By Olivia Hoppe and Kyle Weese
Office of Council At-Large, Councilman Don Bryant | (419) 755-9680 | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Olivia Hoppe, Legislative Assistant
On April 19 the Court of Appeals Fifth District struck down a Pit Bull ban in Reynoldsburg, Ohio and citing that the city’s law is in conflict with state law.
Since the City of Mansfield is under the jurisdiction of the Fifth District, the city has had to suspend its own so-called Pit Bull ban. Councilman Bryant has been taking steps to fix the dangerous and vicious dog issue in Mansfield for at least two years now. With upwards of 600 calls to the Mansfield Police Department regarding animal concerns last year; he and other Mansfielders, local, state and national organizations believe that now is the time to fix this issue once and for all.
While the option of repealing Mansfield’s Pit Bull ban and adopting state law or Ohio Revised Code is available; Councilman Bryant, in keeping safety in mind, wants to adopt a new law which protects Mansfielders from all dangerous and vicious dogs. Multiple people have contacted the office of Councilman Bryant in favor of getting rid of this Pit Bull ban. Residents not only believe that pit bulls should not be discriminated against, but that they are just like any other dog breed.
On July 7, Councilman Bryant met with Danamarie K. Pannella, a lawyer from the Holland & Muirden law firm. Ms. Pannella created the popular Avon Lake law in which dangerous and vicious dog classifications have been systemized by fair means in which can and have been enforced by the local government of Avon Lake. The Avon Lake legislation on this issue is renowned across the state. Councilman Bryant intends to work with Ms. Pannella in partnership with the Mansfield Law Director’s Office and City Council members to create and introduce a law similar to Avon Lake’s. This law provides many preventative measures such as identifying aggressive behavior and enforcing training for these dogs who do display aggressive behavior, which could possibly stop many future dog attacks.
Under Mansfield’s previous law, there were no such preventative measures, and the law was enforceable only after an attack. Along with the dangerous and vicious dog law, Councilman Bryant will also introduce a bill to create an animal control officer for the city of Mansfield.
Due the high amount of animal calls the county dog warden receives, not only throughout Richland County but within the city of Mansfield, it is necessary to create this position to help keep Mansfielders safe.
Councilman Bryant has proposed introducing new legislation on August 1st, and believes it will ultimately pass with a majority vote from the council.
The next Safety Committee hearing will take place on Tuesday, July 25th at 6:00 pm. The location is City Council Chambers: 30 N. Diamond St. Mansfield, OH 44902. Attorney Pannella will be providing an important overview of the Avon Lake legislation and a legislative proposal for the City of Mansfield. Members of the public are highly encouraged to attend this committee hearing.
Olivia, a native of Wooster, Ohio; is a sophomore and history major at The Ohio State University—Columbus.