Category Archives: Whispers of BSL

West Memphis Arkansas may consider breed specific law

Last week the West Memphis Arkansas City Council received a report that singled out pit bulls as the majority offender in bites for 2012.  According to the report there were 28 reported bites and 16 belonged to what was deemed to be pit bulls. Of those 16 bites, 13 were reported to have taken place on the dog owners property.  As with all dog bites, children under 14 were the most likely to be bit.  They claim the dogs were under the control of the owners at the time of the incidents but do not specify what constitutes control.  There is also no numbers given as to the general population of what they consider pit bulls, giving no base for statistical analysis.

Councilman Tracy Catt reported to Channel 3 News that this report “is the reason behind a coming ordinance, although he did not elaborate on the ordinance specifics.”

We have found out that they are in fact planning on banning pit bulls.

Please reach out respectfully to offer breed neutral alternatives. Enforcement of current dangerous dog laws, leash law enforcement and increased penalties for violations for ALL dog owners have proven to reduce the number of dog related incidents where ever they are being enforced. Though there is a directory on the city website none of the councilors appear to have any contact information available.

The next council meeting is March 21st. Though there is no date set for the ordinance to be introduced it would be beneficial for residents to attend this meeting, as well as any others, to voice their opposition to breed specific laws.

Panola County Mississippi may consider a breed discriminatory law

The Sheriff of Panola Mississippi is asking officials to create an ordinance that would help deter dangerous dogs.  The Sheriff has cited an increase in calls about dangerous dogs as the reason for pursuing the changes.  These changes appear, at this time, to be leaning in the breed specific direction.

According to an article in The Panolian much of the discussion so far has centered around pit bulls. Numerous complaints about dogs behaving badly in public are cited.  What is not cited is how these dogs were being controlled by their owners, and in fact many of these incidents center around loose dogs.

Chief deputy Chris Franklin said the Sheriffs department would obtain a copy of Hinds County’s ordinance to share it with the Panola County Board of Supervisors. This ordinance is breed specific.

Panola County Residents: This ordinance is still being drafted, so now would be a great time to reach out and offer breed neutral suggestions that would serve the community. Offering viable breed neutral alternatives to breed specific laws is a great way of helping officials along the path to a safer community. As always be polite, be professional and be factual.

Contact information for the board of supervisors:

James Birge-no e-mail available

Vernice Avant:

John Thomas:

Kelly Morris:

Cole Flint:

Alerts for Bronwood Georgia and Lansing Michigan

LANSING MICHIGAN: There is discussion and dissension about a breed discriminatory law.  After some recent incidents, the community is pushing for better protection from dangerous dogs.  While there are people who do not want a breed based law, there are others that do. The Mayor of Lansing has mentioned a desire to go breed specific, while Councilor Jody Washington recognizes that the owner needs to be held responsible.

“When I was campaigning, I was charged by a pit bull and a German shepherd, so it isn’t the breed, it’s the owner,” said Washington, who is the Chair of the Public Safety Committee”

“It’s still in the beginning stages, but Mayor Bernero says the ordinance should hold owners of specific breeds, including pit bulls, more accountable. That includes building higher and stronger fences and having certain types of pet insurance.”

More at WLIX 10.

Lansing residents and locals: The public safety committee will be discussing this on March 5th.  Please attend and show support for a breed neutral ordinance that would protect the community. If you cannot attend, please respectfully reach out to the commission and Mayor with facts to oppose a breed specific law.

Contact information for the city council:

Lansing City Council
10th Floor – City Hall
124 W. Michigan Ave
Lansing, MI 48933

(517) 483-4177
(517) 483-7630 fax

group e-mail:,

There is no Phone number or e-mail for the Mayor but there is a form on the city website to contact Mayor Virg Bernero’s office.

Best Friends Animal Society has create a contact form for Lansing officials.

BRONWOOD GEORGIA: Local government is considering a breed specific law following an attack by two “pit bulls.”  The unvaccinated dogs were running at large when they attacked. These facts are important to note because they point at the responsibility of the owners care and control of the dogs. This incident is leading officials to consider a breed discriminatory law.

According to a recent article in the Albany Herald  “a stringent dog regulation would apply to ownership of a variety of pit bull type dogs as well as pure breeds like the American Staffordshire Terrier. Among other requirements, owners of such animals would be required to keep the dogs in cages 10 feet by 10 feet by 6 feet, employ microchip identification and hold a $100,000 insurance policy against damage and injuries.”

Residents and locals: Reach out now to provide a constituent voice against a breed discriminatory law.  This will be discussed at the commission meeting on March 4th. Be polite. Be respectful. Be professional.

Contact information for Bronwood: There is no website or e-mail for Bronwood

City Hall: 102 West Main St.
Bronwood, GA 39826
Phone Number:
(229) 995-5708
Fax Number:
(229) 995-5085

Royal Oak Michigan City Commissioner seeks breed specific law

The town of Royal Oak Michigan has been having some issues recently and according to one City Commissioner these issues are breed specific.

