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Archive for November 2010

Ohio HB 55/HB 79 – Stop BSL in your Community!

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It’s not typically my nature to post politically motivated content on my blog, but I want this post to serve as a call to action for those who read it. Ohio is currently the only state that has statewide legislation against an entire breed of dog, specifically – pit bulls. In the state of Ohio, all pit bulls (American Pit Bull Terrier) and related breeds (American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull terrier) are labeled as “vicious”, and are subject to all restrictions placed on dogs determined to be “vicious”. A dog of any breed can be labeled as vicious, but pit bulls are the only breed that are automatically labeled as vicious, regardless of a given dog’s actual temperament.

I could likely write a few pages on what BSL is, why it is not effective at increasing public safety, and why it in fact does more harm than good, but there are already a number of resources that feature this discussion. I recommend stopbsl.com, and this sub-page specifically for HB 55/79 related information. I would like to point out the most ironic aspect of BSL against pit bulls, however. That is, a higher percentage of pit bulls pass temperament related tests than many breeds considered to be safe, loving, and otherwise generally awesome family pets. The American Temperament Test Society conducts regular tests on many different breeds to determine the breeds’ level of aggression toward humans. In these tests, the American Pit Bull Terrier scored 86.0%. That is higher than the Beagle, the Collie, the Toy Poodle, and even the Golden Retriever, among many others! Find more information here.

So what is HB 55? It is a bill that is currently stuck in the Ohio Senate that, among other things, removes the automatic categorization of pit bulls as vicious. This bill passed the Ohio House in March by a vote of 93 to 3. But, if the bill does not pass in the Senate by the end of the legislative session this December, it will die. I need you to push your senator, as well as the Criminal Justice Committee, to hear this bill and vote to pass it. It only takes a simple email! This is an email I recently sent to the 9th district senator and the members of the Criminal Justice Committee:

Senator Kearny and the members of the Criminal Justice Committee,

My name is Kris Wong, and my wife and I are resident’s of Ohio’s 9th district. As you may know, HB 55 passed in the house earlier this year with a vote of 93 to 3. This bill must now pass in the senate by the time the legislative session ends in December. This bill removes the automatic classification of the pit bull terrier breed of dog as “vicious”. As pit bull owners, we strongly urge you to hear this bill, and do what is in your power to see that this bill passes. I am sure that you can appreciate the fact that labeling an entire breed of dog as vicious is a misjudgment at the very least. Legislation that mandates this classification makes it easier for insurance companies to deny our household liability insurance, and only furthers negative attitudes towards pit bulls. Our dog is a very sweet and loyal animal, and has never shown aggression towards any person she has met. Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Kris Wong

For your convenience, the following is a string of email addresses you can paste directly into your email client’s “To” field: ‘SD18@senate.state.oh.us’; ‘SD16@senate.state.oh.us’; ‘SD25@maild.sen.state.oh.us’; ‘SD12@senate.state.oh.us’; ‘SD03@senate.state.oh.us’; ‘SD33@maild.sen.state.oh.us’; ‘SD21@maild.sen.state.oh.us’; ‘SD08@senate.state.oh.us’; ‘SD20@senate.state.oh.us’. These are the email addresses of Criminal Justice Committee. You can find your own Senator’s email address here: http://www.ohiosenate.gov. If Senator Kearny happens to be your senator, his email address is: ‘SD09@maild.sen.state.oh.us’. Please, take 5 minutes out of your day to send these individuals an email.

This post is dedicated to Oceana.

Written by Kris Wong

November 12, 2010 at 7:29 pm