Dover Arkansas passes first reading of breed ban

The City Council in Dover Arkansas has passed the first reading of a breed ban at their last meeting in City Council.

The ordinance has been ordered to be held for 30 days.

Targeted dogs include American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Bull Dogs as well as “any dog that has been registered as a pit bull, referred to as such, or that is defined or identified as a dog belonging to any of the pit bull dog breeds,” as stated in a recent report in The Courier.

Dogs who currently reside in the city will be grandfathered in but owners must adhere to a strict series of regulations.

There is an interesting exemption in this law.  A dog that is registered with the AKC as a show or working dog would be exempt from the ban by showing proof of the registry, a three generation pedigree, as well as having the AKC registration number tattooed on the dogs leg.

What is strange about such an exemption is that officials are going off the premise that these dogs are some how more dangerous than others by the simple fact of their breed.  This ordinance will only be targeting dogs that look like the targeted breeds, which are going to be the mixed breed dogs of unknown lineage.  Dogs that can be proven to be one of the targeted breeds will be exempt and dogs that cannot be proven to be one of the targeted breeds will be banned.   So officials are banning short haired mutts from town, and dogs that are known to be of these breeds are still going to be allowed.

This creates a logistical and legal nightmare for the town of Dover, practically ensuring the most arbitrary enforcement possible and opening up the town to costly litigation.

If passed, people who have a targeted dog will have 30 days to register and comply with the restrictions required by the grandfather clause.  These include confinement requirements, signs that must be posted, sterilization unless medically exempted or a registered show/working dog, special registration and a mandatory tattoo.  At this time there is no mention of the option to microchip instead of tattoo.  If found to be in violation owners of targeted dogs will have 3-5 days to comply of the dog will be confiscated and killed.

Dover is an extremely small town of just over 1,000 people, with limited online presence. The following is the only information currently available for the Dover officials:

Residents and locals, please reach out now to respectfully oppose institution of this confounding attempt at a breed ban.  Be polite and offer alternatives.  If anyone can attend any meetings between now and when the ordinance will come up next month please do so.  When e-mailing please include a request that the correspondence be forwarded to the members of the City Council.

Dover City Hall Office
8904 Market Street
Dover, AR
Phone: (479) 331-3270
Fax: (479) 331.3388

Mayor of Dover
Honorable Patrick Johnson

City Treasurer/Recorder
Regina Kilgore

Court Clerk
Vonna Marpel

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