2015 is becoming a promising year for pit bulls as their advocates across the country demand for them to be treated fairly.
Residents in Ohio are some of the latest to call for an end to a law that discriminates against pit bulls.
A meeting of the Newark, Ohio, City Council was packed with people arguing for the end to "breed specific legislation" this week, reports the Newark Advocate. The city law automatically categorizes pit bull type dogs as "vicious" and requires their owners to buy expensive insurance and dog tags, muzzle the dogs in public and keep them within specific fenced enclosures. Owners are also limited to just one pit bull.
Opponents say the law unfairly targets pit bulls and their owners, and argue that pit bulls are no more likely to display aggression than Akitas and Jack Russell terriers.
Newark City Councilman Jeff Rath pledged to sponsor the new legislation to do away with what he says are discriminatory and unnecessary rules.
"Our safety forces have had an opportunity to see the (current) law in effect ... and I think that they've all realized it has no effect," he said. "All it's really doing is causing a huge hassle and a huge expense, both to the city for enforcing the law as well as to the residents of Newark who want to keep their pet."
Ohio may be moving toward change, but only 15 states have banned breed-specific legislation. In 2013, President Barack Obama issued a statement expressing strong opposition to these types of laws, calling them "largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources."
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that the law was in place in Newark, N.J. It is in fact in place in Newark, Ohio.