Category Archives: Community Initiatives

MIAMI-DADE PASSES DANGEROUS DOG REGISTRY LEGISLATION

We reported that two separate pieces of legislation had been proposed in Miami-Dade and would be voted on Tuesday night.

Officials chose to adopt Commissioner Diaz’s proposed ‘Dangerous Dog Registry’ last night.  The new ordinance increases fines from $500 to $1000 and creates an on-line registry that will allow residents to identify dangerous dogs within their own communities, and permits police officers to take any dog it determines is vicious.

“This is all about being responsible for your animal. I don’t believe in bad dogs, I believe in bad owners,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose Diaz.

Commissioner Lynda Bell wasn’t as certain the registry would be as successful, “I just see so many potential problems for abuse in this legislation.  I really appreciate the intent but I have to say that I appreciate the intent.”

Now, when your dog, no matter the breed or type of dog, bites a person or another pet, your dog’s “mug-shot” will be posted on-line along with your address, and a description of how the bite occurred.
According to Alex Munoz, Animal Services Director, “Any action taken can be appealed to a hearing officer”.
 So, we ask….why does Miami-Dade need a pit bull ban?

Tamarac FL – Pit Bull Ordinance Under Fire

According to [Florida] State Code Chapter767 “DAMAGE BY DOGS” Section 14 ‘Additional local restrictions authorized’, local governments are prohibited from enacting regulations specific to breed.  However, the section is not applicable to any local ordinance that was adopted prior to October 1, 1990.

In 1985, Tamarac adopted Section 4-6 Article II – Pit Bull Dogs.  A pit bull is described as any dog that exhibits distinguishing characterstics which substantially conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club for American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, or to standards established by the United Kennel Club for American Pit Bull Terriers.

This local ordinance made it unlawful for any person to house, maintain or harbor within the city any dog which substantially conforms to the standards unless following strict regulations such as containing the dog within a residence or locked premise such as a totally enclosed and lockable pen, muzzled and on a leash of no greater length than 8 feet; registering the dog and paying an annual fee of $50.00;  and, obtaining a $1,000,000 liability insurance.

Currently Tamarac Talk is suggesting that officials either “Enforce it or Lose it”.

According to the article from September 27th, Tamarac currently has more than  60,000 residents living in the city that is 15 miles north of Miami-Dade County but only five (5) pit bulls are registered.

Residents are suggesting that officials remove the breed-specific restrictions, stating that the ordinance is rarely, if ever, obeyed or enforced.

Tamarac Officials can be contacted with your POLITE, PROFESSIONAL AND INFORMATIVE correspondance at:

Mayor: Beth Talabisco betht@tamarac.org

District 1: Pam Bushnell  Pamela.Bushnell@tamarac.org

District 2: Michelle Gomez Michelle.Gomez@tamarac.org

District 3: Diane Glasser  Diane.Glasser@tamarac.org

District 4: Harry Dressler Harry.Dressler@tamarac.org

Olyphant, PA – Attack Victim Approaches Council

On September 18th, 2012 while out walking her mother’s small dog, Jackie Blazek, 35, witnessed a loose ‘pit bull’ attack and kill her mother’s dog.  She believes she too would have been killed had neighbors not responded and shot the attacking dog.

Reports claim the woman was bruised and bloody, and she still walks with a limp as was evident when she entered the Council work session Tuesday along side her mother, Jill Kidwell.  The pair came to ask Council about laws that would prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.  Five other neighbors joined them.

While Borough Manager and SOlicitor C.J. Mustacchio assured residents and Council that police are investigating the matter, he said “Our ordinance really isn’t about criminal punishment, it’s a nuisance ordinance.  The dog law is state law.”

Pennsylvania is one of the 13 states that currently prohibit breed-specific-legislation in the U.S.  State law fines up to $5000 and jail time in PA for negligence leading to a loose dog, Mustacchio stated.

“If we enforce the laws on the books, they are very adequate,” he said.

Ms. Blazek and Ms. Kidwell both questioned how the law(s) were being enforced, and Ms. Blazek went further to reference other state’s laws that ban certain breeds. 

NOTE:  There are no state level laws in the U.S. that bans any breed of dog.

http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/dog-attack-victim-speaks-out-at-olyphant-meeting-1.1379032

At this time no action is required, monitoring of this developing situation will continue.

Savannah, GA – Officials Focus on Irresponsible Owners

We reported last July that a group in Savannah had rallied 1000 signatures on a petition seeking breed-specific legislation.

Officials are assuring residents that ‘bully breed’ dogs are not the subject of their foreseeable changes to the current policy.

Savannah City Council is reviewing the dog policy in effort to strengthen Animal Control ordinances.   According to Lt. Brenda Boulware of Animal Control, “We want to strengthen ordinances, making owners more responsible.”

