New Mexico: Senator pushing for statewide BSL

12/13/11: Update on this proposal can be found here:

Thanks to Jodi for this alert!

New Mexico State Senator Sue Wilson Beffort is reportedly pushing for harsher penalities for “pit bull” and “pit bull mix” owners. As of right now, no such bill is listed on the New Mexico legislature’s website, nor is any such bill linked to Senator Beffort as a bill she is sponsoring.

As such, New Mexico residents are encouraged to reach out to Senator Wilson Beffort and voice their opposition to any such bill being brought to the floor. Please limit your polite, respectful, and informative correspondence to Senator Wilson Beffort only as we do not know at this time if a bill is forthcoming. Should the bill actually be presented on the Senate floor, we will advise you of the steps to take at that time.

Senator Sue Wilson Beffort
Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4395

State Sen. Seeks Tougher Laws For Pit Bull Owners

October 24, 2011

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico senator is pushing for harsher penalties for pit bull owners. […]

“We feel that the mixed breed pit bulls are a very, very dangerous dog and potentially easily provoked,” [Senator Sue] Beffort said. […]

The proposed bill would force mixed breed pit bull owners to register their pet as a dangerous dog. It would also eliminate proof that a dog was provoked, so charges could be filed faster.

Full article retrieved 10/25/11 from:

22 responses to “New Mexico: Senator pushing for statewide BSL

  1. What a jerk. Sent her my standard (mature) email, complete with photos.

  2. This disappoints me. I hope New Mexico is progressive enough to know educating people how to treat dogs is more effective. As the owner of a German Shepherd, I can see this quickly escalating. Thanks for the heads up!

  3. Trevor Bryant

    This is very disappointing information. My wife and I were planning on relocating to the Santa Fe area (trying to escape the rain of the Pacific NW) ; however, we own a Pit Bull and would never consider buying a house anywhere that she might not be welcome. Just the hint that this could happen in the future is enough for us to steer clear. I’d recommend to people that live in the area that they get in front of the Chamber of Commerce and explain to them the financial impact this has on local businesses when people choose to move away or not to move in, to protect the life of one of their family members.

  4. As a native New Mexican let me say I agree that something needs to be done about our Pit Bull problems. I own a German Shepherd who is the sweetest dog I’ve ever owned. But she’s a large, strong dog so I am always mindful of her and those around her. That’s what a responsible pet own does.
    Google the incidences of pit pull attacks in NM in just the last year against adults, children, other animals, even horse and rider. You’ll see why it’s so important to hold owners accountable for the actions of their pets. Believe me the last thing anyone wants to see is another person mauled to death by one or more of these dogs. Sorry but you don’t see it happen with other dogs. You may be able to find a case in NM of other dog breeds killing a person but I don’t know of one.
    As for these dogs, it’s unfortunate that anyone can adopt one of these animals. Often the types of personalities that are drawn to pit bulls are the worst possible match for them. It’s about an expression of “macho” here. A bad-ass dog that is taught to be aggressive, to make a statement about the owner. The owners that are being targeted are the ones who use these dogs to intimidate or as a weapon. I live here, I’ve dealt with these dogs, I’ve had one attack my child. Luckily my neighbor had the common sense to put their dog down that day.
    Be realistic people, animals lives and humans lives do not have the same value. We must require owners of large breed dogs to be responsible for the dogs they own. What is so hard to understand about that?! Irresponsible and careless people have made this type of legislation necessary.

    • As the owner of a German Shepherd, you should be aware that your dog is also frequently targeted by BSL. The same arguments that you use here against “pit bull” owners are also used against owners of German Shepherds. Would you happily give up your dog to be killed at the local shelter because “irresponsible owners of German Shepherds have made it necessary” to kill all GSDs? Please spend some time reading through the site to understand why ordinances and legislation that focus on breed and appearance will never solve any dangerous dog problems, and do not make communities safer. Your community’s “pit bull” problem, whether perceived or real, can be addressed through humane and effective breed-neutral ordinances that target irresponsible and neglectful dog owners, regardless of what their dog looks like.

