Vancouver, WA: City may discuss breed ban

Thanks to Jodi for this alert!

The Vancouver, WA city council is considering a ban on “pit bulls” after a recent attack there. The mayor and city council are clearly divided on this issue, but at least two city councilors have taken up the cause, and in emails seemed to be supportive of placing a discussion of a ban on the city council’s docket.[…]

Please send your POLITE, RESPECTFUL and INFORMATIVE letters opposing breed specific legislation to the Vancouver city officials listed below. Please be sure to include the problems associated with BSL, including the cost to the city and identification issues.

Contact info for city officials
City of Vancouver, P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995
City Council – (360) 487-8629
Timothy D. Leavitt, Mayor, Tim.Leavitt@cityofvancouver.us
Jeanne Harris, Jeanne.Harris@cityofvancouver.us
Jeanne E. Stewart, Jeanne.Stewart@cityofvancouver.us
Larry J. Smith, Larry.Smith@cityofvancouver.us
Pat Campbell, Pat.Campbell@cityofvancouver.us
Jack Burkman, jack.burkman@cityofvancouver.us
Bart Hansen, bart.hansen@cityofvancouver.us

Email block for cut and paste:
Tim.Leavitt@cityofvancouver.us; Jeanne.Harris@cityofvancouver.us; Jeanne.Stewart@cityofvancouver.us; Larry.Smith@cityofvancouver.us; Pat.Campbell@cityofvancouver.us; jack.burkman@cityofvancouver.us; bart.hansen@cityofvancouver.us

Regular city council meetings are held the first and third Monday of each month, 7:00 PM, and the public may comment on items on the agenda. Consent agenda meetings are held the second and fourth Monday of each month, 6:30 PM. Consent agenda meetings have a Citizen Forum at the end, where citizens may speak on any item not on the agenda. Council meetings take place in Council Chambers, City Hall, first floor, 210 East 13th Street.

Next regular city council meeting: June 6
Next consent agenda meeting with citizen forum:  June 13

City may debate ban on pit bulls

By Andrea Damewood, Columbian Staff Reporter
Wednesday, June 1, 2011

[…] A former resident of Denver, where there has been a ban on pit bulls since 1989, [resident Christopher] Ramsey said the dogs seem to have a pack mentality that makes them more vicious.

It’s not clear how many people have been attacked by pit bulls in Clark County; animal control doesn’t track bites by breed, [Animal Control manager Paul] Scarpelli said.

At least two city councilors have taken up Ramsey’s cause, and in emails seemed to be supportive of placing a discussion of a ban on the city council’s docket.[…]

Councilor Pat Campbell said that since the attack, he’s heard numerous horror stories about pit bulls. While he acknowledged other dogs can be vicious as well, Campbell said pit bulls have the size and inbred tendencies to go after people. […] “I think this might be one thing that we can do for the community that won’t cost a lot of money.” […]

“There’s a bigger conversation about responsibility for ownership of pets, and holding owners accountable if they choose to have a breed of dog that is generally recognized as being dangerous,” [Mayor] Leavitt said. […]

Full article retrieved 6/2/11 from http://www.columbian.com/news/2011/jun/01/city-may-debate-ban-on-pit-bulls-boy-9-was-attacke/

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13 responses to “Vancouver, WA: City may discuss breed ban

  1. Laura Wright

    Please do not make the SAD maistake of banning pitties! they are wonderful family dogs. Breed Specific Legislation ONLY HURTS responsible dog owners. Instead Please consider a law requiring that ALL dog owners are RESPONSIBLE for the actions of thier dogs. As it is IRRESPONSIBLE/Bad owners that make a problem dog, no matter what the breed! all dogs should be required to be on a leash if not in their yard, up to and including when out on a walk with their owner.
    Remember any dog can be made mean by irresponsible owners. Do not ban any dog just because of it’s breed.

