How vicious dog law revisions impact all dog owners

Keegan, just one of the pitbull puppies the Lucas County Pit Crew has up for adoption and hopes will benefit from the new Ohio law.

Beginning May 22nd, a 25-year-old Ohio law that labeled all pit bulls as vicious will end.

The changes mean a stronger focus on behavior, rather than breed, in determining if a dog is to be considered vicious.

â??They are just like any other breed. If they have socialization, they will be fine,â?? pit bull owner Courtney Moyer said.

Rather than singling out pit bulls as vicious, even before they commit a negative act, the new system puts all dogs on the same playing field.

It establishes 3 different categories for labeling a violent dog, of any breed, including a nuisance dog, a dangerous dog, or a vicious dog.

By making all breeds equal, those who work with pit bulls hope the new law will make it easier to adopt out animals like "Keegan", a pit bull mix who is currently being fostered by the Lucas County Pit Crew.

But pit bull advocates hope their victory will not be lessened by the recent death of an Allen County newborn killed during a dog attack.

â??We have had 4 to 5 infant deaths a year, every year since the 60â??s and 70â??s and the reason is people leave infants alone with dogs,â?? co-founder of the Lucas County Pit Crew Jean Keating said.

Keating added,â?? Everyone should go home from the hospitalâ?¦not just [with a pamphlet] about car seats, not just about SIDS, they need to have a pamphlet about dogs. You never ever leave children alone with dogs.â??

Education is what pit bull advocates hope will ensure all families and dogs are protected in the future.

The co-founder of the Lucas County Pit Crew also hopes that education, about the pit bull breed, will discourage lawmakers in Maryland from adopting a law similar to one coming off Ohio's books.

â??I think for another state to go down that path when Ohio has shown that it was not successful is really disappointing,â?? Keating said.

Despite the change to Ohio state law, according to the City of Lima is also planning on enforcing restrictions on pit bulls.

The article quoted Major Chip Protsman of the Lima Police Department as saying "The City of Lima ordinance still does list pit bulls as being vicious. It's important that people who live in Lima or are visiting know that."