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Pit Bulls Welcome Again in Strongsville

No more restrictions on the controversial breed

Pit bulls are no longer considered vicious in Ohio, and soon they won't be in Strongsville, either.

The city is amending to reflect new changes in the state law, which -- as of this week -- does not automatically classify the pit bull breed as "vicious" dogs.

"You can't be breed-specific any more," Law Director Ken Kraus said. "You can't say just because a dog is a pit bull it's vicious."

City Council introduced legislation amending the local law Monday night. It is expected to be approved later this month.

In Strongsville, residents have been allowed to own pit bulls, but had to treat them as if they were vicious, with owners required to carry a $100,000 insurance policy, walk them with a muzzle and keep them in a kennel with a top or inside a 6-foot fence.

Those restrictions will now be lifted on the breed.

Kraus said Ohio's new law redefines dangerous dogs and vicious dogs, and creates a new category of "nuisance" dogs.

Vicious dogs have, without provocation, killed or caused serious injury to a person. A dangerous dog has caused injury to any person without provocation or killed another dog. Nuisance dogs are those that have chased or menaced, or tried to bite a person.

Kraus said the state law also now provides for hearings in court to determine if a dog is vicious, where before it was an administrative decision.

He said Strongsville could continue to impose strict regulations on pit bulls, but is instead revising its law to reflect the new state law.

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