This blog will deal with the politics of pit bulls. It will deal heavily with Ohio, virgin ground since the passage of HB 14. Ohio law, which did not ban any dog but did require pit bull owners to contain and insure their dogs, did a pretty fair job of protecting residents, but has recently been changed to suit the desires of breed specific advocacy. HB 14 was passed in February and effective May 22nd.
Ohio has already had its first pit bull mauling death since the passage of the bill. A three day old infant was killed by the family pit, raised and loved by the family. http://www.winonadailynews.com/news/national/article_f9e57e49-e098-5a9a-a362-63caf62d098c.html Predictably, this family has been thrown under the bus by other pit bull owners. This child had not yet been buried but organized pit bull advocacy held a celebration over the passage of the bill. An award was given to the perpetrator of the bill, Representative Barbara Sears. http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2012/05/18/Pit-bull-advocates-to-mark-change-to-vicious-dog-law.html
HB 14 would not have prevented this tragedy but will promote more of the same. Without insurance requirements, there is no disincentive to breed more pit bulls, filling shelters and wandering the streets. Shelters will promote these dogs as family pets, "they are just like any other dog". As has been seen in other states, the standards for adoption of pit bulls are very low. Without containment requirements, peaceful people going on about the peaceful details of their lives will meet pit bulls, and suffer the consequences. These dogs are no longer required to be insured. Victims will pay their own medical bills.
Ohio will be carefully watched for statistical purposes. A proactive law has been removed and a reactive law has been substituted. This reactive law was written by Ledy Vankavage, Senior Legislative Attorney for Best Friends Animal Society. The same Ledy Vankavage who wrote the Illinois law that has come to be called Anna's Law. Anna's law was promoted as the answer to animal over population in that state, and to protect the public from dangerous dogs. Anna's Law has proven to be a failed experiment. It protects nothing but violent dogs and their owners. Residents of that state are attempting to remove it, but this will be a long and difficult process.
Pit bulls and pit bull owners in Ohio have a clean slate, it will be interesting to see what they do with it. This blog will watch the new day for pit bulls in Ohio, and may, from time to time, look at other states as well. You just never know. The next post will deal with some of the "how did this happen" on HB 14.
For more on the impact of Anna's Law on Illinois residents please click here