MOUNT VERNON — If you own a dog of the type commonly known as a “pit bull,” it will no longer automatically be considered a vicious dog if Gov. John Kasich signs legislation passed this week by the General Assembly.
The House of Representatives Wednesday gave its approval to the amended version of House Bill 14, passed Jan. 31 by the Senate, to eliminate “pit bulls” from the definition of a vicious dog. The law also establishes a system of appealing the designation of a dog as “nuisance,” “dangerous,” or “vicious”; defines a nuisance dog and changes the definitions for dangerous and vicious dogs; requires the owner of a dangerous dog to obtain a dangerous dog registration certificate; prohibits certain felons from owning dogs under certain conditions, and changes penalties involving ownership of nuisance, dangerous and vicious dogs.
But the central feature of the law is to remove pit bulls as the only breed specifically designated as vicious. Ohio has been the only state with a law designating a specific breed of dog as vicious, a law that has been on the books for 25 years.
The change in the law does not affect charter cities, such as Bexley, that have banned pit bulls. No communities in Knox County have taken that course.