Guernsey County, Ohio Mandates Immediate Euthanasia of All Dogs Resembling Pit Bull Type Dogs or Mixes
October 30, 2009, 5:46PM MT
By Katie Bray, Best Friends Network Volunteer
Guernsey County, Ohio Policy Mandates Euthanasia of All Pit Bull Type Dogs in the Shelter
A new Guernsey County, Ohio Animal Warden policy states: "UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will we permit adoption of or release to rescue any pit bull or mixed breed dog judged by the warden to be a pit bull mix. Per Guernsey County Commissioners, any pit bull or pit mix shall be euthanized immediately (within 24 hours for owner surrender, after 3 days for strays). NO EXCEPTIONS!!!".
The Daily-Jeff.com reports animal control as saying any pit bull dog or resembling a pit bull mix dog will be immediately euthanized "even if it is friendly." Ohio is the only state in the nation that regulates dogs by breed, specifically declaring pit bull type dogs as inherently "dangerous" throughout the state. By contrast, many states have enacted statutes prohibiting this misinformed and near archaic practice. ( West's Ann.Cal.Penal Code § 599aa(f), C.R.S.A. § 18-9-204.5(5)(b), West's F.S.A. § 767.14, IL ST CH 8 ¶ 365, 510 ILCS 5/24, M.S.A. § 343.31 (4-5), N.J.S.A. 4:19-36, McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 107(5) (New York), 4 Okl.St.Ann. § 46(B), 3 P.S. § 459-507-A(c), V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 822.047, Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6540.)
The motion passed states that the animal warden “shall be vested with the decision if a dog is predominately pit bull and shall have the final authority for the determination.”
This leaves no room for challenges or appeals by owners claiming their dog is not predominantly pit bull.
A recent study and report by Dr. Victoria L. Voith, explores the difficulties many shelters experience identifying dogs and with new canine DNA testing, how the shelter's visual identification is often wrong. Click here to read the report. Adding credence to the report, a Salina, KS, woman recently saved her dog from euthanasia after she had it DNA tested. The results revealed the dog was predominantly Bernese Mountain Dog. Click here to read about Lucey's story.
It appears, however, the dogs in Guernsey County, Ohio, will face a most certain death if the dog warden visually identifies it as predominantly pit bull.
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