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TAFT OK'S BAN AGAINST 'DEBARKING' VICIOUS DOGS

Governor Taft has signed into law a bill making it a crime to surgically silence a vicious dog or own such an animal.

The law is an attempt to crack down on the growing practice of using such animals for dogfighting and as sentinels in drug houses.

The measure will take effect in early October. At that point, the 90-day clock will start ticking calendar will start for owners of vicious dogs that have been "debarked" to deliver them to local humane societies, dog wardens, or veterinarians.

Although the law does not require it, the animals most likely will be destroyed.

"These are not household pets," said the law's sponsor, state Rep. Lynn Olman (R., Maumee).
"There are dogs whose sole purpose in life is to kill or maim its prey. By removing vocal cords, they are creating a living, breathing, silent killer."

The law makes it illegal for anyone to cut the vocal cords or otherwise surgically silence a dog considered vicious. Ohio law defines a vicious dog as one that has killed or maimed a person or another animal, or is classified under the mixed breed of pit bull.

The law does not prohibit veterinarians from performing the procedure on nonvicious dogs, such as pets whose owners feel there's no other way to keep the animal quiet.

The law was supported by law-enforcement groups who have increasingly found themselves facing violent, silenced dogs when investigating crimes.

Debarking a dog eliminates one of the warning signs that an angry animal is waiting on the other side of a door.

"This will send a strong signal to the criminal element in our communities, especially urban communities, that this will not be tolerated," Mr. Olman said.

The law doubles to $100,000 the minimum amount of liability insurance owners of all vicious dogs must have and increases the penalties for dogfighting.

All content © 2000 THE BLADE, TOLEDO, OHIO and may not be republished without permission.

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© Copyright 2008 State Representative Lynn Olman. All rights reserved.

 

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