  2. Brian DeBruyne

    Anyone, and I MEAN ANYONE, who tries to take my Pit Bull son “Rocco”, is gonna be met with extreme HARSHNESS and resistance!! I will not stand for this and I’ve helped spread the word about this ALL OVER Facebook. I have received TREMENDOUS support and will continue to fight the fight for our “furry sons and daughters!!! You know what, let’s ban: Cars (they kill people), prescr. med’s. (overdoses and they’re legal WOW), Guns (Good Luck hehehe), ALCOHOL (Biggest killer out there… FACT and it’s still legal), Cigarettes (do I really need to give an example on this one?) And you know what, let’s just ban people in general. People kill, but they keep on being allowed to BREED!!!! Do you get my point? Is it starting to sink in? I hope so!!! Because “Breedism” WILL NOT BE TOLERATED by me and my supporters. I highly suggest you think this one through…before YOU (Not us) back people into a corner and MAKE US respond aggressively. Here, it’s quite simple really…even for the lament. Don’t ban Pit Bulls, everything is fine. Ban em…you’ll have problems. And for the record, I DO NOT CONDONE VIOLENCE at all!!! HOWEVER, you back me or anyone else into a corner by trying to take what I or we love dearly like family members….I think you get the point :))))) Nuff said…Have a good day.

  3. I do want to say this. I have been a veterinary technician for 20 years now. Pit Bulls (and other bully breeds) are great dogs! There are other breeds that i feel that I have to be more careful around…although if there is a dog with a problem, it really is generally the owners fault. Breed bans just propagate fear and end up harming a lot of great dogs. We need to start enforcing leash laws and requiring owners to be responsible…that would be great legislation.

    It’s also important to remember that when there is a pit bull bite, it gets news attention, but when a chihuahua bites someone, there is just a doctors visit, the news doesn’t care.

  4. Christina Weber

    As a pitbull owner myself I find the very thought of outlawing the breed upsetting. Pits, Rottis, and Dobermans have always taken the wrap for all dog issues, news flash… The ONLY issues I have ever had with any of the canine breeds are cocker spaniels, chihuahua’s, and poodles. The only differance and the reason our so called ‘problem’ dogs take more heat is because people abuse these breeds and everyone needs a fall out guy. It just so happens they are trying to blame OUR four legged family members. How about innocent until proven guilty? I have had my dog for going on eight years now. In that time she has never once snapped, growled, or shown any other types of aggression. She was found at almost 4 weeks old in a box with 4 siblings of which 2 did not make it. I had to bottle feed her for the first 3 1/2 weeks … she is mine and that’s all there is to it. As a dog owner I took responsibility in socializing her and made sure I found as much information about the breed as I could. That was and is my responsibility as her owner. I think it comes down to pits, rotts, and dobermans are misunderstood. The media and news portray them to be horrible and viscious animals, do your research about the breed and you will see just how wonderful they really are. People fear what they don’t know or understand, so why not instead of being afraid take time and see all the good qualities these breeds have. To me, the banning of any animal or person just because of their breed is in some form considered discrimination. I find myself when asked what kind of dog I have saying a Staffordshire Terrier instead of Pitbull. When you say those two names you get two very different reactions. Say Staffordshire Terrier and most people do not know it’s in the pit family, say Pitbull and they cross the street like the breed is a disease or something. Immediantly Judged. I think they should be more afraid of trying to harm and get rid of them then we are of them. You can’t blame one good dog for the crime of a another who has a negligent owner… That would be wrong of you. So, instead of banning any of these breeds why not offer more information on them, help people learn to train, and offer support instead of making us hide our companions in the closet… I for one will not stand for that.

