“I’m With Charlie!” Woman Fights To Keep Her Pit Bull; Community Comes Out In Support

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Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH


A Lakewood, OH, woman who has been pushing back against her city’s ban on vicious dogs — including dogs that resemble pit bulls — has had her meeting with town officials. The ban has been in place since 2008.

Jennifer Scott adopted Charlie from a shelter four months ago, with the city’s written approval, WKYC reported. But recently, Charlie got loose and ran off. A witness reported Scott and the city mandated a hearing that would center on whether she would be allowed to keep him.

The hearing was held yesterday, and while she pleaded her case inside, the community rallied peacefully outside.

“We’ve had experiences with dogs in this community and this breed in particular, that has indicated that we’re slightly less safe than otherwise,” Mayor Mike Summers told reporters.

Tristan Rader, who is currently running for city council, disagrees.

“I do believe breed specific legislation is a racist rule and we need to take care of it,” Rader said.

Owner Jennifer Scott says it was her fault that Charlie got loose, but because he is not aggressive, he should be permitted to stay put. Photo: Cleveland Scene


Lakewood resident Steve Zupan was recently granted permission to keep his pit bull, which is a therapy dog.

“The city tries to bully residents who have these dogs because they don’t know about these things and most people don’t have the money to fight this,” Zupan said.

Protestors chanted “I’m with Charlie” for hours, hoping the city and the mayor will hear.

“It’s an emotional issue,” Summers said. “I understand, but we have to make the best judgements that we can and in my opinion, we’re gonna air on the side of being safe.”

Now, Scott awaits the decision to find out whether she will be able to keep Charlie or re-home him.