Tag Archives: mastiff

2014 Year in Review

It is time to take a look back at 2014, and what the year has brought us in the world of breed discriminatory laws.  2013 was a good year, but pales in comparison to what happened this year.

Below is a list of passages, repeals and rejections of breed discriminatory laws, as well as some notable court cases.  For our purposes, rejection means when a breed discriminatory law of any kind was brought up by an official and discussed.  Because of this, this list may vary from what others consider a rejection, which differs greatly depending on who is asked.  We use this definition in order to have a base from year to year, with which to compare.


Repeals:
Kennet, MO
Bonner Springs, KS
Canton, MI
Waterloo, WI
Bradford, PA
Clayton, MO
Garden City, KS
South Bend, Indiana
Washington Court, OH
Dearborn County, Indiana
Muscoda, WI
Hallsville, MO
Spring Hill, KS
Fairway, KS
Moreauville, LA
Cambridge, WI
16 total


Partial repeal:
Whitepine, Tennessee


Rejection:
El Dorado KS-rejected adding breeds to existing law
Cincinnati, OH
League City, TX
Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana
Randolph County, AR
Madison, WI
Medford, OR
Monticello, AR
Springdale, AR
Baker City, OR
10 total


Passage:
Lake Elsinore, CA MSN
Carroll County, MS
Humphrey, AR (“pit bulls” Rottweilers and Bull Mastiffs)
3 total


State:

In 2014 both Utah and South Dakota passed state-wide prohibitions against breed discriminatory laws.  Washington, Missouri and Maryland all attempted similar bills but ultimately the bills died at some point in the process.

Maryland:  Legislators finally passed a bill that over turned the disastrous court of appeals ruling in the case of Tracey v Solesky.  Legislators were hung up on the standard of liability for dog owners, but were unanimous about the need to over rule the landlord liability for dog bites and the breed discriminatory part of the ruling.  They finally reached a consensus after years of debate.


Court cases:

New Llano, Louisiana:  Unenforceable by court order.  The Nelson family sued the town of New Llano after they were told to remove their dog from the town or risk her being killed.  The Nelsons had just moved to New Llano and were un-aware of the ban.  Mazzy was held in boarding for a long time as the court case went through the process.  An injunction was filed and granted by the judge.  This case is still technically active.

Clay, Alabama:  In early 2013, the town of Clay passed a breed ban.  This was immediately challenged and mid 2013 an injunction was filed.  2014 saw that case before the courts and the judge ruled against the town.  A couple notable things about that case was the judge saying that the town cannot ban something they have had no issue with.  Officials admitted the ban was passed after the read an article about “pit bulls.”

We have seen repeated victories in court against Reynoldsburg, Ohio’s law, though they remain at the level of municipal court and are limited to people keeping their dogs and not challenging the law itself.

Aurora, Co:  Aurora became the second city to put a breed discriminatory law on the ballot and, though the ballot measure ultimately failed, we saw amazing success in messaging, as well as a stark reminder that many people are not even aware they are living under these laws.  A full analysis of the events can be found here: http://stopbsl.org/2014/11/06/aurora-colorado-the-good-the-bad-and-the-silver-lining/

2014 was a remarkable year for the rights of individuals and community safety.  More and more municipalities are seeing the failure of breed discriminatory laws and overturning them.  No doubt 2015 will be better.

It can be easy to lose sight of the larger picture when dealing with this fight day in and day out.  We hope that this post shows that the tide is, in fact, turning against breed discriminatory laws, and laws that target irresponsible and reckless owners are winning out.

If you know of a repeal, rejection or enactment that is not on this list, please let me know by e-mailing StopBSL.org@gmail.com.

Breckenridge Colorado is considering a breed discriminatory law

After a dog related incident that was attributed to a dog officials describe as “pit bull terrier”, officials in Breckenridge Colorado are investigating the possibility of enacting a breed discriminatory law.  The incident in question involved a dog on dog attack.

Though Colorado state law prohibits breed based laws, Denver had successfully sued against the state based on what is called home rule.  Denver won the case, effectively opening the door to a home rule city in Colorado being allowed to enact similar laws.

