Guilty 'Til Proven Innocent examines the effects laws, called breed specific legislation, have on their local communities. The film investigates how House Bill 352, introduced in the Ohio state legislature in 1987, specifically singled out "pit bull dog[s]" as an inherently vicious breed. The law labeled any dog that killed or seriously injured a person a viscous dog and included all pit bulls under that grouping.
What is breed specific legislation? Breed specific legislation is a law that bans or restricts ownership of dogs considered "dangerous". This most commonly falls upon pit bull breeds, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds. While breed specific legislation is often enacted in response to public outcry over sensationalized dog attacks, retrospective analyses have shown that these types of ordinances do little to decrease dog attacks, and only serve to alienate owners and create further discrimination and fear against specific types of dogs.
In the last several years, laws restricting breeds have passed in several Kentucky towns and counties. Ranging from automatic qualification of pit bulls as "vicious animals" to outright countywide bans of pit bulls and similar dogs, Kentucky has increasingly been allowing breed restrictive ordinances to appear. The trend shows no sign of abating, with the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling in 2006 that breed specific legislation is lawful. All dog owners should be aware of breed specific legislation, and press their representatives to address the underlying issue of irresponsible owners and not single out specific breeds of dogs.
From the Guilty 'Til Proven Innocent Website (http://gtpifilm.com/)
"Guilty 'Til Proven Innocent" examines breed specific legislation in Ohio, the effect it has on its local communities, and answers the important question:
"Do we have a dangerous dog breed problem, or just dangerous laws targeting dogs?"
In April 1987, state legislators introduced amendments to House Bill 352, declaring "Pit Bull" dogs inherently vicious at birth, and requiring owners of such dogs to comply with strict requirements. This bill, which revised the state's vicious dog ordinance (ORC 955.11/22) was signed, sealed and delivered on July 10, 1987, making Ohio the only state in the nation to single out a breed of dog as dangerous. Local municipalities, such as Cincinnati, Toledo, and Youngstown, increased the severity of these laws by placing heavier restrictions, or even out right banning these dogs within city limits.
GTPI-resizeGTPI follows Lakewood, Ohio, as City Council discuss a ban of "Pit Bull" dogs, offering a glimpse to viewers of what it's like living in a city that successfully passes breed specific legislation. This film investigates and exposes the truth about these laws, answering the tough questions relating to dangerous dogs. Several experts in the fields of animal behavior/training, rescue, advocacy, and psychology extend their expertise in the production of "Guilty 'Til Proven Innocent," including:
Jean Donaldson Ken McCort Ledy VanKavage Don Cleary Jean Keating and many more
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