Man Says Dog Ordinance Has Too Much Teeth

AKRON, Ohio - Nearly every community has what's commonly known as a vicious dog ordinance, but a local man says Akron's ordinance goes too far, 19/43 News' Bill Younkin reported.

Brice Hagerty is taking on City Hall because he feels that Akron's law has too much teeth. He's fighting to get the law changed because he says that his dog's life could depend on it.

He says that his dog Percy could be a dead dog walking if she's ever caught again being walked without a muzzle.

"Me and my wife don't have kids," Hagerty said. "These are our kids to us."

Brice and Nicole Hagerty's oldest pit bull was to be put down after she was caught without a muzzle. That's the law.

"She's done nothing wrong, and I personally believe I haven't done anything wrong," Brice said.

Under Akron's vicious dog ordinance, however, all pit bulls must be muzzled in public. The fact that Percy has blue ribbons and training school certificates to prove she isn't dangerous has no influence on the law.

Fortunately, a judge was so impressed that she gave Percy a reprieve. Now, Brice feels that the law needs to be changed to protect behaved dogs like Percy.

The law is so strict that if the dog warden looked through a fence and saw Percy running loose in her own fenced-in backyard, she'd be put down.

"My objection to amending the ordinance is that it makes it more complicated," city administrator John Hoffman said.

Hoffman said that they are just trying to protect the public, but Brice argues that Cleveland has an exemption, so it makes sense that Akron would too.

"I think Akron is a little more conservative, a little more concerned about public safety," Brice said. "That's not to suggest that Clevelanders aren't, but maybe they're a little more forward thinking."

Brice said that until Akron catches up, he would walk Percy outside of city limits.

Brice's one-man war against Akron's vicious dog ordinance seems to be gaining steam. The City Council Safety Committee is looking into some changes in the law.