Vancouver, WA, is still struggling to update their animal control ordinance. In June, a breed ban was proposed, then quickly dropped in the face of strong public protest. A new (allegedly breed-neutral) ordinance was to have been ready for a vote in September, but it seems that they haven’t settled on the revisions yet.
The Vancouver council will again discuss animal control ordinance revisions during the October 3 council meeting. The item is on the agenda as follows:
4:00-5:00 p.m. Animal Control Ordinance Updates
At its August 8, 2011, workshop on updates to the City’s Animal Control ordinance, Council expressed interest in prohibiting dangerous dogs within city limits and information on other jurisdictions in Washington with such bans. City and Clark County Animal Control staff will provide follow-up information on other jurisdictions’ experience regulating potentially dangerous and dangerous dogs, provide recommendations and seek further Council direction. (Judith Zeider, Chief Assistant City Attorney 487-8521; Paul Scarpelli, Clark County Animal Protection and Control – Interim Manager 397-2375 x 4705)
Council meetings take place in Council Chambers, City Hall, first floor, 210 East 13th Street. Although the council has disavowed a breed ban, some other kind of BSL may still be a possibility. The public is encouraged to attend the next council meeting to make sure the revisions continue to move in a breed-neutral direction.
All alerts for Vancouver, WA: http://stopbsl.com/?s=%22vancouver%2C+wa%22
Contact info for mayor and city council
Tim.Leavitt@cityofvancouver.us; Jeanne.Harris@cityofvancouver.us; Jeanne.Stewart@cityofvancouver.us; Larry.Smith@cityofvancouver.us; Pat.Campbell@cityofvancouver.us; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been in direct contact with at least one of the members of the Vancouver City Council since the beginning of this issue in June. I have been assured that only two of the council members have a desire for any sort of breed restrictions or legislation. I hope that your information is incorrect but I will contact the council via e-mail once again and help them understand that breed restrictions of any kind will not help keep the public safe.
I’m not saying that Vancouver is considering BSL, but on the other hand, I can’t promise that they’re not. I have seen cases in other cities where councilmembers say they aren’t considering a ban, but a little bit later, they introduce some kind of breed-specific restrictions (that are indeed not a ban, but nevertheless discriminatory). All we can do at this point is to continue to keep pressure on the council to maintain a breed-neutral course. Since nothing official has been proposed yet, we prefer to err on the side of caution and continue to monitor this city, which so recently was considering a breed ban. It’s good to remind the council of the many effective nondiscriminatory options that are available to them. Thanks for your efforts to maintain breed neutrality in Vancouver.
I couldn’t agree more that no matter what they say they intend to do or not do that we must continue to ‘encourage’ them to pen animal control ordinances that are breed neutral, which I continue to do. In my communications with one of the council members I’ve been assured that it’s agreed that there will be no breed specific language of any kind in their new animal control ordinances due to the fact that the two council members who are interested in having breed specific language are outnumbered. One of the council members who is insisting that pit bulls are dangerous and should be legislated/restricted/banned responds to my e-mails to the council members. I feel it important to share his comments here because I fear this is the case with at least 90% of the people around the world who are asking and voting for breed specific legislation. In his reply to me he stated that other dogs were not bred to ‘kill bulls’. Of course I found a few very reliable sources on line to provide breed history and explain what bull baiting was and sent it to him but I was truly taken aback by the magnitude of his ignorance about something he was voting on that would affect many people and their pets. Needless to say this is a perfect example of how educating people will go much further than ‘fighting against’ BSL!