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OH: Reynoldsburg considers reversing pit-bull ban

Discussion in 'Breed Specific Legislation' started by Vicki, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

    By Lori Kurtzman The Columbus Dispatch • Monday June 16, 2014 12:26 PM

    The question of whether pit bulls will be allowed in Reynoldsburg could be answered next month, but a former city councilwoman hopes the final word isn*t a rushed one.

    “I know they*re tired of listening,” Monica DeBrock said. “But that*s their fault. They tried to ignore it.”

    DeBrock was one of a handful of Reynoldsburg residents who joined animal and legal experts on an advisory committee to study the city*s animal ordinances. The council pulled together the committee after months of pleas from pit-bull advocates lobbying for a breed-neutral law. The breed has been banned in Reynoldsburg since 1996.

    The committee presented its proposal to the council last month, revising an entire chapter of city law.

    “We tried to strengthen the code to punish the bad behavior of both owners and animals,” lawyer and committee chairman Stephen Smith Jr. said. “We addressed everything under the sun — from tethering, to what constitutes a dangerous dog, to chickens.”

    The proposed changes would allow pit bulls, aligning Reynoldsburg*s definitions of dangerous and vicious dogs with those adopted by the state, which stopped labeling pit bulls as vicious in 2012. The proposals also would strengthen leash laws, regulate long-term and unattended tethering of animals, and ban keeping or training animals for fighting. And they would let residents keep chickens.

    “Twenty-four changes,” said Chris Long, the chairman of the city*s safety committee, which is to review the recommendations tonight. “It*s a whole lot more than pit bulls.”

    Long said that because of the number and complexity of the changes, he has asked the city*s law director to group them by topic. The committee was to hear the proposed changes tonight, but the issue has been put off until July 7, Long said.

    Long, who has never been in favor of repealing the ban on pit bulls, said it*s time to move ahead.

    “We*ve been beating this dead horse for a year,” he said.

    But speeding up a conclusion worries pit-bull advocates, including Lori Schwartzkopf, who began asking the council to repeal the ban nearly a year ago. She thinks the committee*s recommendations are fair and reasonable, but she doesn*t have much confidence that the council will adopt them.

    “This is how this council works,” she said. “They don*t play fair.”

    DeBrock, who lost her seat when she was edged out in a Republican primary last year, also fears that council members will rewrite the recommendations and quickly pass what they always wanted.

    “There*s no reason it should be an emergency,” she said. “I*m concerned, and I think our entire city should be concerned.”

    Reynoldsburg considers reversing pit-bull ban | The Columbus Dispatch
  2. Lillie May

    Lillie May Good Dog

    This is in Ohio, and I've been following this. I sent the Reynoldsburg Pit Bull FB page some links to help with their fight.

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