Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fremont Council Members Eager for Input

A follow-up to Town Hall Meeting on Pit Bull Ban in Fremont, OH...

The City of Fremont has either blocked all incoming email or there is a problem with their server. PLEASE RESEND YOUR THOUGHTS TO COUNCIL MEMBERS' PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESSES BELOW. City Council Members are eager to hear from you regarding the possibility of banning pit bulls in Fremont.

I called council members at their homes and have obtained the following personal email addresses of the council members who said that they are certainly open to your input. Please send an email voicing your opinon regarding pit bulls and whether or not they should be singled out. PLEASE REMEMBER TO BE POLITE and FACTUAL. A special thanks to the following council members for their willingness to hear all sides on this issue. Objectivity is imperitive when making a decision that could force many households in Fremont to give up loving pets that are considered members of their families.

ALSO: Read Pit Bull Expert and Attorney's Response Below

Email addresses in spam-bot protection form. Please replace [at] with @ and remove extra spaces.

littlegiantspa [at]

JIM MELLE (Democrat)
jimmelle [at]

DON NALLEY (Democrat)
1st Ward Councilman
nalley1stward [at]

RICK ROOT (Republican)
Unable to Contact

2nd Ward Councilwoman
pwags43 [at]

JIM WEAVER (Democrat)
Unable to Contact

MIKE KOEBEL (Republican)
No email address available
830 Morrison St.
Fremont, OH 43420

Mayor Overmyer has referred all calls to Law Director, Bob Hart

Call Bob Hart's Office:
Fremont, Ohio Law Director/ Prosecutor

City Prosecutor/Law Director Bob Hart
Attacks the Pit Bull Issue...

Fremont Law Director Hart said: "...if we can just focus on pit bulls now and decide how far the city wants to go in regulating them, anywhere from a total ban to requiring how they are kenneled and locked up. So I think that's kind of where we're at."

Attorney Terry Lodge requested that this response follow Hart's above statement:

The question must be asked, why has a possible ban of pit bulls become of a sudden, burning issue in Fremont? There've been no sensational dog attack or dog bite cases for a very long time in Fremont or Sandusky County; the supposed threat from pit bulls has not dominated local conversations in the media; indeed, the General Assembly has long ago put into place requirements for securing pit bulls on and off the owner's premises - provisions on the books which can be enforced with fines or even jailing when charges are brought by the County Dog Warden or any police officer. There is, however, an economic recession which has affected the City and Northwestern Ohio, and a local ordinance modeled after the state law will increase the City's income from fines, Attorney Lodge states.

The Fremont City Law Director misunderstands Ohio law when he suggests that pit bulls can be completely banned. That is not what the Ohio Supreme Court said in the Toledo v. Tellings case. The Supreme Court said that the General Assembly can require pit bulls to be contained inside fences on their owners' property and that they must wear a muzzle when out in public. There is no pit bull "crisis" in Fremont and no legally-based reason for an out-and-out ban of pit bulls. I predict that a complete ban on pit bulls in Fremont will lose in the courts and in effect makes a revenue issue out of a loving pet.

The Supreme Court decision only interprets the statute, incidentally. The STATE law already requires muzzling, special insurance, fencing. The local ordinance - if it doesn't try to ban pits but only duplicates the interpretation and statute - is redundant.

Towns often pass duplicate local ordinances so they can bring charges under the local law and so collect 100% of the fine instead of having to split it with the state government.

Since the general assembly has set the outer limit for regulation of pits, I predict the courts will strike down an out and out ban. It'll cost a lot of money to the City so why are they posturing? I think the answer is obvious.

Lodge continues, "Is the pit bull issue a "red herring" way of increasing the City's revenue stream? Is increasing the cruel and unnecessary extermination of a specific breed of dog truly a required must for more money in public coffers?"

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