is classified as vicious. The debarking portion of this law was created due to complaints by police that silent dogs were used to guard drug houses, and officers were injured when making drug busts. Toledo police have documented five cases in two years of encountering silenced dogs- is this enough to warrant a state law?
An ironic twist- in 1994 the Ohio State Senate endorsed the AKCís Canine Good Citizen program. A pit bull type that has passed a CGC in Ohio would be required to wear a muzzle, be on a chain-like leash, and have a $50,000 liability policy. Dogs with little to no training, who have not passed the CGC requirements, would not have these restrictions. Does this seem fair? Reasonable?Please contact the following to express your concerns regarding HB350.
This is Mr. Olmanís third term in office. He is an insurance agent for State Farm Insurance. In 1999, State Farm was a co-sponser with the HSUS for Dog Bite Safety Prevention Week. State Farm also publishes numerous educational materials for dog bite safety, none of which name specific breeds as vicious, all of which state that dog bites are a largely preventable problem.Other Sponsors for HB 350 include: