Governor Kasich signed House Bill 14 into law Tuesday eliminating a 25-year-old Ohio law automatically declaring pit bulls to be vicious dogs.
The new law will take effect in 90 days.
In addition to dropping any reference to a specific breed of dog from the law, the new law will redefine current designations of "vicious" and "dangerous" dog, create a third lesser category of "nuisance" dog, create a process for dog owners to appeal law enforcement's labeling of their dogs, and place the burden to prove the classification by clear and convincing evidence on the dog warden.
The Cleveland APL says that the new law will improve the ability of dog wardens and law enforcement officers to protect
the public from all dangerous dogs, regardless of their breed, while ending the senseless punishment
of good dog owners and good dogs for acts they have not committed.
"Many people have worked long and hard to reach this historic day in the state of Ohio," shared Cleveland APL CEO Sharon Harvey. "On behalf of the people of the Cleveland Animal Protective League, as well as Diamond, one of the pit bulls who is up for adoption at our humane society, I'd like to share our gratitude with the Ohio Dog Wardens Association, our state legislators who voted in favor of HB 14, Governor John Kasich, and every animal advocate who worked to make this new law a reality. Today, we celebrate a step forward in making Ohio a safer place for animals and people alike."