  5. Ken Christensen

    To Whom It May Concern About BSL Laws:

    It amazes me how ignorant the human species can be. This is no less then genocide, period. A dog is a dog, no less and no more. They are not aggressive by nature, only by guidance and training are they put down that path. So is it the species fault or the humans? Stop putting the blame on GOD’s creatures and take responsibility for our own actions. Prosecute the guilty humans, and protect and defend the animals. I own five AmStaffs and one rescue. In my 46 years on this earth and having experience with many different breeds, the American Staffordshire Terrier is the most loving, loyal, and forgiving breed there is. They have done nothing but serve us in what ever we ask of them, i.e. farm help, protection, search and rescue, police dogs, service dogs, used in wars to help our soldiers. They were used in rodeos to distract the bulls when the riders fell, which is the job the clowns do now. Do you even know where the term “pit bull” comes from? It does not come from fighting them. Years ago when the ranchers needed to work on a 900lbs+ bull, they called on this breed for help. The ring in the bull’s nose goes through a nerve. It would take up to three of these dogs to grab the ring and pull the bull down. The nerve would allow the ranchers to work on the bulls without fear of getting harmed. Years ago when you sent your son to the store to buy what the farm did not produce, it was these dogs dragging back the bought products on a burlap sack back to the farm. That is why there are what’s known as “pull dogs” competitions. We no longer use them on farms since the early 1900’s, so the pulling sport was created. Their jaws do not lock. There are no dogs that have locking jaws. Tell a vet that you had your AmStaff jaws worked on so they don’t lock and the vet will laugh you out of the office. Their ears and tails are cropped for farm use, not just for fighting. So since we no longer use them as much as we used to, let’s just throw them away like toilet paper. They are as much a part of this county as apple pie and baseball. If it was not for their service to us humans, we would not be where we are today. I cannot tell you how many people I have educated on this breed. I own a tow truck and my AmStaff rides next to me everyday all day. She will kill you alright, but you better bring a towel to dry yourself off. The most dangerous thing on her or any of my AmStaff’s is their tongue. They will lick you to death with love and that is it, period. I see more aggression on other breeds, of most that are the small dogs. Three (3) percent of all dogs bites reported are “Pitts”. Eighty (80) percent of the three (3) percent are “mixed breed”, not pure bred “Pitts”. Of which the public is miss informed, as usual. A pure bred AmStaff is a very stable dog. It is the mixed breeds that are unstable. Passing any law to discriminate a particular breed of dog is not only unfair it is flat out discrimination, bigotry, racist, in humane and cruel. The bottom line is this is genocide, murder of an animal that cannot speak out in defense of themselves. Thank GOD there are intelligent people out there that understand and know the real truth about “Pitts”. The true name for these wonderful dogs is American Staffordshire Terriers, and the only reason I use the term “pitt” is that is the only way people know them as. People that call them “Pitts” are using a derogatory name that is very disrespectful to the breed. Any BSL laws are wrong, period. Please do some actual research and get a true understanding of these dogs before you judge them or sentence them to death. I know myself and many other AmStaff owners will not roll over and let this happen without a fight. I will protect my family at any cost. Get the picture?

    Thank you for your time and listening to my input on this matter.

    Sincerely,
    Mr. Ken Christensen, Akira, Buster, Diesel, Latifah, Kalena, Gloria

  6. Sean McCrea, Vader & Sampson

    The level of ignorance demonstrated by those who support breed specific legislation completely floors me. AND MAKE NO MISTAKE PEOPLE…support for such asinine legislation comes from truley weak, scared, ignorant human beings.

    A Chihuahua can be trained to rip someones throat out while they sleep…should we erradicate them too….

    A gun laying on the ground will lay there until the end of time…its only when someone picks it up decides to use it for evil purposes that it becomes dangerous…

    Breed specific legislation is nothing more than an animal being punished for human behavior….which really makes me sick to my stomach.

    Please spread the word that Vancouver is trying to do this and send e-mails to the council people listed above (be polite…being an ass will get us nowhere)….we can’t let this happen.

    In your e-mail please inform the coucil members of the kinds of lawsuits the city of Vancouver will face is this legislation goes into effect and peoples family pets are mistaken for “monsters” and euthanized…which would inevitably happen.