    • I think it is matter of educating people on this subject matter. I agree owners need to be held ac ountable for their pets, however, thats ALL pet owners….dogs ( of ALL breeds), cats, horses, birds. And whatever else. If you do a little research you may find that pitbulls are extremely smart, they love people, and many who were once a victim of abuse have been used as service dogs and therapy dogs. REMEMBER…..#1 they are animals #2 they are dogs and #3 consider their breed. DO NOT JUDGE until you know what your talking about

    • With all do respect I’m a Pit Bull owner an u state in ur remarks that u dont see this behavior in any other dogs. Every decade its a new breed that is pointed out and badges by the media an people like u that aren’t educated enough to make calls like this. I do believe that if u were to look back rotties, dobermans, Germans Shephards were also badges until the media decided to switch to a new story an a new breed. It’s actually fact that the #1 dog to bite is a Lab. dalmations r very close behind an a pitbull is actually very low down the ladder. God put each and everyone of us on this planet an its not ur job or a politicians job to judge these amazing animals! I think the animals behavior should be judged by people that hav the proper experience such as animal professionals, trainers an vets or anyone that has a education an background in animals. It shouldn’t be up to a politicians “opinion” to decide the fate of a innocent animal that jus wants nothing but lov and affection!!!

  5. What is being asked by our community is that “people” who have dogs that attack, injure or kill, people, pets, livestock be held responsible. Just like the post says there are no laws currently in place that address these issues, in any breed of dog. I have no problem with the laws being enforced regardless of the type of dog. As a matter of fact I think it should apply to all dogs.
    In April a woman walking home from church was attack and killed by her neighbors 4 Pit Bulls. Just last week it was decided to press charges again the owners. Why? The family had to prove the owners knew the dogs may attack. Really? Now does that seem logical to anyone? I have a 6 foot chain link fence around my dog run. Do I think my dog will attack? No. But I would never take the chance of it happening. My kids have friends in and out of our house and yard all the time. It’s for their protection and for my dogs protection. I don’t want to have her accused of hurting someones child.
    New Mexico is the 2nd poorest state in the union. We are not living in upstate NY. This is a crime ridden area, violence due to drug trafficking and gangs are a real fact of life. These dogs often are not “pets”. They are trained to kill, attack, protect illegal activities or fight to the death for the sadistic pleasure of their owners. When they are no longer of value they are shot or released in open area where they form packs. This is not something I’m conjuring up in my head. Google it and find out.
    What I am saying in my post is Make The Owners Responsible. If you dog attacks. you as the owner, should be held responsible. Is that so wrong? I don’t think so. The way it is here now, seldom, is anything done about these animals. I don’t fear a chihuahua killing me but I know their temperaments are horrible. I can defend myself against a small dog, I can’t defend myself again a Pit, neither can most people.
    Perhaps we are saying the same thing in different ways. It isn’t the dogs I want to see targeted it’s the owners of the dogs. If you lived here you might understand the concern and fears people have. These dogs are being breed very selectively to increase their strength and insure an aggressive temperament. Let me add something to this. Very often family pets are stolen by these types of breeders to use in training these dogs to kill. I know this is hard for people to wrap their minds around but it’s real. The threat to our community is real. It’s a very unfortunate problem and the dogs themselves are not the target. The owners are.
    I will send an email to Sen Beffort and ask her to include all dog breeds in her bill. I’m not a small dog person, I love big dogs. I wish we could reach these people through education but that isn’t going to happen. I also hate that it’s come to this.

  6. Hey, B Gonzales, there are already laws in place about dogs that injure or kill people, pets and livestock. There is no reason to pick on Pit Bulls. My neighbor has a German Shepherd that’s vicious. My daughter works with Pit Bulls that are nicer than the Shepherd.

    It used to be Shepherds, Dobermans and Rottweilers, and now it’s Pit Bulls that are singled out as vicious. Which breed is next? It’s foolish.

  7. LaVona Renee Prescott Mills

    As a born and bred Daughter of New Mexico, I’m horrified. I’ve always been so proud of the fact that we haven’t allowed ourselves to be followers of popular opinion, that we weigh the facts and make our own decisions. New Mexicans are not the kind of people to ‘follow the leader over the cliff’ no matter the cost, we aren’t! How can this backwards proposal even see the light of day? Pitbulls aren’t even the #1, #2 or even #3 highest reported breed to attack in New Mexico!! Ask any fair and unbiased Veteranarian if you don’t believe me.
    For MANY years New Mexicans have been asking for laws that provide more protection and hold bad dog owners responsible for their animals and the state does nothing. So they want to go from ZERO efforts made on the part of state officials to the extreme of banning the dogs that will result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of (mostly) innocent family pets? SHAME on Sen Beffort for being such a shortsided and unrealistic politician and SHAME on anyone who supports her way of thinking. It’s lazy, it’s cruel and it’s indicative of a very small mind.

