Bill of the Week: Ohio HB 14

On February 21, 2012, Ohio HB 14 was signed into law by the Governor. This bill removes pit bulls from the definition of “vicious dogs” in state statute. Prior to the adoption of HB 14, Ohio was the only state in the nation to have state-wide breed-specific legislation enacted. The bill also revises the definition of “dangerous dog” and “vicious dog”; makes changes to the requirements that owners of dangerous or vicious dogs must abide by; and provides penalties for violations of the act.

While dog-bite prevention remains a priority, breed-specific legislation does not address the problem. Proper socialization of dogs, and proper training for both animal and owner, are important steps to prevent dog bites. Additionally, breed-specific bans create a host of other issues for animals and pet owners, including the risk of abandonment of the animal.

This is a great piece of legislation and I am happy that the Ohio legislature, Governor, and Ohio Veterinary Medical Association worked to get this adopted.

The bill becomes effective 90 days after signing.

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