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Rocky River eliminates breed-specific legislation

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio-- Dog owners in Rocky River are applauding the news Thursday that the city recently repealed breed-specific legislation.

“I’m very glad because it’s not the dog, it’s the dog owner,” said resident Brian Vigneaux.

“Basically, the dog is judged now on its actions, not the breed. That’s the way it should be,” said Mike Jarvis, the city’s animal control officer.

On Nov. 26, city council voted to repeal Code Ordinance 505, which defined a dangerous dog as "one that belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog."

“I actually pushed for it. I was behind it quite a bit. Pit bulls are the same as any other dog, bite like any other dog. They got a bad rap," Jarvis said.

The law now includes breed-neutral regulations that address all potentially-dangerous dogs, owners and unsafe situations, regardless of the animal's appearance or breed.

Rocky River joins cities like Lakewood that repealed breed-specific laws in 2018.

According to city council, the changes to the ordinance went into effect immediately.