Ohio Gov. John Kasich yesterday signed a bill that repeals the 25-year-old state law that automatically declared pit bulls vicious.
Once the new law takes effect, in 90 days, shelters will be able to allow them to be adopted, owners will no longer be required to buy additional liability insurance and pit bulls will be free of the restrictions imposed when the state declared them, based on their looks, a public enemy.
House Bill 14 was overwhelmingly approved 67-30 by the state House on Feb. 8.
In addition to dropping any reference to specific breeds, the new law redefines what makes a dog “vicious.”
The old law defined a vicious dog as one that, without provocation, has seriously injured a person, killed another dog, or belongs to the general breed of pit bull.
Dogs so labeled required additional liability insurance, restraints and were subject to other restrictions.
The new law revises the definitions for vicious, as well as the categories of “dangerous” or “nuisance” dogs. It also requires a dog warden to provide proof of why a dog deserves such a classification, and creates a process for dog owners to appeal law enforcement’s labeling of their dogs.
“A well-meaning but poorly conceived law is no more, and it represents a victory for Ohio dogs and their people,” said Gregory Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society, a Utah-based organization that opposes laws that discriminate against certain breeds of dog.
“It ends the practice of causing undue hardship to thousands of responsible owners of entirely friendly, properly supervised, well-socialized pets,” he added.
Best Friends said it hopes that the Florida’s legislature follows suit, and votes to change a similarly archaic law in Miami-Dade County, the only county in Florida where pit bulls are banned.
“The change in Ohio law truly signals a new day for dogs that for years have been discriminated against just because of their looks — the same type of discrimination that’s been going on in Miami-Dade County for years,” said Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative attorney for Best Friends.
Legislation that would repeal the Miami pit bull ban is under consideration in Florida, and recently passed through two more committees.
Florida outlawed canine profiling in 1990, but Miami-Dade County’s 1989 pit bull ban was grandfathered in. Hundreds of dogs and puppies are seized and killed in Miami-Dade every year because of their appearance, Best Friends says.
Ohio was the only state in the country to declare a type of dog vicious, based solely on appearance with no consideration of behavior.
(Photo: A smiling pit bull, from the website Three Little Pitties)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, automatic, bans, best friends, breed, breed based, breed-specific, breeds, dade county, dangerous, definition, discrimination, dog, dogs, governor, inherent, insurance, john kasich, law, legislation, liability, miami, nuisance, ohio, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, profiling, redefine, repeal, restraints, restrictions, signed, vicious
Former state senator Tom Hayden urged California Gov. Jerry Brown not to repeal a state law that requires shelters to keep dogs and cats six days before euthanizing them.
Hayden posted a video online urging Gov. Brown – an avowed dog lover who features his Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Sutter, on the official governor’s website – to take a look at his own dog before repealing the legislation.
“Governor, I see you’re a dog owner. I can tell from the publicity that you love that dog, your wife loves that dog,” said Hayden, who wrote the 1998 bill while he was in the senate. ”So stop and think: Thousands of dogs and cats are put to death needlessly every year … I urge you to look at your dog before you allow this bill that protects animals to die.”
The law lengthened the time animal shelters must hold stray animals before euthanizing them, generally from three days to six days. Its edicts were suspended by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009.
The shelter law is one of about 30 local government mandates Gov. Brown is proposing to repeal next fiscal year to save money, according to the Sacramento Bee.
The state estimates it would save about $46 million from the shelter mandate alone.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal, animal welfare, animals, budget, california, cats, corgi, crisis, dogs, euthanasia, governor, holding period, jerry brown, law, mandate, measure, pembroke, pets, plea, repeal, repealing, shelters, six days, sutter, three days, tom hayden, video, welsh corgi
Back in April, New York’s Division of Cemeteries issued an edict to pet cemeteries, prohibiting the burying of pet owner’s ashes alongside the remains of their beloved pets.
The order from the state office came after an Associated Press story about the growing number of Americans who have decided to share a final resting place with their pets, and who, because pet remains aren’t often welcome in human cemeteries, have opted to spend eternity in a doggie graveyard.
Apparently, this was news to the cemetery division — even though it has been going on, most everywhere, for a long time. A good 700 humans — in cremated form — had been interred at New York’s 115-year-old Hartsdale Pet Cemetery before the state told it to stop.
That order came in February, and in April it was extended statewide.
Last week, the state Division of Cemeteries issued new regulations, once again permitting animal lovers, in cremated form, to rest in peace with their pets in pet cemeteries.
The new regulations, CBS News reported, do impose some conditions: Pet cemeteries may not advertise that they accept human ashes; nor may they charge a fee for doing so.
A spokesman for the department that oversees the cemetery division said the prohibition was put in place because cremated remains in pet cemeteries don’t have the same protections as those in human cemeteries — namely the assurance that the cemetery will be maintained.
Like anyone’s ashes — dog or human — are going to care about that.
The ruling had kept the ashes of at least one human from being buried. Taylor York, a law professor at Keuka College said the state order meant the ashes of her uncle, Thomas Ryan, who died in April, couldn’t be buried alongside his deceased dogs.
