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SWANTON -- A Fulton County Eastern District Court judge today dismissed a case against a Swanton man charged with failing to register a dog deemed vicious under the village's code because it was labeled a "pit bull"-type dog.
The case, filed with the court in July, centered around a dog named Bailey owned by Tim Bork and his family. The village's counsel for the case filed the motion for dismissal, admitting there was not enough evidence to prove that Bailey fit within the parameters set by the ordinance that determines how dogs are deemed vicious.
Despite the state's move away from breed-specific language in 2012, the village of Swanton maintains an ordinance labeling as vicious "any breed of dog that is commonly known as a ‘pit bull dog.' "
The ordinance states that Staffordshire bull terriers, Americcan pit bull terriers, and American Staffordshire terriers are vicious, as well as any mixed breed dog that has "as an element of its breeding, the breed of Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier, and the Perro De Canario, aka the Canary Dog.”
Fulton County Dog Warden Brian Banister visited Tim Bork’s home on June 13, and told him after a visual inspection that Bailey was likely a Brazilian mastiff mix, also known as a Fila Brasileiro, and he considered her to be a “pit bull”-type dog. Mr. Bannister later decided not to register the dog as the Fila Brasileiro is not among the specific breeds listed in the village's ordinance.
A DNA test of Bailey commissioned by The Blade showed she is a mix of American bulldog, Rottweiler, American Staffordshire terrier, black and tan coonhound, Coton de Tulear, bull terrier, Neapolitan mastiff, and miniature pinscher. She is less than 50 percent “pit bull,” which is the standard that past Ohio court cases have used in determining whether a dog is a “pit bull”-type.