Simply put, home rule is a town charter that allows a municipality the right to self governance, independent of the laws of the state.

A report created by the chief of police mentions the ability of home rule jurisdictions to be able to pass these laws.

From the report:

In 2004, the State of Colorado passed a statute prohibiting municipalities from enacting breed specific bans. The City and County of Denver filed a civil complaint citing their ability as a Home Rule entity to enact and enforce legislation as a matter of local or jurisdictional concern. The District Court upheld the right of a Home Rule municipality “to regulate dangerous dogs within its community”.

This report appears to be an investigation of the other places in Colorado that have breed discriminatory laws in place.  There was no official recommendation but the report mentions a work session that was scheduled for September 10th.

Officials set up a survey for community feedback on the issue.

Under the item asking if a person feels some breeds are more dangerous than others, there are several breeds listed for people to indicate which dogs they feel are more dangerous.

The breeds listed are Doberman, Mastiff, German Shepherd, pit bull, Malamute, Chow, Rottweiler, Husky and an “other” category.

According to the minutes of the August 27th meeting, a council member raised the issue of the dog attack, which occurred during a cycling event.

This was taken directly from the minutes of that meeting,  “Mr. Gallagher mentioned the pit bull terrier incident on Hoosier Pass during the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. He stated he believes Breckenridge should get in front of the situation and do something about aggressive dogs in general and pit bulls in particular. Mayor Warner polled the Council on their thoughts about this issue and the decision was made to charge staff with identifying problem breeds and look to see what other communities have done regarding this issue.

The statement of “identifying problem breeds” implies what the survey backs up, that, should they continue down this path, they will be restricting multiple breeds, their mixes and look a likes.

The minutes from a subsequent meeting contain the following excerpt, “We would like to have a bigger discussion about dogs and people being irresponsible with their pets. Look for some more conversation in the community.”

Residents of Breckenridge should reach out now to their council members and ask that all dog owners be held to the same standards.  The importance of making sure that everyone in the community is safe from dangerous dogs of all kinds should be stressed.  Politely and respectfully oppose any breed discriminatory laws and point out their failure to improve public safety.  Since officials were looking at Denver, you can view information on Denver’s failure here: http://www.nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/dogbites/state-by-state-information/co/denver

Breed neutral alternatives can be found here: http://stopbsl.org/alternatives-to-bsl/

There is no direct contact information available for the Mayor or the Town Council but there is an online contact form available on the cities website.

North Carolina bill to restrict multiple breeds is nixed

Rep. Rodney Moore, of North Carolina, was not anticipating the backlash he received in response to his bill that would restrict multiple breeds of dogs and their mixes.

We have been hearing rumors that he pulled the bill since roughly 72 hours after the bills introduction.

This bill is officially dead, though there is some confusion as to whether this was a voluntary action or an action by the assigned committee.  In a news report it is stated the bill died in committee, not that Rep. Moore pulled it.

The breeds of dogs targeted by this bill were Rottweiler, Mastiff, Chow, Presa Canario, wolf hybrid, pit bull (which are defined as Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Pit Bull Terrier).

In the same report Rep. Moore is quote saying, “he wasn’t sure that the breeds designated by the bill as aggressive are ones “with the most incidents,” but he said they “were the most prevalent by the feedback that I’ve gotten.”

Initially, Rep. Moore was saying that he created the list of targeted breeds based off of those restricted by insurance companies.  This may be the “feedback” he is referring to.

Regardless of the reason the bill has died, we are pleased with the outcome.

Some people having been expressing support for this legislation, which would require a criminal background check, as well as a class to own the previously mentioned dogs.  We feel that a much larger point was being missed in support of the bill. Aside from the fact the breed discrimination is breed discrimination, no matter how you package it, this bill by default would have legally labeled all dogs of those breeds, their mixes and their look a likes as aggressive.

We already know where this road leads. We can look to Ohio as an example.  The severity of the restrictions does not matter. Such a label on the state level targeting certain breeds creates an avalanche of local municipalities that create tighter restrictions on the same dogs targeted by state law, as well as creating a dangerous precedent for other states.  One can applaud intentions but should never applaud intentions implemented in a thoughtless or reckless way that would create a swath of chaos in its wake.