York sent the cemeteries division a legal memo detailing why the state was wrong in banning burials of cremated human remains in pet cemeteries.
As the cemetery division saw it, law mandates that any cemetery providing burial space for humans be operated as a not-for-profit corporation. By promoting the human-interment service and charging a fee to open a grave and add ashes, Hartsdale was violating laws governing not-for-profit corporations.
But Hartsdale isn’t a non-profit corporation.
“The law is clear,” York said. “There’s no authority for this board to just arbitrarily impose nonprofit corporation law on a privately incorporated for-profit business.”
All the boring legal stuff aside, there really was, and is, no good reason to get bent out of shape about ashes, of whatever species. We throw them in the ocean, we cast them in the wind, we can even use them to make trees grow.
And there’s no good reason for a state government to bury us, or our simple last wishes, in red tape.
“My uncle wants to be buried beside … what he considered to be his children and I’m not letting anyone stand in the way,” York said before the new ruling was issued. “His love for those dogs was just as real and just as strong as any parent’s for any child.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ashes, ban, beside, burial, buried with dog, buried with pet, cemetery, cremains, cremated, cremation, division of cemeteries, dogs, edict, grave, hartsdale, interment, legal, maintenance, new york, next to, order, pet cemetery, pets, protections, regulations, repeal, rest in peace, resting place, taylor york, thomas ryan, with
Ohio lawmakers were encouraged this week to repeal a nearly 25-year-old law that singles out pit bulls as vicious — not based on their behavior, but on their bloodlines, or sometimes just their suspected bloodlines.
Dr. Linda Lord, president of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association, was one of five who gave testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, urging an end to the state’s restrictions against pit bulls, the Toledo Blade reported.
“The effective control of vicious animals is in the best interest of the state. However, current law placing restrictions on one specific type of dog is contrary to actually addressing the problem of aggressive canine behavior,” Dr. Lord said.
“Placing arbitrary limitations on the ownership of a specific type of dog only serves to create a stigma and place undue burdens on responsible animal owners.”
Dr. Lord told legislators that in her years of practice, she was more fearful of being bitten by dachshunds than by any so-called pit bull breed.
A bill to repeal the pit bull restrictions passed the House last spring. The Senate Judiciary chairman has tentatively scheduled a committee vote for January, according to The Blade.
Under Ohio’s current law, a dog can be labeled “vicious” if it has killed or seriously injured a person, killed another dog, or is a pit bull. Under House Bill 14, the definitions would be revised, and all breed-specific language would be removed.
Several Ohio cities that once banned pit bulls have lifted their restrictions, but repealing the state law has yet to be accomplished.
Five other witnesses testified earlier this week in favor of repealing the law.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ban, breed, breed-specific, breeds, committee, dachshunds, dogs, judiciary, legislation, linda lord, ohio, ohio veterinary medical association, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbulls, repeal, senate, stigma, testimony, vicious
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed repealing a law designed to postpone euthanasia in animal shelters.
The governor — facing a $24.3 billion deficit — says he will ask the state legislature to repeal a 1998 law called the “Hayden Bill,” which requires shelters to keep animals alive four to six days before putting them to sleep. The state government reimburses local governments for the cost of housing animals for the extended holding period.
Schwarzenegger’s recommendation would allow shelters to euthanize animals after three days, according to the San Diego News Network.
The change in policy would save the state about $24 million in feeding, caring for and housing the animals, according to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office.
Animal-rights organizations have asked the governor to temporarily suspend the bill instead, and are trying to work out an adoption-incentive funding plan that would assist shelters.
The Humane Society of the United States, the American SPCA, the State Humane Association of California and California Animal Control Directors Association have all filed notice of opposition to the governor’s plan.
In 2007-2008, the county’s shelters took in 26,078 animals, about11,600 were adopted out, or sent to a rescue group, and 4,800 of which were reunited with owners. About 7,500 had to be euthanized, which is a decrease from the 9,218 euthanized in 2003-2004.
“Dogs and cats are as American as apple pie and baseball; you can’t mess with someone’s family – their kids, or their pets,” said Darlene White, the executive director of the San Diego Animal Support Foundation. “These pets – our pets – deserve the extra days for us to try to find them.”
The governor’s proposal will force shelters to euthanize animals before owners can claim them, or before privately-funded shelters or rescue groups can save them, White said.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arnold, budget, california, cats, deficit, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, extra days, governor, holding, housing, pets, proposed, reduces, repeal, schwarzenegger, shelters
The otherwise dog-friendly state of Washington is working to remove two embarassingly unfriendly laws from its books, both of which require wandering dogs to be shot.
The state Senate unanimously approved a bill Monday that could repeal both, the Associated Press reported.
“I thought it was a joke. I didn’t realize that this was in statute,” said Sen. Dale Brandland, R-Bellingham, sponsor of the measure to repeal the old laws. “It’s very outdated … they need to go.”
One of the laws in question gives dog owners 48 hours to kill their dog if it is found killing another animal. The other law requires sheriffs to kill any dog running at large without a metal dog tag, between the months of August and February.
The measure now moves to the House for consideration. The laws have been on the books since the early 1900s when the health and welfare of livestock was of greater concern to state residents.