Springville Alabama is considering a multi-breed discriminatory law

On May 6th the Springville City Council tabled an ordinance that would redefine what a dangerous dog is.  The current suggestions include breed discriminatory language that would target “any pit bull terrier which is defined as any Cane Corso breed of dog, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier or Bull Mastiff breed of dog.” 

This is by far the strangest inclusion of breeds in a definition of a “pit bull terrier” that I have seen so far. The very fact that the American Pit Bull Terrier is not the first on the definition, but Cane Corso is, is extremely telling about how much the officials understand about the topic.

The ordinance would require owners of targeted dogs to get a special registration, confine the dog according to the law, muzzle. Initially the idea of insurance was brought up but was rejected.

The director of public works has stated that they were “mirroring” other towns ordinances and that the changes are a cross-section of the laws of neighboring towns.

Mayor William Isely is showing some hesitation. He has said that he does not want to be premature in enacting this ordinance and thought that it needs more looking into.

The next work session was supposed to be on May 22 but needed to be cancelled because one of the members could not attend.  There is currently no date for the session, though it should come up soon.

Because they are still in the work session stage, it is extremely import to reach out and offer opposition to this ordinance. Politely ask that they institute a strong breed neutral ordinance instead and reject breed discrimination.  Showing that a breed discriminatory law would open them up legally and would not help the community, and then offering alternatives will go a long way. The Mayor and Council are putting work into this, let’s help them out to avoid the trap BDL creates.

Mayor William Isely: wisley@springvillealabama.org

Councilman Hugh Marlin: hmarlin@springvillealabama.org

Councilman Wayne Tucker: wtucker@springvillealabama.org

Councilwoman Katrina Hennings: khennings@springvillealabama.org

Councilman Chip Martin: cmartin@springvillealabama.org

Councilman David Jones: djones@springvillealabama.org

Councilman Larry Jones: larryjones@springvillealabama.org

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12 responses to “Springville Alabama is considering a multi-breed discriminatory law

  1. Tina Smith

    Thank you so much! This is my hometown, and I am outraged about this! I recommend that each of them go and visit a Pit Bull Rescue Shelter and see for themselves first hand just how loving and loyal these babies are. The State of Alabama Supreme Court has already declared BSL unconstitutional on a case in Huntsville, AL. I believe that would mean it’s unconstitutional for the entire state, so what about those cities that already have a ban in act? Shouldn’t those be null and void?

    • The Huntsville case was not a case regarding BDL on a municipal level but more about shelter policies and dangerous dog law. You can see some of the information on this case here…http://legal.pblnn.com/legal-library/library-case-law and the amicus brief here…http://www.dangerousdoglaw.com/images/stories/DDLContent/HuntsvilleAmicus.pdf If a court would rule BDL unconstitutional on a municipal level it would not affect other municipalities until a resident of that specific town took it to court. Even if they did, there is a chance that the ruling would go the other direction. Case law on BDL has been pretty inconsistent but the tide has been turning, with more courts ruling against than for. That being said it is still a case to point out to officials. From the PBLNN assessment…”What can be gleaned from these documents is that the lower court ruled that four pit bulls puppies born at the shelter could be adopted out to Tack and three others, because they were not deemed vicious by the court. Although the puppies’ parents had been seized in a dog fighting case, there was no evidence in the record, other than the fact that they were pit bulls, that they were vicious”

  2. Obviously, these people do not understand the idea of a dangerous dog. A dog is a reflection of his owner and how it was trained and treated. NO BREED IS BORN DANGEROUS! And every breed can be made dangerous if mistreated. The people would be much better served, if lawmakers would criminalize animal abuse with prison time and fines, and strictly enforce it. Then no animal will be made to be “dangerous”.

  3. krisdiaz9-

    Updated info:
    Springville City Council will discuss new BSL ordinance in a work session June 3 at 5:00pm. Vote could possibly occur in the meeting at 6:00pm. You must be on the agenda to speak at the council meeting. They may or may not take comments from the public at the work session, but the public is welcome to attend. PLEASE send information to the mayor and city council. Show them there are responsible bully breed owners.