After several dog attacks in the area, stricter guidelines on owners of dogs declared dangerous is a community-safety necessity.  While the proposed changes to the ordinance is not targeting a breed, it is targeting temperament.

According to Boulware, the misconception that there is one free bite is incorrect.  A dog can be classified as dangerous or potentially dangerous after the first bite, or before it bites.  The changes to the ordinance would make a court appearance mandatory for owners who are cited for ‘dogs at large’ as well as making failure to register their animal with the city an offense resulting in a citation.

Chatham County (where Savannah is located) has already adopted the proposed changes that Savannah officials are considering.  That ordinance can be viewed here.

http://www2.wsav.com/news/2012/sep/25/changes-dog-ordinance-city-council-vote-ar-4626261/

SAVANNAH, GA —

It’s a possible policy change that could affect all Savannah dog owners.

Several dog attacks in the area, including a vicious one in Treat Park last year that left a little boy severely injured, some concerned neighbors in the community have asked for a crack down on certain breeds.

But supporters of the changing city ordinance are more focused on the behavior of the dog, not the breed of the dog.

Savannah City Council is currently reviewing their dog policy, and many of you—our viewers– were worried that they will pass breed specific legislation, targeting “bully breeds” — that is any kind of bull mix, including pit bulls.  Lt. Brenda Boulware of Animal Control sets the record straight.

“We want to strengthen Animal Control ordinances, making owners more responsible.”

Shenandoah Borough, PA – Council Receives Complaints

At a Council meeting on Monday, September 17th, a resident addressed Council with several complaints including ‘pit bulls’ roaming the streets on the West End of the Borough.

Councilman Paul Holland noted that the borough allows only three dogs per property through an ordinance.  The complaining resident had a list of properties with multiple pit bulls from the Vine Street area.

Borough Manager Joseph L. Palubinsky assured the resident that the state dog law enforcement officer had received the addresses and would ‘check into that’.

Mayor Andrew Szczyglak mentioned a ‘situation that occurred near the post office with a pit bull’ earlier in the day on the 17th, and assured the resident that police were aware of it and taking the necessary action.

Within the borough of Shenandoah, these dogs have to be leashed, no matter what breed of dog,” Palubinsky said. “Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to blame the animal, but many times it’s not the animal’s fault.”

REMINDER:  Pennsylvania State Law Prohibits Breed Specific Legislation.

Hamburg, Germany: Dog Owners Protest for Change

On Saturday 150 dog owners of controlled breeds organized to protest current German law. Currently, owners of dogs such as pit bulls and bull terriers must hold a special behavior permit for their pets and pay for a €600, or $755.48, annual license as well as muzzle and leash their dogs in public.

A similar demonstration took place in Düsseldorf the previous weekend with 240 people participating in an organized walk with animals classed as fighting dogs.

Dangerous dog laws were introduced on a Germany-wide basis in response to attacks on people, but the enforcement is administered by individual states.

The issue comes up for debate in Hamburg later this month, Government could relax the rules.
http://www.thelocal.de/society/20120902-44725.html

Ashtabula, OH: Council exempts adopted dogs from breed ban

Ashtabula council has passed a revised dog ordinance that allows residents to keep “pit bulls” in town IF and ONLY IF the dog was adopted from the Ashtabula County Animal Protective League (APL). Additionally, APL must attest that the “pit bull” is and has never been human or animal aggressive; and the “pit bull” must be neutered, microchipped, and registered with APL and with the county.

All other “pit bulls” will continue to be banned in Ashtabula. We are sorely disappointed that the council did not completely repeal the breed ban. This “compromise” is unnecessarily complicated and arbitrary.

We believe this is the version of the ordinance that passed: Ashtabula Proposed Vicious Dog / Pit Bull Law

Please RESPECTFULLY contact Ashtabula city council, thank them for taking the first step, and ask them to please fully repeal the city’s breed ban.

City Council, 4717 Main Avenue, Ashtabula, Ohio 44004
Phone: (440) 992-7119
Fax:(440) 998-4457
Council Clerk email: lavetteh@cityofashtabula.com
PLEASE ALWAYS BE RESPECTFUL WHEN YOU CORRESPOND WITH COUNCIL.

City Council lifts ban on pit bulls if they are adopted from APL

By SHELLEY TERRY – Star Beacon
August 21, 2012

ASHTABULA — City Council on Monday lifted a ban on owning or harboring a pit bull, but only if the dog is adopted from the Animal Protective League, and has been determined by that organization to be neither people-aggressive nor animal aggressive. […]

Full article retrieved 8/26/12 from http://starbeacon.com/locvid/x257412694/City-Council-lifts-ban-on-pit-bulls-if-they-are-adopted-from-APL