Category Archives: Community Initiatives

Sioux City, IA: Group presents data in support of BSL repeal

Sioux City, IA, has had a controversial breed ban in place for several years. Despite local efforts to show city officials that the ban has had no effect on public safety (in fact, some data indicates that dog bites have increased since the ban), it looks like city council is just not interested in repeal. It may take an election and a significant change in council makeup to get them to reconsider.

Facebook page for Sioux Empire Pit Bull Rescue, the group heading up this attempt to change minds in Sioux City: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sioux-Empire-Pit-Rescue/113194522025974

All alerts for Sioux City, IA, including background information: https://stopbsl.org/?s=%22sioux+city%2C+ia%22

Pit Bull Advocacy Group Tries To Lift Pit Bull Ban

Posted: Aug 22, 2012 5:15 PM CDT
By: Diana Johnsend

[…] The group met with Sioux City Council Member John Fitch today in hopes of getting the whole council to take up the issue again, which doesn’t seem that likely.

“My guess is it’s just additional information. This council is not going to take the issue up again, and I would be surprised if you see it taken up any time soon,” said Fitch.

[…] The group added that they hope the council will take into consideration the stricter pet ownership laws they presented because if anything should be taken away from today’s meeting, they said, it should be they’re working for pet safety and proper ownership.

Full article retrieved 8/24/12 from http://www.kcautv.com/story/19345573/pit-bull-advocacy-group-tries-to-lift-pit-bull-ban

Ashtabula, OH: Council will consider breed ban semi-repeal, Aug 20

This issue (below) will be discussed and possibly voted on during the August 20 council meeting. It failed to pass during the August 6 council meeting.

Ashtabula, OH, has a breed ban on “pit bulls,” defined as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and any mixed breed of such, and any dog that looks like a pit bull.

Rather than repeal their ban completely, Ashtabula will consider allowing 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.

While we appreciate the efforts that APL has made to try to repeal the ban and improve “pit bull” adoption rates, the city’s “compromise” falls seriously short in many ways: enforcement will be a bureaucratic nightmare, residents won’t grasp the superficial distinction between a “legal pit bull” and a “banned pit bull,” and, when it’s all said and done, it’s STILL BSL, it’s STILL a breed ban, and people are STILL being discriminated against based solely on what their dog looks like.

The current draft of Ashtabula’s proposed dog ordinance can be read here (received from city clerk, 7-17-2012, and subject to change): Ashtabula Proposed Vicious Dog / Pit Bull Law

Please RESPECTFULLY contact Ashtabula city council, thank them for taking the first step, explain why their “compromise” falls short, 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.

Pit bull decision to wait

August 7, 2012
By SHELLEY TERRY – Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — […] City Council failed by a 4-3 vote to repeal an ordinance which outlaws pit bulls. As a result, the measure must go at least one more meeting, taking it to Aug. 20.

[…] The new legislation, if it passes Aug. 20, will more broadly define a vicious dog as “any dog with a propensity, tendency or disposition to attack, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or other domestic animals.”

[…] Pit bulls would still be banned from the city, unless the pit bull is adopted from the APL and has been determined to be a non-aggressive canine.

Full article retrieved 8/19/12 from http://starbeacon.com/local/x1402348350/Pit-bull-decision-to-wait

St. Paul, MN reminder: District 10 meeting to discuss dangerous dogs, Aug 9

Residents of District 10 in St. Paul, MN, recently received postcards that suggested St. Paul should pass “pit bull” restrictions.

The cards call for District 10 residents who are concerned about dangerous dogs to meet on August 9 at 6:00 PM at the Historic Streetcar Station in St. Paul. (The card does not explicitly say, but this is the meeting for the District 10 Community Council Neighborhood Relations & Safety Committee. The postcards were NOT sent out by the committee.)

There is a Facebook group organizing to attend this meeting to oppose breed-specific measures and provide breed-neutral solutions. If you would like to get involved, please get all the details from the Event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/135206236620662/

The group also has important information and communication tips for attendees. At the above link, you may also view photos of the postcard that was received by residents.

If you go to the meeting, please…

  • Know your state and local laws regarding dogs. BSL is illegal in MN. St. Paul officials already know this.
  • City officials do not appear to be interested in BSL. The pro-BSL slant appears to be coming from a minority of residents who have been taken advantage of by a certain web site.
  • Know that some residents have valid concerns about dangerous dogs in their neighborhood. Always treat residents and their concerns with respect, even if you disagree.
  • Keep the focus on breed-neutral solutions.

If you attend, please update us on the outcome of the meeting.

St. Paul, MN: Residents receive pro-BSL postcards, meeting Aug 9

Residents of District 10 in St. Paul, MN, recently received postcards that posed the question: “There are more than 650 American cities that strongly regulate or ban dangerous dog breeds.  Why doesn’t the City of Saint Paul?”

The postcards also featured graphic photos of a child attacked by a dog, incorrect “pit bull” fatality statistics, a link to a certain website that pushes for “pit bull” laws, and contact information for area lawmakers. It is not clear who created or paid for these postcards.