First alert for NC, Second alert for NC

North Carolina bill filed to restrict multiple breeds

UPDATED INFORMATION HERE

A bill has been filed in the North Carolina House of Representatives that would restrict the ownership of several breeds of dogs.

HB 956, a bill to “Regulate Ownership of Aggressive Dog Breeds,” proposes an amendment to North Carolina’s dog laws that would impose restrictions on the following breeds and “dogs that are predominantly of any of the following breeds:”

Rottweiler
Mastiff
Chow
Presa Canario
wolf hybrid
pit bull, which are defined as Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Pit Bull Terrier

The following are the requirements proposed to own one of the targeted dogs:

-Submission to a criminal background check

-Enrollment in “a course of instruction of no less than four hours duration provided by the Humane Society of the United States, or any of the rescue organizations for any of the aggressive dog breeds as defined in subsection (a) of this section that is designed to educate the owners of these dogs about their temperament and about the requirements for responsible ownership of the breed”

-A person must notify their insurance carrier, if any, of compliance with the other provisions

-A person must obtain a special permit from the Department of Insurance

Once again, we have a piece of legislation that fails to outline, in the case of mixed breed dogs, what the standard is to prove a dog is one of the listed breeds or mixes.

Also notable is the lack of definition of what constitutes a “mastiff.”  There are roughly 20 separate breeds that are considered mastiffs.

The question must be raised as to who will be developing a curriculum for these classes people are supposed to take. Who determines exactly what constitutes the requirements for responsible ownership of one breed over another?  Who will pay for developing this program?

In an interview, the bills sponsor Representative Rodney Moore was quoted saying, “It’s just to let people take responsibility for owning those breeds. Because they’re good dogs, all of them. But they have the potential.”

Representative Moore is clearly concerned about both the dogs and his community but this particular piece of legislation is a misdirected attempt at forcing responsibility on some people, while allowing lax care from others. All dog owners need to be held to the same standard. By creating special standards for one breed over another, we alienate good owners and create a false sense of security when it comes to other dogs. A gross disparity in the expected care and control of dogs invariably fails the community as a whole.

The financial impact of breed discriminatory laws is something that cannot be ignored. According to Best Friends Animal Society’s fiscal calculator, the estimated cost of enforcing this type of legislation for pit bulls only would be over $14,000,000 a year.  This does not factor in the cost of enforcing this for all the other dogs listed.

North Carolina Residents: Please reach out now to your Representatives to ask them to oppose HB 956. Also, politely and professionally, reach out to Rep. Rodney Moore and the bill’s co-sponsor, Rep. Larry Pittman, to ask that this bill be withdrawn.

You can find your specific representatives on the states website.

Representative Rodney Moore: Rodney.Moore@ncleg.net

Representative Larry Pittman: Larry.Pittman@ncleg.net

Shanghai, China: Over twenty breeds banned

Lower fees encourage owners to register dogs

China Daily, 10:34, May 17, 2011

[…] Breeds, such as Rottweiler, German Shepherds and several types of mastiffs and bulldogs are also banned under the new regulation.

A police post on the Internet reads: “Any of these fierce dogs kept by private households will be taken away”.[…]

Full article retrieved 5/17/11 from http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/7382191.html

Here is the police post from the Internet, roughly translated by Google translate, that names the specific breeds banned:

