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Lakewood Eyes Dropping 'Dangerous Dog' Registration Fee

City council eyes measure that would ditch the registration fee for “dangerous dogs.”

Per its 2008 ordinance, the city of Lakewood requires that owners of dogs deemed “dangerous” pay a $50 registration fee each year.

That may change with an ordinance introduced this week by that would “eliminate the fees associated with the annual renewal of registrations of dangerous animals.”

Ward 2 councilman Tom Bullock, who proposed the measure, said that the fee was included in the to cover the city’s initial cost of registration — including verifying that dogs were insured and had microchips implanted in them. 

“However, registration for subsequent years is less work-intensive,” Bullock said, adding that most of the work now consists of filling out a renewal form. 

“Given that our rationale for collecting fees is not punitive but rather to compensate the city for expenses incurred, the attached ordinance proposes to adjust the fee to zero for registration of dangerous dogs in subsequent years after the initial registration.”

The ordinance was referred to council’s public safety committee where the issue will be discussed further.

The statehouse voted in the Ohio Revised Code, declassifying pit bulls as “vicious animals” at the state level.

However, it does not apply to local municipalities.

Under the new state law, a dog can be labeled vicious only if it kills or causes serious harm to a person while unprovoked. However, Kevin Butler, the 's law director, told Lakewood Patch earlier this year that Lakewood’s ban would stand.

Lakewood Patch this year that the city should end the ban. , and let us know what you think in the comments

