Breed specific cases

Breed specific cases

By: Administrator  Date: 02/25/2006 Category: | Uncategorized |

This list represents a smattering of important breed specific cases. If you would like us to add more cases to this list, please send them to us at

City of Toledo v.Paul Tellings, Case no. 2006-0690
6th District Court of Appeals (Lucas County)

Paul Tellings was cited by a city dog warden and later convicted in the Toledo Municipal Court for violating a city ordinance that limits ownership of pit bull dogs to one per household and requires pit bull owners to provide proof of at least $100,000 of liability insurance coverage for personal injuries caused by the dog. The 6th District Court of Appeals reversed the Municipal Court’s decision based upon the Ohio Supreme Court’s 2004 decision in State v. Cowan, which stated that the Toledo “vicious dog” ordinance and the challenged provisions of state law were unconstitutional. The court held that the statutes violate the defendant’s rights to substantive due process and equal protection because there is no rational basis for the law to identify and single out the American Pit Bull Terrier as being inherently dangerous. Nor was there opportunity for the owner to either dispute that his dogs were pit bulls or that they were “vicious” which violated Mr. Tellings’ constitutional procedural due process rights. The seizure of two of his three pets was deemed to be an unconstitutional taking of private property without compensation. The City of Toledo has appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court to overturn this 6th District Court Decision.


State v. Cowan, 103 Ohio St.3d 144, 2004-Ohio-4777

This case involved pit bull dogs that were alleged to have attacked a neighbor while roaming the neighborhood. The local animal warden determined the dogs were “vicious” and told Janice Cowan, the owner she had to comply with the “vicious dog” laws. The owner was not provided an opportunity to either dispute that her dogs were pit bulls or that they were “vicious.” The appellate court ruled in favor of the owner because her constitutional right to procedural due process was violated since there was no initial opportunity to dispute each particular dog’s “vicious or dangerous” designation by the deputy dog warden.

City of Huntsville  v. Shelia Tack et a.l., Supreme Court of Alabama (CV-00-1050)

In 2001, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed the Madison County’s Circuit Court decision that the four pit bull puppies could be adopted from the City of Huntsville’s Animal Shelter. The circuit court decided that the puppies were not contraband prohibiting their adoption because they were “not lacking any useful purpose due to training and viciousness” based upon the provisions of the “Alabama Animal Fighting Code.” This “Animal Fighting Code” regulates the dispatch or disposition of confiscated dogs used for fighting and determined to be contraband. In this adoption case, two of the pit bull puppies were born in the City of Huntsville’s Animal Control Shelter and the other pit bull puppies were brought to the shelter. Shelia Tack and others filed a petition for permissive intervention because they were not the owners nor had a legal right or a protected interest in the puppies as required by law to become a litigant in this case. The court granted intervenor status to Shelia Tack and others and granted their adoption of the puppies.

About The Author

Administrator's photo
Administrator -

All Authors Of This Article: | Patti Strand |
Like this article?
Don’t forget to share, like or follow us