Individuals on the city banned dog breeding directory potent Notice
To protect the public safety, and prevent loss of control caused by sudden strong dogs cause casualties, according to “Regulations of Shanghai Dog” (February 23, 2011, Shanghai People’s Congress Standing Committee of the thirteenth section 25 meeting), the prohibition of individual breeding dogs with the relevant provisions of potent, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, Shanghai Municipal Agricultural Commission, the Urban Pet Industry Association study determined the “Shanghai potent against people keeping dogs directory”, is hereby published as follows :
Potent against individuals raising dogs in Shanghai directory:
1, the Tibetan Mastiff (Tibetan Mastiff), Mastiff (Mastiff), Rottweiler (Rottweiler), Italy twisted Boli Dayton (Neopolitan Mastiff, Italian Mastiff alias Napoleon Mastiff), Bordeaux Mastiff (Dogue de Bordeaux, French Mastiff alias), Bull Mastiff (Bull Mastiff), the Spanish Mastiff (Spanish Mastiff), Caucasian dogs (Caucasian Vcharka), Pyrenean Mastiff (Pyrenean Mastiff), Brazil Rockefeller (Fila Braziliero , alias the Brazilian Mastiff Brazilian Mastiff), Dogo Argentina Mastiff (Argentinean Dogo Mastiff), 丹麦布罗荷 horse mastiff (Danish Broholmer) and other Mastiff Mastiff descent, and hybridization with dogs;
2, France Dog (Beauceron Wolfdog), Kunming Dog (Kunming wolfdog, alias China Dog), German Shepherd Dog (German Shepherd Dog) Dog and a Dog descent such as hybrid dogs;
3, the British Bulldog (English Bulldog), the old British Bulldog (Old English Bulldog), American Bulldogs (American Bulldog), Tosa (Japanese Tosa), Bull Terrier (Bull Terrier), Germany, Doberman (German Doberman ) and other dogs and has the potent hybrid dog breed ancestry.
Violation of the provisions pursuant to article XII of the individual dog breeding potent, the public security departments accept dogs.

The police post can be read in its original Chinese here: http://www.police.sh.cn/shga/gweb/zfgkxx/gkxx_view.jsp?pa=6873a50917f316de234f66b780d4809c50b8b3b7c8861aa7156e0e34c1f0e68e8fa0f7bef7bf3297

Subang Jaya, Malaysia: Seven breeds banned

Perplexingly, though the article cites several attacks by Rottweilers and public concern and comments are focused primarily on Rottweilers, that breed has not been targeted by the new breed ban.

The ban goes into effect immediately and does not contain a grandfather clause.

Pit bull among seven breeds banned in Subang Jaya

By EDWARD R. HENRY, edward@thestar.com.my

SEVEN dog breeds — Akita, Neapolitan Mastiff, American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanesa Tosa and American Pit bull — are set to vanish from households in Subang Jaya soon.[…]

MPSJ director Dr Roslan Mohamed Hussin said the ban was with immediate effect.

He said the council had begun operations to check residential areas in the township for such dog breeds.[…]

Full article retrieved 4/14/11 from http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2011/4/14/central/8475437&sec=central

Singapore: Changes to breed-specific dangerous dog laws

In Singapore, Presa Canarios have been moved from the Second Schedule Part II list to Part I list, and new restrictions on Part I and Part II dogs have been added.

Second Schedule Part I dog breeds include the following: “pit bull” (American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog), Akita, Neapolitan Mastiff, Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Presa Canario, Boerboel, and any mixes of these breeds.

Part I dog restrictions include the following (includes new changes to dog law):

  • Muzzled and leashed in public
  • Microchipped
  • Spayed/neutered
  • Liability insurance of $100,000 minimum
  • Only one Part I dog may be kept on a premises (new restriction)
  • Obedience training (new restriction)
  • A $5,000 deposit that is forfeited (and must be renewed) if the owner fails to comply with any of these restrictions
  • May not be imported

Second Schedule Part II dog breeds include the following: Mastiffs (Cane Corso, Bull Mastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux), Bull Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd and related breeds (Belgian Shepherd Dog, East European Shepherd Dog), Rottweiler, and mixes of these breeds.

Part II dog restrictions include the following (includes new changes to dog law):

  • Muzzled and leashed in public
  • Microchipped (new restriction)
  • Liability insurance of $100,000 minimum (new restriction)
  • Obedience training (new restriction)
  • Only one Part II dog may be kept on a premises (new restriction)
  • A $2,000 deposit that is forfeited (and must be renewed) if the dog owner fails to comply with any of these restrictions (new restriction)

Restrictions similar to those in Part II will also apply to any dog that has engaged in an unprovoked attack that causes injury to a person or animal. (New restriction)

The changes to Singapore’s dog law can be viewed here: http://www.ava.gov.sg/NR/rdonlyres/9253E7B2-E57D-4992-982C-1304E73748D6/18191/CHANGESTOTHEANIMALSANDBIRDSDOGLICENSINGANDCONTROLR.pdf