Last updated: August 24. 2013 2:08PM - 95 Views

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LIMA — An Ohio House Bill aimed at pulling pit bulls from the list of vicious dogs will be on the docket at Monday's Lima City Council meeting.Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin is asking council to support a resolution opposing the General Assembly's efforts to eliminate dogs belonging “to a breed commonly known as a pit bull dog” from the definition of vicious dog contained in the Ohio Revised Code. The change would make it tougher for Lima police to protect residents and themselves, Martin said.“It will likely take away any enforcement authority that we have. We have had a lot of problems and issues regarding pit bulls in terms of both the risk and the danger that they pose to our citizens as well as the risk they pose to our officer. They have been the drug dealers' weapon of choice to guard drug operations,” Martin said.House Bill 14 would limit the term “vicious dog” to strictly define one that has seriously injured a person. The term “dangerous dog” would apply to one that has caused injury to a person or killed another dog without provocation. The bill already passed the Ohio House. Of those representing the Lima area, Reps. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, Robert Sprague, R-Findlay, and Lynn Wachtmann, R-Napoleon, voted for the bill. Reps. John Adams, R-Sidney, and Jim Buchy, R-Greenville, voted against it.The Ohio Senate is expected to vote on it this week.Just last year, City Council updated its dangerous dog ordinance to allow police officers to immediately ticket someone who violates the law rather than taking it through the courts. The ordinance defines a vicious dog as one that either attacks a person or individual, has the “propensity, tendency or disposition” to attack, or belongs to the breed commonly known as pit bulls.Violations include walking the dog without a leash or muzzle, owning a dog without insurance or owning more than one dog. Other city ordinances already make it illegal to own more than one pit bull.Martin said he believes the change in the law has made a difference.“We're not seeing nearly as many (vicious dogs) as we used to, and when we do see them, they are typically complying with the law,” Martin said. In other business, Council will hear from the human resources director concerning an amendment to the parity ordinance dealing with the fire chief and deputy chief and approve a partnership with Civic Plus for Web design. The city won Web design and support worth $29,000 in an “Extreme Web Makeover” contest.

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