  4. Stephanie Kelley

    You cannot punish a whole breed. Pits generally are the sweetest and most loving and loyal dogs. You don’t punish every man for one man’s crime. Or every race or nationality because one race or nationality commits a crime. So how can you punish every dog of a certain breed? You can’t. STOP discriminating.

  5. Linda Thompson

    Obviously, these people do not understand the idea of a dangerous dog. A dog is a reflection of his owner and how it was trained and treated. NO BREED IS BORN DANGEROUS! And every breed can be made dangerous if mistreated. The people would be much better served, if lawmakers would criminalize animal abuse with prison time and fines, and strictly enforce it. Then no animal will be made to be “dangerous”. I totally I agree, we own a pit and I trust him with our 6 month old grandbaby.

  6. We have a 7# Shihtzu and a 55# pit. The Shihtzu is mean to our pit and always wins the fight. Pits are big babies and sometimes don’t realize how big they are. Any breed of animal will be aggressive when being mistreated as will any human. A dog doesn’t bite for no reason…….

  7. Kathy Evich

    Please do not judge these dogs. Dogs are not born dangerous they are made that ways. Please respect that most dog owners are responsible and do not let few bad ones lead you to enact this rule .

    Thank you
    Kathy Evich

  8. William Fleming

    This is ignorance in its purest form. It doesn’t surprise me though as that is what government at all levels has been reduced to. As others have said, no specific breed being considered here are born dangerous unless they are the result of irresponsible breeding. I have owned Bullmastiffs since 1981 and have bred and shown them since 1991, so I am well qualified to speak about this breed in particular. I have also been involved with the American Bullmastiff Association as a rescue volunteer since the late 90’s. During my time with this breed seeing literally thousands of these dogs over the years, I have only run into two..thats right two..that were a threat to a person. Those were both abused animals taken into rescue that could not be rehabilitated and those two animals were put down rather than re-homed. The true temperament of a Bullmastiff is one that is gentle and stable with a unique trait of being able to handle improper treatment from a child without reacting to it. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a young child jump onto a bullmastiff or pull its tail or ears and the only reaction the dog provides is a slobbery kiss. With all that said, I am a firm believer in restricting dog breeding by requiring education and even some form of licensing prior to breeding. The problem with all breeds are the idiots out there that breed dogs that do not have a clue in hell of what they are doing. They just think it will be fun to find their pal Rex a girl friend and have some puppies. They do not understand what is involved with this process and do not care. The result are poorly bred animals, sold cheaply to people not willing to pay for a well bred dog. They also get sold to homes that wan’t a dog to protect their yard and they either place them on a chain in their yard or worse, let them run free. If municipalities want to stop the perceived problem of dangerous dogs, they need to start with the owners, not the breeds. Make it a $1000 fine for dogs above 25 lbs continually found running loose. Make it a $5000 fine for dogs being chained up in a yard. Take the dogs away from owners that continue to do these things, and you will start to make your municipality a better place.

  9. Kathy Evich

    This is wrong. Government has more important things to do then worrying about dog discriminate laws. If they wound put more time into the real things job creation sensible budget rules, the world would be a better place. Municipalities should be sensible with these laws. I am not saying there should not be any. I am saying make them common sense fair ones. BSL is not one of them. Most people are responsible dog owners. Give them a fair shake BSL is wrong . It is ignorance and hard head thinking that fuels these types of laws, not educated common sense thinking.
    Thank you

  10. Jennifer King

    jULY 2, 2013 AT 5:30p.m. in the Springville City Hall Annex. Dangerous Animal Orinance Committee Special Meeting(SPRINGVILLE, ALABAMA). It pains me to know in todays day and age that this level of discrimenation can still exsist and so close to the birth place of civil rights. I am utterly heart broken and ashamed to live in a township that would even consider proposing such a segragated analysis of Bully and Shepherd breeds.