Lakewood ending pit bull ban, replacing it with new non-breed specific 'dangerous dog' ordinance

LAKEWOOD, Ohio - The city of Lakewood repealed its pit bull ban Monday evening and replaced it with a new non-breed specific “dangerous dog” ordinance.

This comes after months of packed city council meetings and the “I’m with Charlie” movement that started last summer.

In January, Mayor Mike Summers proposed ending the ban, but replaced it with legislation that dog owners found far too strict, and that still targeted certain breeds.

The new legislation does not focus on specific breeds, but instead, focuses on the behavior of dogs who might be dangerous.

“The people have spoken and we’re going to be responsive on city council and pass a tough, but very fair new dog ordinance tonight,” said Councilman Dan O’Malley.

O’Malley said the legislation also adds in animal cruelty elements, banning certain types of leashes and making tethering illegal.

“It actually strengthens our dog ordinance by having a much clearer process for dogs that are dangerous,” O’Malley said.

The pit bull ban has been in place for a decade.

Jennifer Scott is Charlie’s owner and said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.

“The new law is actually much stronger than our previous law, which makes everyone safer. The way a dog looks does not make a dog dangerous,” Scott said. She added that many people before her have been fighting to remove the ban for the last decade.

“Discrimination has ended as of tonight, which I’m really excited about,” Scott said.

The final vote was unanimous Monday evening, passing 7-0.

To read the full text of the new ordinance, CLICK HERE.

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