Bristol Borough, PA: Council intends to proceed with BSL

Pennsylvania state law is very clear: breed-specific dog laws are not allowed.
3 P.S. § 459-507-A

Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 3 P.S. Agriculture
Chapter 8. Dogs and Cats
Dog Law
Article V-A. Dangerous Dogs
§ 459-507-A. Construction of article
(c) Local ordinances.–Those provisions of local ordinances relating to dangerous dogs are hereby abrogated. A local ordinance otherwise dealing with dogs may not prohibit or otherwise limit a specific breed of dog.

During the council meeting, the Borough solicitor deliberately confused the issue, focusing on the legality of muzzles rather than the legality of breed-specific laws.

BSL is widely acknowledged by lawmakers in PA to be prohibited. Reading, PA, had their dangerous dog law thrown out by a court because it violated this state law. Other cities in PA, such as Wilkes-Barre, have recognized that breed-specific laws are not legal. State legislators have also confirmed that state law does not currently allow breed-specific laws—hence the furor over HB 671, in 2009, after it was revealed that the bill would have eliminated the prohibition against BSL.

Next Bristol Borough council meetings:
Agenda meeting January 10, 7 PM, Borough Hall
Work session meeting February 7, 7 PM, Borough Hall

Fax Number: 215-788-5366
Borough Office Phone Number: 215-788-3828

Solicitor William Salerno, 220 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, PA 19007
Phone : 215-788-5450

Borough Council contact info:
Lorraine Cullen,
James Lutz, 215-788-2647
Anthony Muccie,
Patrick Sabatini, 215-781-9003
Ralph DiGuiseppe,
Leo Plenski, Jr.,
Robyn Trunell,
Betty Rodriguez,

All alerts for Bristol Borough:

Dog owners say muzzles not the answer

By: George Mattar,

Several dog owners and the executive director of the Bucks County SPCA spoke before Bristol council Tuesday about a proposed ordinance which may require pit bulls and even all breeds of dogs be muzzled when on public property.[…]

Other dog owners believe the borough cannot legally enact an ordinance requiring muzzles on pit bulls, or other breeds.[…]

“People say we are violating state law. That is not true. We need to separate the myths from the facts. No cases we have found have said a municipal dog law is unconstitutional,” [Borough solicitor William Salerno] said. […]

Council did not act Monday, but next week it hopes to advertise the proposed ordinance in which DiGuiseppe would like to see a leash law, all dogs 25 pounds and larger to wear a muzzle and all pit bull and pit bull mixes wear a muzzle on public property.[…]

Full article retrieved 1/5/11 from

2 responses to “Bristol Borough, PA: Council intends to proceed with BSL

  1. Whoever is for the BSL severely needs their head examined.

    The dogs are not the ones to blame for mishaps and situations. Maybe you political people should take the people who train their dogs to be vicious and throw them in a ring to get chewed up.

    A dog is going to react how they were trained to..And when you say Pit bulls and certain dog breeds are automatically vicious because it’s in their nature, you make me laugh. You must be a bunch of idiots. I’ve owned Pit bulls my whole life and there is no other breed of dog more lovable than them.

    Then again, we have this moron President practically congratulating Michael Vick’s torture upon animals…

    This is like saying.. “You’re black! You can’t live in PA!” Yes, I said it. No, I’m not racist. You people really need to get a clue, and realize who the real monsters are, because it’s not the poor innocent dogs.

  2. I contact the Pennsylvania regional HSUS and gave them the details about Bristol Borough’s plans. HSUS is going to get involved to squash Bristol! Yaay! The PA state director for HSUS indicated she “definately would be interested in getting involved, I can write a letter on behalf of HSUS and attend the hearing and testify if I can! …I’ll get a letter together to make sure they are aware of the law and take it from there”.
    I gave her all of their email addresses too.