Reynoldsburg May Repeal Breed Ban

Photo courtesy of Brad Hauser; Hauser adopted Maddie in Reynoldsburg despite the suburb’s ban on pit bulls.

Photo courtesy of Brad Hauser; Hauser adopted Maddie in Reynoldsburg despite the suburb’s ban on pit bulls.

Pit Bulls have been banned in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, since 1996, and come July 2014, the ban will be up for repeal.

Monica DeBrock was one of a handful of Reynoldsburg residents who joined animal and legal experts on an advisory committee to study the city’s animal ordinances. The council pulled together the committee after months of please from pit bull advocates who want a breed-neutral law.

The committee presented its proposal to the council May 2014, which will revise the entire chapter of city law.

Stephen Smith, Jr, a lawyer and committee chairman, helped write the proposal. They “tried to strengthen the code to punish the bad behavior of both owners and animals… We addressed everything under the sun — from tethering, to what constitutes a dangerous dog, to chickens.”

The changes will allow pit bulls. It will align Reynoldsburg’s definitions of dangerous and vicious dogs with those adopted by the state, which stopped labeling pit bulls as vicious in 2012. The proposal will strengthen leash laws, regulate long-term and unattended tethering of animals, as well as ban keeping or training animals for fighting.

There are 24 changes in the new proposal, affecting more than pit bulls.

Long, who has never been in favor of repealing the ban on pit bulls, said it’s time to move ahead. Chris Long, the chairman of the city’s safety committee, said “We’ve been beating this dead horse for a year.”

Lori Schwartzkopf and other pit-bull advocates hope the conclusion is not rushed. Schwartzkopf began asking the council for a repeal in 2013. She believes the committee’s recommendations are fair and reasonable, but she doesn’t have confidence that the council will adopt them, as “This is how this council works… They don’t play fair.”

Reynoldsburg considers reversing pit-bull ban – The Columbus Dispatch