During the 1980’s and 90’s, certain breeds or types of dog – namely “pit bull” dogs, were targeted in legislation, spreading like wildfire across the U.S. and around the world, called Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). These laws either restricted or prohibited the ownership of such dogs. The same practice has also found its way in policy – such as the insurance and renters industries.
In July 1987, the state of Ohio passed heavy restrictions on “pit bull” dog ownership, which included liability insurance, certain leashing and containment requirements, among a list of other items residents had to follow in order to be compliant, after a fatal incident occurred in Dayton (OH), as well as the national narrative in the media about the dogs at the time.
Using Ohio as the backdrop, this film intimately follows the city of Lakewood – a suburb of Cleveland, as they propose, pass and enforce a new ordinance which bans “pit bull” dogs within their city limits beginning in 2008, through its repeal a decade later on April 2, 2018. The film asks the important question:
“Do we have a dangerous dog breed problem, or dangerous laws targeting dogs?”