    If your as angry as I am that I am EVEN HAVING TO WRITE THIS…and need to direct that anger somewhere, direct it at the vile, putrid human beings who take such a wonderful animal and mistreat it.

    Don’t blame the breed, blame the deed….

  7. Andrea Fahrni

    I can not explain enough how LIVID I am about this ridiculous proposal. PEOPLE are the responisble party here, not the Breed. We stand straight and pat ourselves on the back for not being racist and completely politically correct, but isn’t this just another way to exploit a certian group of PEOPLE, not just our 4 legged babies, where is the line? Murder is not allowed. Yet it still happens. Speeding is against the law. Yet it still happens. Underage drinking is against the law. Yet it still happens. The people who are training ANY DOG to be mean, will find another breed to TRAIN. Key word…. TRAIN AT THE HAND OF THE HUMAN BEING… Dogs are a “mans” best friend, they protect us from harm, cuddle with us when its cold, finish our plates when we are full. They are always willing to lick your face or play fetch. But when I brought home my princess, I trained her to “sit, speak, lay down, stay, high five, stand up, shake………” not to bite or harm anyone. There are other PEOPLE who do not go the same route and those are the PEOPLE who should be regulated and punished. I have YET to meet a “bad” or “aggressive” Pitty. Every one that I have ever encountered has attempted to drown me in dog drool! I would take a Pitty over a Poodle ANY DAY.

    PUNISH THE DEED, NOT THE BREED!!!!

    We, THE PEOPLE, as the RESPONSIBLE OWNERS of pittys, need to STAND UP AND FIGHT for our “sons and daughters”.. They can’t speak for themselves!

    STICK TOGETHER PEOPLE – I am PROUD TO BE A PITBULL OWNER!

  8. I just recently bought two pitbull/ boxer puppies. they are the sweetest things and are learning quickly. I feel that just because people raise some wrong, does not make them all bad. our pups are the sweetest puppies we have ever owned. please don’t make the mistake of assuming all of this breed are bad when they’re not. if we give all people a chance, why not give every dog a chance?

  9. I couldnt agree more Andrea… Anyone that supports the ban on pitbulls is extremely Bias and uneducated… How do you ban a entire breed for the actions of irresponsible owners… i say we ban the people supporting this’ and lets start with council member pat campbell

  10. “I think this might be one thing that we can do for the community that won’t cost a lot of money.” […]

    In order to euthanize an animal, the burden of breed proof will fall to the city. It’s no longer good enough to just say dog “looks” like a “pitbull” (see precedent in Miami-Dade an legislation in Kansas City – which repealed it’s BSL after an 8 month long court battle where they wanted to euthanize a dog they claimed was a “pitbull” but was genetically proven to be a boxer – search Niko). Cost of a DNA test to the city 120.00 a dog. * estimated 2600 pitbull or pitbull type dogs = $312,000 just to DNA test the dogs. Once proven they are pitbull, 100.00 to euthanize. 100 * 2600 = $260,000. And finally, disposal, let’s go cheap at 25.00 a dog * 2600 = $65,000. Yes, at a grand total estimated cost of $637,000 the city of Vancouver can be pitbull free. Sounds super duper cheap to me. A dangerous dog doesn’t need a DNA test. A dangerous dog is judged based on it’s behaviour and actions, not on what it MIGHT do, but what it HAS DONE. Dangerous dog laws do a better job of protecting people from animals that WILL hurt and HAVE hurt, not on speculation. Additionally, the city of Denver’s dog bite rate per capita and Miami-Dade’s also are higher than neighboring towns that don’t have BSL. Because BSL doesn’t address the real problem – which is that dogs of any breed can be dangerous. #1 breed of dog biting people in Denver – coming in at a whopping 20% of bites – our beloved Golden Retriever. Guess who might get banned next. Scary to think about selectively punishing a breed for crimes not even committed instead of addressing the real issue.