Singer/songwriter Willie Nelson is showing his support in favor of passage of Ohio House Bill 14. This legislation, if passed, would remove canine profiling from Ohio’s law books. Having already passed the Ohio House of Representatives, it is now up for consideration by the Senate.
The only state in country that declares a dog vicious based solely on appearance without any behavioral consideration, Nelson hopes Ohio will change this law. Any pit bull terrier-type dog or any dog resembling a pit bull falls under this discriminatory law. HB 14 would remove this breed-discriminatory designation and strengthen the state’s dangerous dog laws so that they more correctly target inappropriate owners and dangerous dogs instead of innocent pets.
There are twelve other states in the nation with canine laws in place designed to protect innocent dogs. Nelson wrote a letter to encouraging residents of Ohio to contact their senators and committee members with urgency to support HB 14 in conjunction with Best Friends Animal Society. Excerpting from his letter, “Dogs, like people, are individuals and should each be judged on his/her own merits. The simple truth is that breed is not a factor in bites, and HB 14 is an important public safety measure that will protect individuals from any dangerous dog, no matter what the dog’s appearance or heritage.”
As of this writing, more than 11,000 people have shown support of the bill. John Dunham and Associates, an economic research firm, released data that it costs Ohioans more than $17 million a year to enforce existing dog laws. The law encourages states to adopt breed-neutral dangerous dog laws that focus on dog aggression causes and not the result of irresponsible owners whose dogs are abused, neglected, and/or forced to live tethered.
Learn more about the petition by visiting www.change.org/petitions/ohio-legislators-pass-hb-14-to-end-breed-discrimination.