(ANIMAL NEWS) — Ohio Governor John Kasich just repealed the statewide breed discriminatory law against pit bulls. Now pit bull guardians do not have to pay unfair fines or fence their yards just to keep their four-legged pals. Hopefully this will encourage other states with breed discrimination laws to give them a second look. Read on for more details on this good news! — Global Animal
Ledy VanKavage, Change.org
Last year, Ohio resident Eric Schumacher was ticketed when he was out walking his dog. He had to pay $550 for insurance, plus spend another $1,500 to build a fence. His dog, Brutus, had never been a threat to other people — his only crime was being a pit bull.
Eric and Brutus don’t have to worry about facing this kind discrimination anymore. This week, Governor John Kasich signed HB 14 and repealed Ohio’s statewide breed discriminatory law.
Abolishing canine profiling in the Buckeye state was an historic accomplishment made possible by Change.org members, with Best Friends Animal Society and the Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates leading the charge. The antiquated pit bull law not only resulted in the killing of thousands of puppies and dogs, it wasted millions of taxpayer dollars. Indeed, eradicating breed discrimination is not only an animal welfare issue, it is a property rights issue, and a matter of economic justice when people like Eric are forced to pay unfair fines just to keep their pets.
“A well-meaning but poorly conceived law is no more, and it represents a victory for Ohio dogs and their people,” said Gregory Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society. “It ends the practice of causing undue hardship to thousands of responsible owners of entirely friendly, properly supervised, well-socialized pets.”
Jean Keating, who started the petition on Change.org, said, “The Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates would like to thank everyone for their hard work on HB 14. We’re grateful for the support of Best Friends Animal Society and the nearly 20,000 people who signed our petition on Change.org.”
In the wake of this huge victory for Ohio’s dogs, other officials across North America are giving their breed discriminatory laws a second look. Bill 16 will soon be voted on this week to repeal the Ontario pit bull ban. Legislation to end the pit bull ban in Miami-Dade County — Florida’s only county-wide breed discriminatory law — gained momentum as it recently passed its first committee hurdles in both the Senate and the House with overwhelming support.
After learning of the Ohio law’s passage Ruta Mazelis wrote, “Now I can tell my rescued pitty, Sea, that she is ‘just’ a dog and not the object of misguided hatred.” Let’s hope others, like Miami Marlins’ pitcherMark Buehrle and his family, can say the same thing to their dogs soon.