COLUMBUS- Ohio House Assistant Minority Rep. Matthew A. Szollosi (D-Toledo) and the Ohio House has approved legislation that will remove pit bulls from the definition of “vicious dog” from a state law that has been in effect since 1987.
In a speech to House colleagues during this afternoon’s legislative session, Rep. Szollosi cited a position by the American Kennel Club stating that breed specific legislation is not a viable solution to the problem of dog attacks and such language does not solve the underlying issue of irresponsible ownership. Instead, he said, they advocate for strong guidelines regarding dangerous dogs in general and public education regarding responsible pet ownership.
“I support the passage of House Bill 14 because it helps insure that animals are not being captured, impounded, and terminated simply because of their breed,” said Rep. Szollosi. “It is unjust to punish owners by taking away their pets, even if they have raised a well behaved, family friendly dog.”
If House Bill 14 becomes law, dogs of all breeds, including pit bulls will still be considered vicious if they, without provocation, have killed or caused serious injury to any person.
The bill also adds definitions for “nuisance dogs” and “dangerous dogs,” eliminates requirements of owners for just having a pit bull and implements new changes that owners must meet when they harbor an animal that has been deemed a “vicious dog.”
House Bill 14 now goes to the Ohio Senate for consideration.