LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) - A Lakewood woman says she was told she could have a rescue dog. But, now that dog she's grown to love may be taken away from her. Soon, the animal she calls Charlie may have to find a new home.
Lakewood is one of almost a hundred Ohio cities that prohibit pit bulls or other dogs they classify as vicious. That notwithstanding, Jennifer Scott got permission, in writing, that she could take home a rescue dog with a broken tail that was housed at the Cleveland APL.
"I received an email back that said (the) dog would be welcome in Lakewood at this time. So the Lakewood animal warden said, 'Yes, you can have this dog in Lakewood.' Great, so we brought him home and started loving and training, all the things you do with a puppy," she said.
That was back in February.
"Four months later he got out of my yard. 100 percent my fault. 100 percent," said Scott.
After searching for Charlie she called the Lakewood Animal Shelter. They had him, so she went to get him.
"The animal warden said to me, 'You're in trouble because you know you're not allowed to have pit bulls in Lakewood, Jennifer.' Who said he's a pit bull? 'You can't have him in Lakewood and I've already turned you into the city. You will have a hearing in 30-45 days.'"
Word spread and the "I'm with Charlie" signs started popping up on lawns in Lakewood, as did support across Twitter and Facebook.
"My hope is that Lakewood will turn around the breed-specific law, take on stronger dog owner legislation. Let's not target a specific breed."
Jennifer says that 2012 the Ohio Supreme Court overturned breed specific laws. Now, she's ready to fight Lakewood City Hall.
"The attorney that handled that case is now my attorney, which is why I feel pretty confident in this, so we'll see," said Scott.
Even though the Ohio Supreme Court says breed-specific ordinances are unconstitutional, there are still over 80 municipalities with that restriction. Jennifer will have a hearing at Lakewood City Hall on Wednesday the 23rd at 3 p.m. to see if she'll be allowed to keep Charlie or not.
Join the conversation and weigh in on this local issue: