LAKEWOOD, Ohio — City officials in Lakewood have concluded that a dog that has become the focus of a very public movement against breed-specific legislation in the Cleveland suburb is, in fact, a pit bull and will have to be removed from the city limits.
Charlie was adopted from the Cleveland APL in February by Jennifer Scott of Lakewood.
She says the city gave her permission to keep the dog after viewing a photo of him but later reversed that decision after an animal control officer brought Charlie to the attention of city officials.
For the past 9 years, the city has banned residents from owning any dog that is 50-percent or more pit bull.
Opponents of the legislation say it is based entirely on an observation of the dog and not on scientific criteria.
The decision regarding Charlie has been met with rallies by supporters using the slogan, “I’m with Charlie.”
On Wednesday, however, the city released a letter to Scott’s attorney saying that documents from the APL from where Charlie was adopted show that he is a pit bull.
The documents do not specifically say to what percentage he is a pit bull, but Mayor Michael Summers says the fact that he is a pit bull allows him to enforce the city ordinance.
“There was a conclusion that, and a very clear conclusion that this dog is a pit bull as generally, principally provided by documents from the Animal Protective League that labeled it as a pit bull and there was not any evidence to actually challenge that, so the conclusion is this dog in question is a pit bull and by the laws of Lakewood needs to leave our city,” said Summers.
The city is telling Scott that she has 30 days to remove the dog from city limits.
Scott has already stated that regardless of the decision she would continue to work against the city’s breed specific law.