Indiana Senator Seeks To Lift Breed-Specific Dog Bans

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Some Indiana cities prevent residents from owning pit bulls, rottweilers, and other breeds that have been given dangerous reputations.

INDIANAPOLIS – An Indiana lawmaker is taking steps to end breed-specific dog bans. The law would stop pit bull bans in a handful of Indiana cities.

Senator Blake Doriot, who represents District 12 in northern Indiana, presented Senate Bill 18. It would pass state law preventing local governments from banning pit bulls and other breeds of dogs.

“We don’t have bad breeds of dogs,” said Doriot. “We have bad dog owners.”

Reports of pit bull and other dog attacks have resulted in the breed getting a bad rap. Some cities and towns have even banned them. 13 investigations identified at least three Indiana cities with bans.

In central Indiana, the Kirklin city code prohibits pit bull terriers, rottweilers, chow dogs, and crossbreeds. In a “Welcome to Oxford” brochure, the city of Benton County bans pit bulls. Fowler, who also lives in Benton County, believes pit bulls, rottweilers and chow breeds are vicious and bans them in order to “eliminate the risk of attack”.

SB 18 would remove any local ordinance, rule, regulation or order prohibiting an individual from owning, owning, keeping, harboring, transporting, buying or selling certain breeds.

Megan Davis of the Humane Society for Hamilton County supports the bill. The shelter has many pit bull and pit bull mixes that cannot be adopted due to breed stigma.

MORE: Meet 2 long term Humane Society for Hamilton County residents

“Such a calculation would be monumental because all of these dogs that fall into these categories are incredible animals,” said Davis.

13 studies identified at least 10 cities and towns with breed-specific regulations. Certain breeds are banned from dog parks. Others require a permit and additional liability insurance from the owners.

Doriot said he was ready to debate whether his law should repeal these rules as well.

At least 21 states already have state law preventing local race-specific bans or restricting a race-specific law. Proponents of breed-specific bans argue that all dogs bite, but certain types of dogs are more likely to cause serious harm or maim.

The legislative period begins on January 4th.


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