Indiana senator tries to eliminate breed-specific dog bans

Some cities in Indiana prevent residents from owning pit bulls, rottweilers, and other breeds that have received a dangerous reputation.

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana lawmaker is taking action to end breed-specific dog bans. The bill would end pit bull bans in a handful of cities in Indiana.

Senator Blake Doriot representing District 12 in northern Indiana submitted Senate Bill 18. He would pass state law preventing local governments from banning pit bulls and other dog breeds.

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

Reports of attacks by pit bulls and other dogs have led to the breed getting a bad rap. Some towns and villages have even banned them. 13The investigations identified at least three cities in Indiana with bans.

In central Indiana, the Kirklin city code prohibits pit bull terriers, rottweilers, chow dogs, and cross breeds. In a “Welcome to Oxford” booklet, the county town of Benton bans pit bulls. Fowler, who is also in Benton County, views pit bulls, rottweilers and chow breeds as vicious and bans them to “eliminate the risk of attack.”

SB 18 would eliminate local ordinances, rules, regulations or resolutions that prohibit or “prohibit a person from owning, possessing, keeping, harboring, transporting, buying or selling” specific breeds.

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

MORE: Meet 2 Long-Term Residents at the Humane Society for Hamilton County

“A bill like this would be monumental because all of these dogs that are lumped into these categories are amazing animals,” Davis said.

13The surveys identified at least 10 towns and villages with breed-specific regulations. Certain breeds are banned from dog parks. Others require homeowners to obtain permits and additional liability insurance.

Doriot said he was ready to debate whether his bill should end those rules as well.

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

The legislative session begins on January 4.