Allison Smalley September 06, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Let's keep this momentum going! Do not just drop the fee -- DROP THE BAN! Let's educate council on pit bulls and pit bull type dogs! They are just like any other dog! Nurture not nature. Join the rest of the local municipalities that have recently dropped their BSL due to new understandings of these breeds; Bay Village, Avon Lake, Strongsville, North Royalton, Cleveland, Highland Heights, Painsville and the State of Ohio!
Steve September 06, 2012 at 05:29 PM
I wasnt sure how to respond to this, but here goes. City council is now throwing out another dog bone to the good owners of bullies. Is their conscience starting to bother them at night. In 2009, then council member Kevin Butler and I had a chat about this ord. He informed me he had misgivings about how this was handled. He bowed to pressure to follow the lies about BSL, not facts as presented. He believed that this would be changed to BNL instead, going after the bad owners, as we never really had a bad problem here in Lakewood, unless you take into account the mass media frenzy against pit bulls. Which, bye the way, they swallowed hook, line and sinker. In other words they caved to false information, not factual data as presented. I like Mr. Butler, but not his decisions on this issue, as he has strayed from his original thoughts on this subject. I would like to see him step up to the plate, and champion for Breed Neutral Legislation, going after the bad owners of ALL breeds, not an easy task, but a fair one to all safety minded residents of this Great city. Help us to end this discrimination. I would rather you give us a meal, than throwing us a bone every now and then. Together we can fix this, divided we fail.
Bob Bellamy September 06, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Ok, not sure if I should comment or not, but I shall...this latest proposal was brought to councilman Bullock by me...from an email on 7/16 from me to him..."Finally, it is hard to believe that several years have passed since the pit bull ban went into affect. I attended an Animal Safety Committee meeting (perhaps not the precise name) last year and asked the dog warden how many registered pit bulls were still in the city. He replied around 18. I then asked him if any of those 18 had been the cause of any issues, and he replied no. While I still believe the ban should be totally repealed (we’ll leave that a different discussion), I would like to start the conversation about getting the annual $50 fee repealed. Obviously, these 18 owners, myself included (and now could potentially be less), have dogs that are no more of an issue to the city than the other thousands of dogs that reside in our town. It is a totally unnecessary to “tax” us for having these dogs that are no different than the other dogs. Please let me know how to initiate this process." So, while I too agree/want that the ban should be repealed, this is at least a potential baby step in the right direction. The longest journey starts with a single step...
Steve September 06, 2012 at 06:04 PM
@Bob- a good friend of mine that has been paying the city since 2008 for 2 dogs, just recently found out thru DNA that they are not dangerous dogs at all. Should she be able to recoup those funds that she paid into? We don't want a bone, we want justice...You need to get everyone involved, all 18, on a signed paper stating that this is now a punitive action, not compensation, and forward the signed letter to ALL council members and the Mayor and Law Director.
Jason September 06, 2012 at 08:38 PM
All pit bulls should be exterminated. And then fed to the homeless.
Steve September 06, 2012 at 08:59 PM
@Jason-If I was a cannibal, then I could say the same thing about you. You sound tasty, we could feed you to the shelter dogs. It's just to bad you have no brain, as that is the tastiest part.
Lynne Schroeder September 07, 2012 at 12:43 AM
@Jason, you are one of the many reasons I have little hope for mankind. I thought we as the human race are suppose to be intelligent… but time and time again I am proven wrong. I agree with Steve, I wonder how many shelter dogs we could feed with you? But then again, I would never feed you to any of my dogs, you would probably make them sick. Sorry, I usually don’t show emotion like this….. I apologize to everyone for stooping to your level.
Jane Doe September 07, 2012 at 02:19 AM
@ Steve- I do have to correct you (although I understand what you meant)..a DNA test does not determine the 'dangerousness' of a dog..it only offers a remote idea of heritage/genetics. It's too bad Lakewood officials cannot comprehend this. Vicious is a BEHAVIOR not a LOOK. There are numerous dog owners who have proved the city wrong in their breed determination of our pets, yet nothing in the ordinance has changed..they are (not surprisingly) too proud to admit they were wrong & this ban has FAILED miserably. Although I feel strongly that I'm entitled to the reimbursement of my registration fee, my attorney does not believe they would willingly give my money back.
Jane Doe September 07, 2012 at 02:34 AM
'Ward 2 councilman Tom Bullock, who proposed the measure, said that the fee was included in the 2008 ordinance to cover the city’s initial cost of registration — including verifying that dogs were insured and had microchips implanted in them' ...I find this comment interesting. As an owner that registered for 3 years, all I was required to do was have my agent fax over proof that my liability policy was paid & since my one dog was scanned initially, no other actions were needed to be done by animal control in subsequent years. So, what exactly was I paying the $50 for? The 'burden of proof' was on me, the 'dangerous dog' owner, to prove I was in compliance with the ordinance. How was this process costing the city of Lakewood anything at all?
Kathleen September 07, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Can't we just ban "Dangerous Owners" ??!!
Kim H September 07, 2012 at 01:27 PM
You can learn a thing here: http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/city-rejects-breed-ban-1.945356
Steve September 07, 2012 at 01:39 PM
@Jane-Thanks for correcting me, that is what I ment to say. 50% vs 51% does not make a dog dangerous. Media frenzy and stubborn polititions are the ones doing the most harm spreading the fear when there is none. I for one would love to be able to adopt ANY dog of MY choice from CAC or other shelters, rather than having them put to sleep thru no fault of their own, only because they were born looking a certain way. I only wish Kevin Butler would put some pressure on city council, he knows this law is doing nothing positive for the people's safety, or our dogs.
Crystal Winters October 18, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Jason, your hatetred for the breed stems from,what happened to have you wasting energy on fact based FASENESS. DO YOU THINK A DOG IS REALLY BORN HAPPY,LOVING,READY TO OBEY COMANDS AT BIRTH?? or do you think a dog is born, then a HUMAN treats the dog inhumanly,beats it,straps a 10-25pound chain thats only 3-6ft in length to their neck and leavs the dog to sit in an area of what,lets esstimate circumfrance of 6ft. Try to please think for a min that your that dog, how would you act?? A life of nothin but beatings,abuse,never getting the chance to be loved on, not being able to count on meals, or clean water. Then everytime you do get a chance to get close with your so called owner, your put to work by fighting to the death, and hey you can count one 1 thing for sure, if you DON'T win the fight, or ya get mangled up so bad your owner will be there to through you to the side so you can die. Hows that life sound???
J August 04, 2013 at 07:40 AM
I find the entire scenario very sad, and I feel bad for the people who are good pit bull owners that have been affected by this ban. I feel even worse for the dogs who had to be abandoned or given away. I have a couple of my own. Most people who meet them say they are friendliest and most loving dogs they have ever met. It would be absolutely ridiculous to call them dangerous. How ever dangerous is not dangerous in Lakewood. Dangerous in Lakewood is pit bull. My hope is that they at least develope some program where they can determine whether or not a dog is really dangerous, and make the owner comply to guidelines as they see fit. That way the well behaved pit bulls and their responsible owners would have an opportunity to live in Lakewood. I doubt the people they intended this law for are affected much at all. It's the responsible owners who love their dogs that are being affected the most.

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