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Old 01-25-2006, 04:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pit bull ban a step closer
LANCASTER -The Lancaster City Council is moving closer to an ordinance that would restrict or ban vicious animals.

Members of the City Council's Law Committee could see some options for an ordinance as early as next month.

During the council meeting Monday night, Councilman Tom Stoughton said the Law Committee originally brought up the topic at a meeting in April 2005 and on Sept. 15, 2005, asked the Law Director's Office to review the city's current ordinances and "forward appropriate updates to the Law Committee for review."
City Council President Carl Tatman said he was not aware of any ordinance of the city "pending before it or expected to come that bans pit bulls."

"I understand the concern of the people that have contacted me," Tatman said.

City Law Director Terre Vandervoort said her office is preparing alternatives for the Law Committee and City Council members to look at that would restrict or ban vicious animals, including pit bulls.

In September 2004, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled much of the state's dangerous dog law unconstitutional because it did not contain an appeals process.

The law allowed dog wardens to declare a dog dangerous or vicious without providing owners a way to challenge the warden's decision.

The versions presented to the City Council will include an appeals process that would make the laws constitutional, Vandervoort said.

She hopes to have options before the Law Committee in February.

"It may not be legislation," Vandervoort said. "But I hope to be able to present some options they can look at."
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