Category Archives: Arkansas

Best Friends Alert for Arkansas

A bill has been introduced on the state level that will create vast inconsistencies in the animal laws throughout the state.  SB 910 would allow Quorum Courts, also commonly known as Commissions Courts, to pass laws regarding animals in any manner they chose should the majority of landowners petition for a change.

Quorum Courts are not courts per say, but are more like a County Board of Commissioners, in that they do not create judicial rulings but instead act as a legislative body that oversees legislative action on the county level.

Most concerning about this bill is that it does not impose any kind of limitations on the kinds of laws these Courts can pass. The most concerning portion of this bill is the part that reads

including without limitation”

Though the bill specifically mentions leash laws, this language that precedes mention of leash laws leaves the powers of the courts open to anything that the officials would like, including breed specific laws.

This would leave an enormous difference in the laws from community to community, with no consistency, or regard for personal property rights.

Full text of SB 910 can be found here.

Arkansas residents: Please reach out now to your legislators to oppose this bill. Good animal laws are ones that are clearly defined and consistent for all members of the community, things that this bill is not.

You can find your legislators here.

If you are having trouble wording your own correspondence you can use the form Best Friends Animal Society has set up.  Please remember that by personalizing the first portion of this e-mail form, the correspondence becomes that much more effective.

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Garland County, AR: Breed ban proposed

UPDATE:  According to local reports, Garland County will not enact BSL at this time.  We are awaiting copy of the enacted amendment and will post as soon as it is available.  In the meantime, thank you to John for sharing this information from a local paper:

Amendment includes; County wide have to fence dogs. All dogs- from cocker spaniels to labs, no matter if you’ve got 1 lot or 250 acres. County wide leash law too. Moving fines up to $500 first offense, 90 days in jail, which is class C, becoming a class B misdemeanor (1 year in jail and thousand dollar fine) if your dog is out of a fence and not on a leash. Also mandatory education if they get caught, forcing them to witness euthanasia on stray dogs, financial liability if the dog bites.
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Garland County, AR:  UPDATE

The Quorum Court took input from residents Monday night before starting work on a new committee specializing in vicious dogs.

County leaders say there have been at least four cases in recent months when a pit bull attacked a human or another animal.  Justice Mary Bournival says action must be taken.

“Though I am not leaning toward any breed specific action at this time, we can’t ignore the obvious here. Pit bulls are inherently dangerous. Not all pit bulls attack. But all of our attacks have been pit bulls,” said Bournival.

No decision was made. The meeting was only a forum to allow the community to react.

Leaders say they will now form a community subcommittee to address this issue and make recommendations to county leaders.  The animal committee is made up of law enforcement, animal control, and local officials tasked with drafting a new ordinance to address what’s considered a growing problem of roaming vicious dogs.

One official says no time table has been set for the draft of the new ordinance that may be the last thing between an entire ban on vicious dogs, that may include pit bulls.

“If what we draft this time around we find is not dealing with the issue,” said Justice of the Peace Mary Bournival, “then the ban may pop its ugly head.”

Please contact the Quorum Court director, Rick Davis, County Judge, at (501) 622-3600 or email address RDavis@garlandcounty.org with any POLITE, RESPECTFUL, and INFORMATIVE correspondence including breed-less alternatives that can be passed on to subcommittee members.

http://www.fox16.com/news/local/story/Garland-Cty-leaders-ponder-vicious-dog-ordinance/zCjFtBdxBE2ufnBbM3xJjQ.cspx

http://www.katv.com/story/19568620/garland-county-working-on-new-ordinance-after-pit-bulls-attacks

According to the article below, the Quorum Court of Garland County, AR, will discuss a possible county-wide ban on “pit bulls” on September 17. I’m not sure why the date is given as September 17, since the schedule states that Quorum Court meetings are held on the second Monday of each month. Per the county website, the next meeting is scheduled for September 10 at 7:00 PM.

For clarification regarding the exact time/date of the Quorum Court meeting when this will be discussed, please contact the Quorum Court director, Rick Davis, County Judge, at (501) 622-3600 or email address RDavis@garlandcounty.org.

The Quorum Court members are Justices of the Peace and their contact information can be viewed here: http://www.garlandcounty.org/file.php?id=351 However, the most effective means of conveying your opinion about a potential breed ban or BSL would be for you to attend the upcoming Quorum Court meeting.

UPDATE: Garland County pit bull attacks bring calls for ban on breed

Posted: Aug 28, 2012 6:51 PM CDT
By Matt Johnson

[…] “We haven’t done enough to protect the people,” said Mary Bournival, Garland County Justice of the Peace.

She says a county-wide ban on pit bulls will be discussed at next Quorum Court meeting on September 17.

“I would prefer to ban the breed than to continue allowing these to happen,” said Bournival. […]

Full article retrieved 9/1/12 from http://www.katv.com/story/19401161/garland-county-pit-bull-attacks-bring-calls-for-ban-on-breed

Garland County, AR: Breed ban proposed

According to the article below, the Quorum Court of Garland County, AR, will discuss a possible county-wide ban on “pit bulls” on September 17. I’m not sure why the date is given as September 17, since the schedule states that Quorum Court meetings are held on the second Monday of each month. Per the county website, the next meeting is scheduled for September 10 at 7:00 PM.

