Appellate Court: Girard's Pit Bull ban is unconstitutional
Dog lovers in Girard will be free to own any breed they choose after a decision by the Girard Municipal Court was upheld, ruling that the city can no longer ban pit bull terriers.
The decision by the 11th District Court of Appeals is a result of a 2022 lawsuit filed by a Girard resident named Zachary Wolfe. The lawsuit stemmed from an incident in June of that year, where the city's zoning department ordered Wolfe to remove his pit bulls from the city, claiming he was in violation of an ordinance that bans the breed.
It was 1987 when the city enacted City Ordinance 505.14:
505.14 DANGEROUS AND VICIOUS DOGS.
(a) No person shall own, keep, or harbor a Pit bull terrier, as defined herein, or any other type of vicious dog within the Municipal limits of the City of Girard.
The lawsuit claimed that Girard's ordinance violated Ohio Revised Code 955.11(A)(1), which defines the scope of a 'dangerous dog,' and exceeds the city's home rule authority.
The court agreed, stating that the ordinance does conflict with the state law. Since state laws preempt local laws, Girard will have to remove the ordinance.