The cards call for District 10 residents who are concerned about dangerous dogs to meet on August 9 at 6:00 PM at the Historic Streetcar Station in St. Paul. (The card does not explicitly say, but this is the meeting for the District 10 Community Council Neighborhood Relations & Safety Committee.)

There is a Facebook group organizing to attend this meeting to oppose breed-specific measures and provide breed-neutral solutions. If you would like to get involved, please visit their Facebook Event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/135206236620662/135409406600345/?notif_t=event_mall_reply#!/events/135206236620662/

The group also has important information and communication tips for attendees. At the above link, you may also view photos of the postcard that was received by residents.

If you go to the meeting, please…

  • Know your state and local laws regarding dogs. BSL is illegal in MN.
  • Know that some residents have valid concerns about dangerous dogs in their neighborhood. Always treat residents and their concerns with respect, even if you disagree.
  • Keep the conversation and focus on breed-neutral solutions.

If you attend, please update us on the outcome of the meeting.

Ashtabula, OH: City to keep breed ban, except for adopted dogs

Ashtabula, OH, has a breed ban on “pit bulls,” defined as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and any mixed breed of such, and any dog that looks like a pit bull.

The Ashtabula County Animal Protective League (APL) has been pushing the city to repeal its breed ban so that APL can adopt out “pit bull”-looking dogs throughout the county. The city of Ashtabula has agreed to compromise with APL… sort of.

Rather than repeal their ban completely, Ashtabula has agreed to allow residents to keep “pit bulls” in town IF and ONLY IF the dog was adopted from 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.

While we appreciate the efforts that APL has made to try to repeal the ban and improve “pit bull” adoption rates, the city’s “compromise” falls seriously short in many ways: enforcement will be a bureaucratic nightmare, residents won’t grasp the superficial distinction between a “legal pit bull” and a “banned pit bull,” and, when it’s all said and done, it’s STILL BSL, it’s STILL a breed ban, and people are STILL being discriminated against based solely on what their dog looks like.

The current draft of Ashtabula’s proposed dog ordinance can be read here (received from city clerk, 7-17-2012, and subject to change): Ashtabula Proposed Vicious Dog / Pit Bull Law

Please RESPECTFULLY contact Ashtabula city council, thank them for taking the first step, explain why their “compromise” falls short, 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.

East Coast bike relay event to protest BSL, Aug 29–Sept 2

Bless the Bullys Pit Bull Rescue & Education and Southern Ontario Animal Rescue (SOAR) invite you to take part in a unique effort to bring awareness to breed specific legislation, rescue, and responsible dog ownership.

Bikers and Bullys Without Borders” is a bike ride from Miami, Florida to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and is an effort to demonstrate a united stance against BSL. Just as BSL has no borders, the effort to stop it knows no borders, as well.

The ride is taking place from August 29 to September 2, 2012. It starts in Miami, FL and goes up the east coast finishing in Toronto, Canada.

We are dedicating the ride to Lennox and the Barnes family, the people who loved and fought to save his life. After a two year battle, Lennox was killed last week by the Belfast, Ireland council simply because he looked like a “pit bull.” We are having a stuffed Lennox made, and along each stop on the route, he will be handed off to the next group of riders, along with any notes of condolence and support to the Barnes family. After the ride, both the stuffed Lennox and all the cards and letters will be sent to the Barnes family to show that although we are separated by thousands of miles, we stand united with them in their fight, and we all mourn the death of an innocent animal.

You don’t need to be part of an animal welfare organization to take part in the ride…you only need to have a desire to see BSL come to an end so that no dog and no family ever face the heartbreak and anguish of breed specific legislation again.

SOAR is organizing the troops for a vote on the Ontario pit bull ban in September, and using the bike rally as a fundraiser for their efforts to end BSL there. However, those taking parts in the states can simply use the ride to bring awareness to the fight against BSL, and to promote rescue and responsible dog ownership.

We need every leg of the ride filled – even if its just one bike – so that Lennox and our messages to the family can make it to Canada. Please consider taking part in this very special event, and share this with your friends and bike clubs who may be interested in taking part. Just like the effort to stop BSL, we really need YOU to make this happen!

More information on the ride can be found at the SOAR website, or you can contact me at jodi@blessthebullys.com. The route for the ride can be found here.

Miami-Dade County, FL reminder: To repeal breed ban, residents must register to vote by July 16

The Miami-Dade County, FL, breed ban will go to a public vote on August 14, 2012. Registered voters in Miami-Dade County will be able to vote whether to keep or repeal the county’s longstanding “pit bull” ban.

If you are a resident of Miami-Dade, please make sure you are registered to vote in Miami-Dade by July 16. If you’re not a registered voter, you won’t be able to vote in August.

How do I register to vote?
http://www.miamidade.gov/elections/how_register.asp

All alerts for Miami-Dade County: https://stopbsl.org/?s=miami