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OH: Toledo Citizens panel to study Toledo

Discussion in 'Breed Specific Legislation' started by StopBSL.com, Feb 19, 2010.

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    Toledo Citizens panel to study Toledo’s dog ordinance

    Toledo, OH: Citizens panel to study Toledo’s dog ordinance
    Posted on February 19, 2010 by Stop BSL

    Past news for Toledo: Search Results toledo Stop BSL

    toledoblade.com --

    Citizens panel to study Toledo’s dog ordinance

    Committee to seek options if appeal of ‘pit bull’ law is lost

    Article published February 18, 2010

    The city of Toledo’s contested vicious-dogs law will be getting a review by a citizen-led committee.

    Members of the Lucas County Dog Warden Advisory Committee voted unanimously yesterday to accept a request by Mayor Mike Bell that they examine and suggest changes to the controversial law, which puts additional restrictions on “pit bulls†and “pit-bullâ€- mixed dogs in the city.

    An opinion last month by Toledo Municipal Court Judge Michael Goulding found the law’s restrictions in conflict with home-rule doctrine, as its requirements go above and beyond state law.

    The city since has instructed the county dog warden to stop enforcing the vicious-dogs law while city attorneys appeal the judge’s ruling for its interpretation of home-rule doctrine.

    Steve Serchuk, chairman of the dog warden advisory committee, said after yesterday’s vote that members will start researching best practices to help guide their review and possible revision.

    Steve Herwat, Toledo’s deputy mayor of operations, asked the committee to review the law, even though he said the city is confident it will win in its appeal. The “fallback†option is to have to pass a new local ordinance that would parrot the state law on vicious dogs.

    “Certainly we believe the city of Toledo needs to have a vicious-dog law on its books,†Mr. Herwat said.

    The vicious-dogs law restricts city residents to just one “pit bull†or “pit bull†mix and requires that owners have their animal leashed and muzzled when off their property. Violation is a misdemeanor offense.

    Judge Goulding noted in his opinion that while Ohio law singles out “pit bulls†as inherently vicious, it does not set muzzling or ownership number restrictions as does the city law, or lump certain mixed-breed dogs with “pit bulls.â€

    A “pit bull†is a generic description term for a dog trained to fight and may refer to multiple breeds, including the American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, and American pit bull terrier.

    In other matters yesterday, the committee heard from Acting Lucas County Dog Warden Bonnie Mitchell that dog adoptions from the pound have been strong for months, thanks to the daily photos and listings published in The Blade.

    Ms. Mitchell said that few dogs have appeared on the petfinder.com Web site because dogs are quickly finding new owners after having their photos in the newspaper.

    “I’m getting all the dogs adopted basically through The Blade,†Ms. Mitchell said.

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