Malden, MA: Mayor asks council to amend proposal, remove BSL

Many thanks to Jo for keeping us apprised of the situation in Malden.

Malden mayor Christenson has sent proposed BSL back, unsigned, to the city council, along with an amendment that he would like the council to pass. The amendment would remove the breed-specific language, among other things.

The city website contains a description of the mayor’s decision, a letter from the mayor to council, and a link to the mayor’s proposed amendment.


Mayor Submits Decision on Pit Bull Ordinance

Today, Mayor Christenson returned Paper 246, otherwise known as the “Pit Bull Ordinance,” to the City Council unsigned but with suggested changes. A copy of the Mayor’s letter to the City Council explaining his reasons for returning the Paper along with a copy of the Mayor’s proposed amendment can be found in the links below. Some of the highlights of the proposed amendment are as follows:

  • The amendment does not contain breed specific language but muzzling remains an option for dogs of all breeds;
  • A new section was established dealing with irresponsible dog owners;
  • There is also a new section called “Potentially Dangerous Dogs” that enhances Paper 246 which currently only deals with dogs that bite or have a known propensity to bite. This new section would serve as a preventive measure where the Animal Control Officer would be allowed to get at dogs ahead of when they might bite and eventually be deemed “dangerous or vicious;”
  • Expanded the definition of what a dangerous or vicious dog is to include a dog’s mannerisms and for dogs owned or trained for dog fighting;
  • There are provisions that address insurance and property owner notification that a potentially dangerous or dangerous or vicious dog resides at the property;
  • Signage requirements have been added for both potentially and dangerous or vicious dogs;
  • An “intimidation” provision has been added for both the irresponsible owner and aggressive dog;
  • New sections have been added to address both indoor and outdoor confinement which goes beyond the fencing provision contained in Paper 246; and
  • A licensing surcharge of $50 for dangerous or vicious dogs has been added and the penalty for non-compliance of the dangerous or vicious dog section has been increased to $300 per day.

The Office of Mayor Gary Christenson would like to thank all who have called, written or emailed over the past month so that their voice on this issue may be heard. We received much information on both the pros and cons of this Paper. This feedback was invaluable to our decision making process.

Click here to see the Mayor’s Letter to City Council on Paper 246

Click here to see the Mayor’s Proposed Amendment to City Council on Paper 246

The next council meeting is not until May. In the meantime, please respectfully correspond with city council and encourage them to pass the mayor’s amendment in lieu of the discriminatory and unenforceable “pit bull”-only muzzle law. This is an excellent opportunity for Malden to distinguish itself from the pack of MA cities with failing BSL.

Contact info for Malden, MA city officials
200 Pleasant Street, Room 609, Malden, MA 02148
Telephone: (781) 397-7130 Fax: (781) 397-7004

Christenson sends pit bull law back to City Council

By Matt Byrne, Town Correspondent, Globe Staff
April 20, 2012

Malden Mayor Gary Christenson sent back to the City Council a controversial ordinance that would have required pit bulls to wear muzzles when outside their owners’ homes.

“The ordinance should be centered on how a dog behaves and not how a dog looks, as I believe this legislation suggests,” Christenson wrote in a letter to the council that outlined an amended version of the law. [..]

Full article retrieved 4/21/12

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