Category Archives: Non-BSL Proposed

Sonoma, CA – Vicious Dogs Ordinance on Agenda

Council members will take up a proposed ordinance at the next meeting on Monday, October 15th, 2012.  The ordinance would define a vicious dog as one that without provocation severely injures or kills a person or other animal.  Owners of vicious dogs would be required to keep them locked up or muzzled when out.

While Sonoma does not have a history of vicious dogs or attacks, Mayor Joanne Sanders* sparked a negative response last year when she stated publicly that she would support an outright ban on pit bulls after the death of a pit bull owner in Pacifica.
*Sanders has chosen not to pursue a 3rd term as Mayor

Sanders asked city staff to review Sonoma’s current animal ordinance and draft a new ordinance that residents would support.

The new draft requires that owners of potentially dangerous or vicious dogs would have to obtain liability insurance and show proof they could pay damages up to $50,000.   Bob Edward, President of Sonoma Valley Dog Owners and Guardians said that his group supports the proposed changes, adding that the new ordinance provides due process for owners.  “The current ordinance doesn’t even provide for a hearing,” he said.  “Whoever decides the dog is vicious is the decider.”



MIAMI-DADE, FL – Commissioners Propose Dangerous Dog Registry

Just weeks after Miami-Dade asked the public to decide the fate of the pit bull ban, two Commissioners propose separate bills to change the current dangerous dog ordinance.

Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz has proposed that officials adopt measures to create an online dangerous dog registry that would be available on Animal Services website.  The registry would include mug-shots and a biography of any dog deemed dangerous, would include the circumstances of any attack, and the owners address.  His proposed ordinance would also increase current fines from $500 to $1000, increasing with repeated offenses upward of $2000.  In addition to the dangerous dog changes, Diaz added increased fines for anyone convicted for abusing an animal.

Commissioner Sally Heyman also proposed a change to the current dangerous dog laws that would require owners of dogs designated dangerous to obtain and maintain $50,000 in liability insurance.

Both measures introduced are non-breed-specific.  According to the Miami-Herald “Whether a yippy Chihuahua biting a mail carrier or a regal Great Dane taking a chunk out of a neighbor, whether on the pet owner’s property or at a park, the penalty would be the same.”

Commissioner Heyman supported removing the ban that targets pit bulls.  Diaz opposed removing the ban and strongly interjected when Legislators considered a state law that would have caused the Miami-Dade ban to fall earlier this year.

Animal Services staff members recalled only one case in more than a decade resulting in a court-ordered euthanizing.  Two American Bulldogs that attacked an 80-year-old man causing life-threatening injuries.  More recently a waitress was attacked by a Cane Corso causing severe injuries.

Neither proposed ordinance addresses the current ban or the fact that other dogs are as dangerous as any dog affected by the ban.

Please visit the Miami-Herald article to vote on the poll:

Should dogs that attack people or other pets have their photographs and owner’s address posted on a Miami-Dade County online registry?

Read more here:


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.


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.”

City of Conway, SC – Pet Restrictions Considered (Non-BSL)

WDPE Newschannel 15 is reporting that city officials have received a number of complaints in recent months.  The complaints have initiated workshop discussion to limit the number of animals kept as pets in households within Conway’s city limits.

“Right now the city of Conway has no pet ordinance, and we have been getting a number of complaints from the public,” said Catina Hipp with Conway Police.

As a result, Police proposed the ordinance last August.  The workshop is to discuss in more detail the possibilities of regulating and improving the care of animals on September 17th.

Hipp later states that the limitations (of 4 pets) can change, it’s being used as a baseline for discussion.  “It can go up it can go down, that part of the ordinance proposal can totally go away.”

To email the Mayor or a council member, please send your message to or contact Vicky Lefler, City Clerk at 843-248-1760.


Summit County, OH: Ordinance revisions will not be breed-specific

Although the article below indicates that Summit County is removing language that references specific breeds, I couldn’t actually find any reference to specific breeds in the original county ordinance. Maybe they were talking about the old state law?

Nevertheless, it’s good news that Summit County intends to keep BSL out of their new animal ordinance. The August 27 agenda for Summit County council indicates that this proposal will have a second reading on that date. You can read the full text of the proposed revisions here.

Note: The proposed ordinance only applies to unincorporated areas of the county. Cities within Summit County are unaffected and will continue to follow their own city ordinances.

County proposing updates to animal laws

8/23/2012 – West Side Leader
By Kathleen Folkerth

[…] During Summit County Council’s Rules Committee meeting Aug. 20, members recommended Council adopt the changes, which came about because of House Bill 14 regarding dangerous dogs.

Jason Dodson, chief of staff for County Executive Russ Pry, said the amended ordinance provides definitions of nuisance dogs, dangerous dogs and vicious dogs, and removed references to dogs by breed.[…]

Full article retrieved 8/24/12 from

Hammond, LA update: Proposed dog laws will not be breed specific

Earlier this year, Hammond, LA, was looking at some new dog laws with a special focus on “pit bulls.” The city has now written up some proposed dog laws that, according to the article below, are not breed-specific.

We are waiting to receive the actual proposal to confirm that this is the case. But for now, Hammond appears to have rejected BSL.

All alerts for Hammond:

Hammond council to consider toughening dog ordinances

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News

HAMMOND, La. — A committee in Hammond charged with creating new elements to the city’s vicious dog ordinance has finalized its recommendation for the city council.

[…] The current ordinance does not outline any specific breed […]

Full article retrieved 7/12/12 from

New York: Assembly Bill 3507 would prohibit insurance breed discrimination

New York Assembly Bill 3507 prohibits insurers from refusing to issue or renew, cancel, or charge or impose an increased premium for homeowners’ insurance policies based on the breed of a dog owned.

Insurers may still take any of these actions if the individual dog has been declared dangerous. (In New York, dogs cannot be declared dangerous based on breed.)

This bill has passed the Assembly and is now on the Senate side.

New York residents, please contact your Senators and show your support for this bill! Find your Senator here:

Bill tracking page:

Many thanks to North East Animal Rescue for the info.