A new day dawns (for pits) in Cleveland
Pit bulls will no longer be considered vicious by virtue of their breed alone, under a measure adopted by the Cleveland City Council Monday night.
The City Council voted to amend part of the city’s vicious dog ordinance, creating two classifications — “Level 1 threat dogs (dangerous) and Level 2 threat dogs (vicious).
More important than that though, placing dogs in either of those categories will no longer be based on breed, but on behavior.
Dangerous dogs, under the new breed-neutral rules, are those that have chased or approached people in “a menacing manner or apparent attitude of attack,” attempted to bite people while off their own property, or have been picked up twice by animal control for being unrestrained or off their owner’s property.
Vicious dogs are those that have caused serious injury or death to any person or animal.
Owners of dogs classified as dangerous or vicious will, with some exemptions, be required to spay or neuter the pet, have signs on their property indicating their dog is a threat and obtain liability insurance, WOIO reported.
“Our previous law clearly targeted one breed, pit bull, as a vicious animal,” said Councilman Matt Zone, who introduced the legislation. “The breed of a dog is not an indicator of its personality. Any dog who is poorly trained and neglected, can be vicious and a threat to our community. These revisions shift the focus from the type of dog, to its behavior and neglectful actions of its owner.”
The classification of a threat dog can be made by Cleveland Municipal Court, Cleveland Animal Control Services or Cleveland Police. Owners will receive written notification and have the right to appeal. The court, animal control or police must show evidence in order to label a dog a threat.
“There are many responsible owners with good pit bulls,” said John Baird, Chief Animal Control Officer for the City of Cleveland. “In my years of experience it has become more difficult to identify, with certainty, if a dog is indeed a pit bull. Any dog can be vicious. I feel these revisions are fair and appropriate for our community.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amended, animals, behavior, breed neutral, breed-specific, breeds, classification, cleveland, dangerous, deed, dogs, laws, level 1, level 2, ohio, pets, pit, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, pitties, regulations, rules, threat, vicious