Pit Bulls Soon May No Longer Be Classified as "Vicious" in Ohio

This week, the Ohio State Senate voted overwhelmingly to rescind the state's automatic label of "vicious" for all pit bulls. Ohio is the only state...

 |  Feb 2nd 2012  |   27 Contributions


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Pit bulls will no longer be automatically labeled "vicious" in Ohio if this bill passes. (Photo from the Flickr photostream of Calvin Dellinger/cstreet360)

This week, the Ohio State Senate voted overwhelmingly to rescind the state's automatic label of "vicious" for all pit bulls. Ohio is the only state in which the breed gets this classification just for existing, no matter how gentle and harmless.

If the bill passes the House, the "vicious" label will be slapped on pit bulls only if their behavior warrants it. That puts pitties on an equal legal footing with other dogs — focusing on the deed, not the breed. Determination of classifications like nuisance, dangerous, or vicious will be made on a case-by-case basis.

"If you have any dog, pit bull, husky, Chihuahua, no matter what its breed is, if it fits the criteria of dangerous or vicious then you have some insurance requirements to it," Rep. Barbara Sears said.

Approval of the bill would not take away the breed-specific legislation in towns and cities in Ohio. But some think that without the overarching state definition of pit bulls as vicious, BSL will not have the teeth it does now in the state.

There's finer detail of the bill — including information on insurance and behavior classifications — in an article in the North Country Gazette.

Dogsters, what do you think of this move? Could it change how people think about pit bulls, encouraging a "one label does not fit all" attitude? Or since it can't directly affect BSL, will it have any effect?

Sources: 10TV.com, UPI, North Country Gazette

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