Bexley introduces new ordinance that would lift pit bull ban

BEXLEY, OH (WCMH) — Tuesday night the city of Bexley introduced a new ordinance that would lift its ban on pit bulls.

The Mayor of Bexley, Ben Kessler said he asked the City Council to look into the issue after confusion among residents; people who adopt mix-dogs from shelters that look and act like pit bulls. Dogs that weren’t defined as pit bull breed.

Several residents commented at the City Council meeting saying the problem is people, not pit bulls.

Three years ago Rob Burris and his 15-year-old daughter Camden first asked the city of Bexley to allow pit bulls.

“Camden wrote a letter to the mayor and asked for it to be changed,” said Burris.

Tuesday night they got their wish-the proposal of a new ordinance legalizing all dogs.

“I’ve seen great pit bulls, I’ve seen vicious pit bulls. I’ve seen vicious Chihuahuas. It all depends on how you bring the dog up,” said Burris.

Mayor Kessler said lifting the city ban on pit bulls is really about clearing up confusion.

“We’re seeing a lot more mixed breeds and our law is written as such it’s not exactly clear how to handle a mixed breed. So, we’ve had a very challenging set of conditions in enforcing the law we have on the books,” said Kessler.

The proposal is gaining support from outside Bexley city limits, including a famous face.

“This is a breed that you have to get some information on. Have to do your homework on it, but I don’t think we can throw a blanket on the breed and say it’s a dangerous breed because that’s untrue.”

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella owns four pit bulls –two labeled dangerous dogs that were set to be put down. After being rehabilitated–

“Now they’re just unbelievable family pets they’re part of the group of our family,” said Tortorella.

Mayor Kessler said the new ordinance would create new restrictions while paving the way for a legal path of ownership. If it passes residents would have to do four things:

1- Register any pit bull or dog with pit bull characteristics with the city.

2- Those dogs would have to be spayed or neutered.

3- An owner would be required to have physical fencing at their home.

4- Complete a standardized obedience test.

No one at the Tuesday night meeting spoke out against pit bulls.

But, everyone had more questions about the ordinance, including council members who say it’s way too early to vote on anything. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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