  8. Margaret Brown

    Breed bans are not the answer. Preventing responsible owners from caring for a dog will not deter irresponsible people from doing bad things with dogs (i.e. fighting or other cruel and aggressive practices). New Mexico should look to strengthen its animal cruelty and dog fighting penalties to discourage such bad behaviors. If New Mexico and Senator Beffort want to target pit bulls and pit bull type dogs and label them as the problem, they should look at the Michael Vick dogfighting case in Virginia and how when taken out of those horrific conditions, so many of those dogs are thriving as family pets, certified therapy dogs, and have passed their Canine Good Citizen tests. Owners such as dogfighters are the problem and should be punished harshly to deter these crimes. Ban the deed, not the breed.

  9. joy ellen tucker

    This whole bill is the result of ignorance. It’s all in how a dog is raised as in any breed of dog. This all goes along with the saying guns don’t kill people,PEOPLE kill people!

  10. all dogs can be vicious if provoked as can people. I’m tired of seeing pit bulls being singled out and not allowed anywhere I live in Maryland and am deployed when i get home i’ll be rescuing a pit bull. This is outrageous. They shouldn’t force people to register them as dangerous animals. The people who let their dogs get out should be accountable as individuals. In my state as i’m sure every other you have to register your dog i’ve had tags every year and pay a small fee to register them. Shouldn’t that be enough? Microchip every dog so if they’re let out or they’re put down for atttacking someone scan the chip and go after said individual instead of the breed?

  11. THIS IS making a judgment on a dog based on its Breed (its ethnic group). So, are we also making a judgment on human base on the RACE?
    “We feel that the mixed breed pit bulls are a very, very dangerous dog and potentially easily provoked,” Beffort said.
    Doesn’t it make you think that she would feel and think the same way with human??? and that certain Race (or ethnic group) is very dangerous and easily provoked???? Don’t you just wonder that her view and perspective is very racially discriminatory?

  12. Banning pit bulls is like banning a race of human beings thinking a race has more potential for being provoked. That is not true. It is also true that all dogs react and behave based on how responsible their owners are. Pit bulls are no worse than other breeds. Please do not ban any dogs based on their breed. Owners are responsible for their dogs.

  13. i have a chow wolf lab mix and a 16 month old baby poeple se eher and think shes big(65 lbs her parents are bigger) and look like a pit. but she doesnt have pit in her. she barks when people pull up in my yard she doesnt recognize but she has never attacked anything that wasnt on four legs. could she attack people? yes any dog can its not just pits there should be harsher penelities for those who breed or train pits or anydogs big or small to be mean attack or fight. i just wish it wasnt the dog being persecuted and it was the people. if something happens to somebody due to a pit its not the dogs fault its just doing it instictively. but lets get the owners michael vick should have done more time

  14. Jessica, Toby's responsible owner

    One big commonality keeps resounding with each comment for BSL. And i bet most of you wont recongise it. Dogs that attack and maul till death are TRAINED to do so. This is not the nature of the Pit Bull. I own a Pit, and he wouldnt hurt a fly. Yes the breed is more likely to take to his TRAINING, but so is the German Shepherd, Mastiff, Rottweiler, Doberman, etc. A dogs mentality and perception is in his TRAINING. My Pit is a medical service dog, a pet to my children (9&4), and a pleasure to pet and live next to according to my elderly and retired neighbors. And why is he this way? Because he was TRAINED to be this way. I emplore any of you to check out Cesar Millan or Tia Torres and actually dig deep into their teachings. You will see that all problems with dogs start with their humans TRAINING!.