For clarification regarding the exact time/date of the Quorum Court meeting when this will be discussed, please contact the Quorum Court director, Rick Davis, County Judge, at (501) 622-3600 or email address RDavis@garlandcounty.org.

The Quorum Court members are Justices of the Peace and their contact information can be viewed here: http://www.garlandcounty.org/file.php?id=351 However, the most effective means of conveying your opinion about a potential breed ban or BSL would be for you to attend the upcoming Quorum Court meeting.

UPDATE: Garland County pit bull attacks bring calls for ban on breed

Posted: Aug 28, 2012 6:51 PM CDT
By Matt Johnson

[…] “We haven’t done enough to protect the people,” said Mary Bournival, Garland County Justice of the Peace.

She says a county-wide ban on pit bulls will be discussed at next Quorum Court meeting on September 17.

“I would prefer to ban the breed than to continue allowing these to happen,” said Bournival. […]

Full article retrieved 9/1/12 from http://www.katv.com/story/19401161/garland-county-pit-bull-attacks-bring-calls-for-ban-on-breed

Viola, AR: City council will consider BSL

Viola, AR city council appears to be considering BSL. According to this brief news snippet,

The mayor spoke to the Council about a citizen’s concerns regarding pit bulls and other vicious dogs.  The mayor has contacted the City of Salem and obtained copies of its ordinances controlling these types of dogs.  The mayor will attempt to have a preliminary copy of an ordinance for the Council’s viewing next month.

Read more: http://www.areawidenews.com/story/1877688.html

The city of Salem, AR, whose ordinances are being used by the Viola mayor as a model, currently has BSL for “pit bulls” and possibly Rottweilers.

Viola is a small city with limited online presence. If locals are able to help track this issue, we’d appreciate it. Meetings are on the fourth Thursday of every month (per state website), or the last Thursday of the month (per city website).

Contact info for city of Viola:
City of Viola, P.O. Box 406, Viola, AR 72583
Phone: (870) 458-2704
info@cityofviola.com

Please remain respectful in all correspondence, which includes any posts you may make on the city’s Facebook group (thanks, Jodi, for finding this): https://www.facebook.com/groups/440294185995482/

West Fork, AR: Breed ban proposal dropped

West Fork, AR, has dropped a proposed breed ban. The new proposal is not supposed to be breed-specific.

We’re attempting to get a copy of the new ordinance. If you have a copy, please send it along: stopbsl.org@gmail.com

City of West Fork, Arkansas, P.O. Box 339, West Fork, AR 72774
Phone: (479) 839-2342
Fax: (479) 839-3335

No Pit Bull Ban in Northwest Arkansas Town

By: nwahomepage.com
Updated: July 11, 2012

After much controversy, pit bulls will not be banned in West Fork.

According to Mayor Frances Hime, the original ordinance will no longer include the proposed pit bull ban after the city council voted in support of the change. […]

Full article retrieved 7/11/12 from http://arkansasmatters.com/fulltext?nxd_id=559232 

All alerts for West Fork: https://stopbsl.org/?s=west+fork

Marianna, AR: BSL proposed

Many thanks to Jodi at Bless the Bullys for this alert!

The city of Marianna, Arkansas is considering an ordinance that would regulate the ownership of “pit bulls” in the city limits. According to the city clerk, the rough draft of the ordinance has not yet been presented to the council, however, she confirmed the city is considering a breed specific ordinance.

The council agenda will be available on July 6, and if the ordinance is complete, it will be presented to the council during their meeting on Tuesday, July 10. If you would like to address the council during the meeting, please call the city clerk’s office to have your name added to the agenda.

In the meantime, please send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to breed specific legislation to the Marianna city officials via the City Clerk, Kim Miles. Please also include alternatives, suggestions, and the many flaws of breed specific laws for their consideration, as well.

City Clerk/Treasurer Kim Miles
City of Marianna, 35 S. Poplar St., Marianna, AR 72360
Phone: (870) 295-6089 ext.6
Fax: (870) 295-5726
Email: cityofmarianna@hotmail.com
Mayor Jimmy Williams, 870-295-6089

West Fork, AR update: Citizens oppose proposed breed ban

Residents and locals, please continue to work respectfully with city officials to find a compromise that is breed-neutral. The next city council meeting will be June 12.

City of West Fork, Arkansas, P.O. Box 339, West Fork, AR 72774
Phone: (479) 839-2342
Fax: (479) 839-3335
Email: city@westforkar.gov (may not work–better to fax)

All alerts for West Fork: https://stopbsl.org/?s=west+fork

Possible Pit Bull Ban in West Fork Sparks Community Reaction

By: Marissa Stevens

Updated: May 8, 2012

A possible ban on pit bulls in West Fork had a lot of people talking during Tuesday night’s meeting.

The West Fork City Council wanted to hear what residents had to say and they definitely heard some very strong opinions. […]

Not a single resident was in favor of the breed-specific ban at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Instead, they want to see harsher punishments for irresponsible owners.

“They just need to start ticketing people and enforcing the fines on any dog at large, whether it’s a yorkie or a pit bull, to me it makes no difference,’ said Jacqueline Dunn. […]

City officials said they will work with residents and hopefully come up with a compromise that makes all dog owners happy. […]

Full article retrieved 5/9/12 from http://nwahomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=330242