Lakewood, Ohio considering changes to dangerous dog law

Lakewood, Ohio appears to be standing firm on its pit bull ordinance despite the fact that Ohio removed “pit bulls” from the state’s vicious dog law in May. The change the city is currently considering would eliminate the fees associated with the annual renewal of registration of dangerous dogs which, unfortunately, still includes “pit bulls.”

The poll referenced at the end of the article is closed, but please go to the Patch website and leave comments encouraging the city of Lakewood to reconsider their position and repeal the breed specific language in their ordinance.

Lakewood Eyes Dropping ‘Dangerous Dog’ Registration Fee
City council eyes measure that would ditch the registration fee for “dangerous dogs.”
ByColin McEwen

Per its 2008 ordinance, the city of Lakewood requires that owners of dogs deemed “dangerous” pay a $50 registration fee each year.

That may change with an ordinance introduced this week by Lakewood City Council that would “eliminate the fees associated with the annual renewal of registrations of dangerous animals.”

Ward 2 councilman Tom Bullock, who proposed the measure, said that the fee was included in the 2008 ordinance to cover the city’s initial cost of registration — including verifying that dogs were insured and had microchips implanted in them.

“However, registration for subsequent years is less work-intensive,” Bullock said, adding that most of the work now consists of filling out a renewal form.

“Given that our rationale for collecting fees is not punitive but rather to compensate the city for expenses incurred, the attached ordinance proposes to adjust the fee to zero for registration of dangerous dogs in subsequent years after the initial registration.”

The ordinance was referred to council’s public safety committee where the issue will be discussed further.

The statehouse voted earlier this year to repeal the breed-specific language in the Ohio Revised Code, declassifying pit bulls
as “vicious animals” at the state level.

However, it does not apply to local municipalities.

Under the new state law, a dog can be labeled vicious only if it kills or causes serious harm to a person while unprovoked. However, Kevin Butler, the city of Lakewood’s law director, told Lakewood Patch earlier this year that Lakewood’s ban would stand.

Lakewood Patch readers overwhelmingly voted earlier this year that the city should end the ban. Take our poll, and let us know what you think in the comments.


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