  15. Caroline Wiseman

    As a owner of a pit bull some of these comments make me sick. Some of you judgmental pieces of garbage who do not understand the breed at all. I am a 43 year old female who owns a pit bull. They are not born violent dogs, they are trained by bad owners to be violent dogs not naturally so. My dog is part of my family I hate the fact that she is judged before anyone meets her. That is like someone judging a child because of one said bad child. People need to educate themselves on any and all breeds of dogs before opening up their mouths and offering a ignorant uneducated opinion of the poor breed. I AM a responsible pitty owner period, my dog is tattooed and micro chipped. When she gets sick she goes to the vet just like a kid goes to the doctor. She is the most sweet, attention loving, and receiving dog. Further more if Senator Beffort is going to target the breed perhaps she needs educate her ignorant self just for believing the medias spun up hype about a breed that was once a hero to our country because he saved his troop, a nanny dog by a president of the United States. I would rather remove myself from the state and live elsewhere than hand my dog over to be euthanized for doing no wrong! Good luck getting her period and end of story. If this offends people oh well I don’t care. All dogs have the potential not just a hand full of breeds. Why not go after gang members, repeat violators of malicious crimes, Drug lords. I see this as a waste of money that could go towards real things that do matter in our troubled world.

  16. Obviously this woman has never been around a pet Pit Bulldog. Senator Beffort, why don’t you go after something that is more of an immediate threat to the public, like those crooks within your own political party, and people who let their juveniles run rampant over the public, maiming, killing, vandalizing, stealing, bullying other kids and so forth? Stop conjuring an agenda, there are plenty facing us now that people like you ignore or lie about.

  17. I don’t see a point in singling out Pit Bulls. All these laws are going to do is hurt the breed rather than help it.

    In the state of New Mexico there are laws that state if an animal bites a person it is to be destroyed unless the dog is a trained protection animal and there are signs up to allow people to be aware that there is a protection dog on the property. The law also states if a dog kills livestock it is to be destroyed. These laws are open to the public so if people are saying that these laws are not in place maybe you should do some research.

    Back in the 1970’s the Pit Bull wasn’t discriminated against as harshly, it was the Doberman and the Saint Bernard. In the 1980’s it was the Rottweiler. In the 1990’s it was the Rottweiler and the start of the Pit Bull. This is a fad that has been dated back to the early 1900’s when the breeds that were feared were the Newfoundland and Bloodhound. We need to stop these trends but when states and counties are putting in BSL laws it is hard for all of us breed advocates to fight.

    People have the wrong idea of Pit Bulls because they read the news and they look at websites that put the Pit Bull in a bad light. For one, they do NOT have locking jaws. They are NOT bullet proof and they do not have the highest bite pressure per square inch. Wherever you hear these things, the information is wrong. They don’t attack more people than any other breed, you just hear about them more because people don’t like the breed. Not every Pit Bull is for fighting. The fighting dogs are trained to be aggressive, so with the right owner/handler the Pit Bull can be a wonderful addition to a family as long as the members are educated CORRECTLY. The Pit Bull use to be considered the ‘nanny dog’ because they are wonderful with children.

    Blame the Deed NOT the Breed. This doesn’t just go for Pit Bulls, but for all misunderstood breeds.

  18. Are we going to ban the Hispanic race or african american race because they rob, kill or carjack innocent people? We can’t keep them properly fenced in like we can our dogs: unless its is a list of dangerous breeds: chows, akitas,dobermans,german shepherds,Siberian huskies,dalmatians,rottweilers,pit bulls. Maybe everyone owning any of these dogs should be labeled as well..pit bulls make great family pets when in the hands and living situations so let’s get them away from the ghetto gang bangers who want them as a status.

  19. This is pure ignorance. 1st of all if anyone was to do research on these dogs they were nicknamed “nanny dogs” because of their gentle and sweet nature towards children. I have a 9 month old son and since my son was born my pitbull has always been nothing but gentle, sweet, and protective of him. I trust my pit with my son more than most humans. These dogs are loving in nature they will do anything to please their owners which is why people take advantage of that and fight them. If you are going to take someones pet away just because they are classified as a dangerous breed you should have to explain to their children why its ok to discriminate or kill their pet. Also what breed will be next? German shephards, mastiffs, rottwielers chows, dobermans, dalmations, they are all capable of being dangerous also. Ive been attacked by a german shephard when i was a kid does that mean its ok to ban them for its fault…?