On March 3, 2006, an Ohio appeals court issued a landmark decision in City of Toledo v. Tellings, 2006 WL 513946 (Ohio App. 6 Dist), which may affect pit bulls and pit bull "look-a-likes" and their owners nationwide. Tellings was the owner of three pit bulls. The warden killed one of his pit bulls and criminally charged Tellings with two violations of the local Toledo ordinance limiting ownership to one vicious dog per household and two violations of the state statute requiring liability insurance with ownership of a vicious dog. The vicious dog laws on Ohio include pit bulls in the definition of "vicious dogs" per se. Tellings challenged these vicious dog laws as unconstitutional on several grounds. In a groundbreaking decision, the Ohio court found the statutes unconstitutionally vague and unreasonable. This short article analyzes the court's findings. The decision is currently under review by the Ohio Supreme Court as of summer 2007.
GW Paper Series
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 325; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 325
Vicious Dog Laws Unconstitutional in Ohio, (ABA-TIPS Animal Law Committee Newsletter), Spring 2006