Rusk County area, Texas: Petition circulating for statewide BSL

Previous alerts on this issue:

A petition has been created in Jacksonville that would require owners of “pit bulls” to be “trained and certified” to own the “breed.” The petition creators intend to present this petition to their Texas Senator, Robert Nichols, in an effort to get a state law created to this effect.

Contact information for Senator Robert Nichols can be found here:

Mauling Death Of Young Rusk County Boy Prompts Push For Pit Bull Bill

Staff Writer

Aghast over pit bull dogs mauling to death of a 10-year-old Rusk County boy, hundreds of people in neighboring Cherokee County signed a petition for a state law that would establish requirements for owners of pit bull dogs.

Susan Walczak, manager of City Pawn in Jacksonville, and two coworkers began the petition drive in Jacksonville, and a spin-off petition is circulating in Tyler.

At last count about 640 signatures had been collected in Jacksonville. A tabulation of signatures on the Tyler petition was not available Wednesday.

[…] Many people who have heard about the petition came into the pawn shop just to sign it, although many signers are customers, according to the petition organizers, who hope to get action on the issue in the next state legislative session.

Full article retrieved 9/24/09 from


6 responses to “Rusk County area, Texas: Petition circulating for statewide BSL

  1. Although I believe that some of Ms. Walczak statements are incorrect, I think this law is actually a good thing.

    Forcing owners to be responsible dog owners is good legislation; banning a breed is not.

    The way this proposed law would work would be to educate dog owners as to how to properly train and care for their pets. Assuming there isn’t an underlying hidden agenda to this petition that was not clearly stated here, I don’t see why this BSL should be stopped. In fact, I think they should extend the law to other powerful breeds as well.

    The breeds aren’t the problem; ignorant or abusive owners are the problem, and this petition is aimed at that problem.

    Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater… BSL like this does not need to be stopped, and should be supported!

    • Mark,
      The inherent flaws with BSL still exist with any type of legislation that attempts to identify and segregate particular “breeds” or “types” of dogs and their owners for special restrictions.

      For instance, how do you identify a “pit bull”? It is much, much more difficult than you can imagine. Currently this is done by appearance only, and is therefore subjective. How does someone know whether their dog is “pit bull”-looking enough that they need to comply with the law? We have seen a number of cities in the U.S. with BSL that, in recent weeks alone, have been taken to court over misidentification of dogs’ breeds. Even when the dogs are proven not to be “pit bulls,” owners still have to pay court costs, animal shelter housing fees for their confiscated dogs, and costs for DNA tests, among other things. In some cases, even when DNA tests prove the dogs aren’t pit bulls, the owners still have to comply with “pit bull” laws, because of the way the law is written (to affect “any dog that looks like a pit bull”). So the law is unequally and inconsistently applied, in a way that doesn’t make any sense.

      BSL like this also sends the message that some breeds are “safe,” while others are “dangerous” and require special handling. This is a false and dangerous message to send to the public, and it is certainly not one that any public health/safety organizations or animal management organizations support.

      There are a number of other problems with BSL that are simply inherent in the system–that’s what happens when you try to segregate a particular population based on something arbitrary like physical appearance. Such flaws can’t be eliminated just because the law’s heart is in the right place.

      While I agree that dog owners need to be responsible, any law that is created must apply to all dog owners, regardless of breed or type or appearance. That is the only way to ensure that our citizens are safe, our dogs are well-managed, and our laws are just, fair, effective, and enforceable.

  2. robert aguirre

    i think the irresponsible owner should be punished for not maintaining his animal. if the state wants to put a ban on pitbulls they need to put a ban on all bully breeds such as bulldogs american and british boxers,bull mastiffs,bull terrier, etc. just because the animal is raised to be aggresive doesnt make it its fault. all the animal is doing is obeying his master and just doing what is trained to do. yes i do believe aggresive dogs should be put down for the reason they are a threat to the human race. but stereo typing on a certain breed is down right stupidity . myself owns three apbt and they are the most gentle and pleasing animals ive had . they are around my children ages of 7 4 2 and they are also around other apbt . people who doubt their temperment need to attend an american bully show to see that they can be gentle animals and to see the other side of them as show dogs not as game dogs or suppose “killers”.texas residents please take the time to learn more about the breed before making a decision. also please notice the name AMERICAN pitbull terrier so dont take that away from the breed.

  3. Pingback: Texas: Statewide petition against BSL « Stop BSL

  4. You have got to be kidding me…The already educated people on the breed will be the ones getting their dogs thru rescues and shelters legally and they won’t need to be trained…It is the dog fighters and back yard breeders that will smuggle them in and those people won’t be trained. I have owned Pit bulls and fostered Pit bulls and when raised with proper socialization, and not on chains in backyards and without being mistreated they are fantastic dogs. Even some of those dogs with the improper raising have been retrained. You mostly see pits, rotties, dobies chained up as people think of them as being protective dogs but any dog chained up can turn into a protective dog. We need to do away with back yard breeders and puppy mills. We need to crack down on the jerks that walk their pit bulls with heavy chains, the people that chain their dogs outside. We need to educate people about animals being a living breathing thing with feelings not a piece of property to be left outside alone and beaten up on etc..We need to support groups like Dogs Deserve Better who make it their mission to gets dogs off of chains.

  5. I am a pit bull lover who has created a blog as a college class project. Please check it out and leave your stories