Pit bull owner accepts guilt for chance to challenge law - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2004, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Pit bull owner accepts guilt for chance to challenge law

Pit bull owner accepts guilt for chance to challenge law

Paul Tellings, Sr., doesn't agree with the law that labels his family pets as vicious dogs.
But yesterday in Toledo Municipal Court, he consented to be found guilty of violating the vicious dog ordinance so that he can challenge it in a higher court.

Mr. Tellings, 30, pleaded no contest to four charges - one count that he owned more than one pit bull and three counts that he did not have proper insurance for the pets. The Toledo man said his plea is not an admission of guilt, but instead a necessity to bring the case before the state's 6th District Court of Appeals.

"I want this law changed for the simple fact that I want to rectify something I feel is wrong," Mr. Tellings said. "We want to follow through with this so that the law is changed."

Mr. Tellings was set to go to trial Aug. 25 after his motion to dismiss the case was overruled earlier this month by Judge Francis X. Gorman. Yesterday's plea gives Mr. Tellings the right to appeal the case.

Although the judge admitted that there may be a question down the road as to whether Mr. Tellings' dogs are actually considered vicious, he sentenced him yesterday to pay fines of

$275 as well as spend 30 days in jail if he does not obtain insurance on his pets by Nov. 1.

Toledo's vicious dog law is based on the Ohio Revised Code, which considers any dog vicious if it has killed another dog or has bitten or killed a human. In contrast, a pit bull is considered vicious even if it has not bitten or killed.

In Toledo, pit bull owners are required to carry a minimum $100,000 liability insurance for their pets and to muzzle them when the animals leave their property.

Judge Gorman ruled on July 8 that although assuming that all pit bulls are vicious dogs may be unfair, it's not unconstitutional. In the ruling, the judge wrote that dog ownership is a property right rather than a fundamental constitutional right involving personal liberty.

Mr. Tellings had three pit bulls at the time he was cited. In court yesterday, he said he only has one of those dogs - Chance - still at home with him.

Another was given away and the third was put down by the dog warden, he said.

Mr. Tellings said that when he was cited, none of his dogs had any complaints against them.

He said that he also has an American bull dog named Justice, a breed that does not fall under the vicious dog ordinance.

Attorney Sol Zyndorf, who was retained by the American Canine Foundation to represent Mr. Tellings, said the ultimate goal is to have the law declared unconstitutional because it deals only with one specific type of dog.

"We want to attack this law because we don't believe there should be breed-specific legislation," he said.


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2004, 05:45 PM
 
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Good for him! Taking a stand is a good thing! "All pitbulls are vicious" is the stupidest thing I ever heard and this man's dogs have never had a complaint against them. As far as the liability insurance thing, well, I do have to agree that just as you should carry liability insurance for your vehicle, you should carry it for your dogs. It protects the owners from heavy fines and jail time if the unforseen should happen and it ensures that victims will be compensated without having to worry about coming up with payment for medical bills if you don't have an extra $100,000 laying around.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2004, 05:58 PM
 
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Quote:
"We want to attack this law because we don't believe there should be breed-specific legislation," he said.
Amen!

I struggle with home owner's insurance because of the breeds we have... It's ridiculous.

There are some vicious dogs out there that are not on "the list" and some very well behaved dogs that are pegged immediately because of their breed. It drives me nutz and has really made it harder for us to keep homeowner's insurance a "choice of companies" rather than "which one will allow our dogs" regardless whether or not we have separate liability for the dogs themselves.

The more ppl that challenge this the better imho.

Doggy insurance is the wave of the future lol...I just hope the lil ankle nippers are included right along side the rottweilers
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2004, 06:07 PM
 
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That is awesome. I hope he wins.


I have carried personal liability on my renters insurance for 7 years now without incident thankfully. But, its also nice to know its there if its needed.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2004, 06:16 PM
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Good for him! I hope that his actions lead to a positive change!

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2004, 07:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisanne
That is awesome. I hope he wins.


I have carried personal liability on my renters insurance for 7 years now without incident thankfully. But, its also nice to know its there if its needed.
Same here...The insurance company I used to work for didn't cover the dogs and wouldn't insure you if you had Pitbulls, Rotties, Chows, GSD, or Doberman Pinchers...
Needless to say, we are with a different company
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2004, 07:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chinchilla_Girl
Same here...The insurance company I used to work for didn't cover the dogs and wouldn't insure you if you had Pitbulls, Rotties, Chows, GSD, or Doberman Pinchers...
Needless to say, we are with a different company
That's sad that there are so many like that. We are extrememly lucky to have USAA, they don't discriminate against any breed, only the individual if its bitten or attacked before.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2004, 08:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisanne
That's sad that there are so many like that. We are extrememly lucky to have USAA, they don't discriminate against any breed, only the individual if its bitten or attacked before.
Amen to that!
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