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Published: Wednesday, 5/10/2006

Pit bull law returns in Toledo -- for now


The Ohio Supreme Court today voted 6-1 to place a lower court s decision declaring Toledo s vicious dog law to be unreasonable on hold while it hears an appeal in the case.

Justice Alice Robie Resnick, of Ottawa Hills, cast the only dissenting vote against granting a stay of the decision issued in March by the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals in Toledo.

The city s ordinance allowed residents to own just one dog considered vicious, specifically one that has bitten of killed a human, has killed another dog, or belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog.

In a 2-1 decision, the appeals court in an opinion written by Judge William Skow found that there was no evidence that pit bills are inherently vicious, rendering the city s ordinance unconstitutional.

The case before Ohio s highest court originated in Toledo Municipal Court, where pit bull owner Paul Tellings was charged with violating the city s pit bull ordinance that is enforced by Lucas County dog warden Tom Skeldon.

Municipal Court Judge Francis X. Gorman ruled in favor of the city, and Mr. Tellings appealed to the Sixth District Court. The latter sided with Mr. Tellings, leading to the city s appeal to the high court.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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