The “Observer & Eccentric” reported that Royal Oaks is seeking to redraft their dangerous dog laws in response to a series of dog related incidents. Commissioner David Poulton is pushing for the changes to include breed specific legislation. He is quoted in the article saying “Other cities have enacted these, I think it’s time for Royal Oak to do the same” in reference to breed specific laws.

Mayor Jim Ellison is cautioning the council against breed specific legislation during these conversations.

The city attorney is researching the matter.

Residents and locals: Please reach out and stress the importance of remaining breed neutral as the best path to public safety. Contact information for officials can be found here.

Aberdeen SD – Council Looks To Re-Open Discussions On Breed Bans

In March of 2011 StopBSL reported Aberdeen Council passed a breed-neutral ordinance after six-amendments were offered, including two that would have made the ordinance breed-specific.  The approved ordinance restricts dangerous dogs, but rather than by breed, individual dogs earn the title based on their behavior.

In October of the same year, discussion again leaned heavily toward amending the new ordinance to ‘scrutinize’ specific breeds more than others.
Continue reading

Gering NE – Pit Bull Ban Considered By Council

Gering Councilman Dan Smith told other Council members at their last meeting that other communities have breed specific bans.  He cited pit bulls and rottweilers has having dangerous reputations.

Councilman Larry Gibbs said council had opted not to ban specific breeds in the past, instead focus on vicious and dangerous dogs.  But, he feels the current ordinance does require that a history or incident would have to occur for an animal to be deemed dangerous or vicious.

Gerring’s current Vicious and Dangerous Dog ordinance permits a dog deemed dangerous to be returned to its owner, but the dog must be leashed and muzzled, or an officer responding to an event involving the dog could immediately dispatch the dog.

Questions were raised concerning who determines a dog dangerous under the current ordinance.  According to Police Captain George Holthus, prior City Prosecutors have required that a judge be involved when declaring dogs vicious or dangerous, however current prosecutors believe that police can deem dogs vicious and put into step the next proceedings.

Councilwoman Monette Ross supported the theory that pit bulls are dangerous dogs.  “You can’t count on what it is going to do, one minute it is just sitting there and the next thing, it is a killing machine.”

Smith asked that a proposal for designing a breed-specific ban go before the public safety committee.

Please send your POLITE, RESPECTFUL and INFORMATIVE correspondence to:

Email to:

WARD I Council Members:

Email to: 


Email to: 
Email to:


Mel Griggs


Pasadena, CA – Councilman Wants Ban on Pit Bulls

According to the Pasadena Sun, Steve Madison, City Councilman for Pasadena believes a ban on pit bulls should be considered within city limits because he says the ‘powerful and sometimes aggressive dogs pose an inherent threat to public safety.

Steve McNall, President of the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA says that such a law would unfairly punish responsible pit bull owners.

“It’s a discrimination issue, to take somebody’s personal property, a family member, and kill it?  The last time I checked, this is the United States, not Russia.”  McNall said Council would not receive his or any other animal welfare leader’s support.  The Humane Society provides the city with animal control services by contract.

The push for stronger “bully-breed” regulations started five years ago when Councilwoman Margaret McAustin, representing a neighborhood where a ‘group’ of pit bulls roaming at-large bit several people, said she would support stronger laws for Pasadena.

Under the current law, animal control officers can impound dogs that attack people or display other aggressive tendencies.  Officer can also fine owners that do not license their dogs.

McAustin said, “We shouldn’t let up on our efforts to control dangerous breeds, but dogs are trained to be aggressive by people who want aggressive dogs.  We have to get at that behavior, the problem we really have is irresponsible owners and if we can’t regulate the dogs, we have to regulate the owners.”

Due to California state law prohibiting cities from banning any specific breed however, the likelihood of a ban is nil.  Instead, officials are considering that any Pasadena pit bulls be subject to mandatory spay and neutering, an ordinance structured on the current San Francisco law.  You can read more about San Francisco’s breed ID check-list in our previous “Difficulty of Breed Identification Article”.

Please send your POLITE, RESPECTFUL and INFORMATIVE correspondence to:
Mayor Bill Bogaard –
Councilwoman Jacque Robinson, 1st District via Field Representative, Tina Williams –
Ph:  (626) 744-4444
Fax: (626) 396-7300
Councilwoman/Vice Mayor Margaret McAustin, 2nd District –
Ph:  (626) 744-4742
Councilman Chris Holden, 3rd District via Field Representative Jacueline McIntyre – (626) 744-4742
Ph: (626) 744-4738
Fax:  (626) 744-4774
Councilman Gene Masauda, 4th District via Field Representative, Noreen Sullivan –
Ph:  (626) 744-4740
Councilman Victor M. Gordo, Esq, 5th District via Field Representative, Vannia DeLaCuba –
Ph:  (626) 744-4741 or (626) 831-8609
Fax:  (626) 398-1836
Councilman Steve Madison, 6th District –
Ph:  (626) 744-4739
Councilman Terry Tornek, 7th District –
Ph:  (626) 441-4802
Fax:  (626) 441-4806

You may also include correspondence to City Attorney Michele Beal Bagneris by visiting the Pasadena City Attorney’s page and City Manager Michael J. Beck at the City Managers page.