Category Archives: Arkansas

West Fork, AR: Proposed breed ban public hearing, May 8

Many thanks to Mona for putting this on our radar.

West Fork, AR, is experiencing growing pains. They’re growing, they lack animal ordinances, and they have only one part-time animal control officer.

The city council has come up with some proposed animal control ordinances. One of the provisions is a “pit bull” ban with a grandfather clause. Current residents can keep their “pit bulls” as long as they register the dog by the date of the ordinance’s passage. No new or unregistered “pit bulls” will be allowed.

The council added the “pit bull” ban to the proposed ordinances because they are having new problems with “pit bulls” running loose and with people not registering their “pit bulls” (as is currently required for all dog owners). The irony here is that, according to the mayor, West Fork’s “pit bull” problem is partly due to neighboring communities banning the dogs. So… what is West Fork council doing to solve the problem? Banning the dogs and passing the problem on to one of its neighbors. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: breed bans and BSL don’t make communities safer, because these laws don’t hold bad dog owners responsible—BSL just pushes the problem around.

The city will hold a public hearing on the animal ordinances, including the “pit bull” ban, on May 8 from 6:00 to 6:30 at City Administration building, 262 Main Street, West Fork (across from the Little O’ Oprey).

IMPORTANT: The mayor and council are aware that the “pit bull” ban is the most contentious of the proposed ordinances. The mayor understands the concerns about the breed ban and has advised us that the council is looking for SOLUTIONS. And they can’t solve anything if all they get are angry objections. We agree.

If you attend the council meeting on May 8, please come prepared to speak concisely and informatively. BE HELPFUL. Briefly state your objection to the breed ban, and then provide a good breed-neutral alternative dog ordinance or some pointers for the council to improve the ordinance. All dog owners should be held to the same standards, regardless of what their dog looks like.

Lake City, AR: Breeds added to breed ban

Lake City, AR has added American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Bulldogs, and mixes to their “pit bull” ban, which has been in place since 1991. This was done at the request of citizens, and no one spoke in opposition during any of three readings. I have found no news coverage of the proposal prior to its passage, and Lake City’s agendas are not available online. I do not know to what extent city officials informed the public about the proposal.

City Council meets the third Monday night of each month, at 6:30 p.m., at City Hall. Residents desiring to present an issue on the agenda must do so by noon on the Friday preceding the scheduled Monday meeting. If residents can request expansion of the ban, it seems reasonable that residents may also request elimination of the ban. Individual contact information for the city council may be found here:

Lake City expands vicious dog restrictions

Posted: Sep 28, 2011 9:11 AM CDT
Updated: Sep 28, 2011 7:28 PM CDT
By Brandi Hunter, Video Journalist – email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The city council in Lake City expanded an existing animal ordinance that bans pit bulls to include more breeds.

Since 1991, Lake City ordinance 135 has prohibited residents from owning pit bulls. The city council unanimously approved ordinance 253-11, an amended ordinance that includes a ban on Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American bulldogs and mixed breeds that are offspring of bulldogs. […]

Full article retrieved 9/28/11 from

Haskell, AR: Proposed breed ban draws protest

Haskell, AR, city council heard public comments regarding a possible breed ban during the July 11 council meeting. Mayor Jeff Arey recently sent an email describing the results of the meeting:

The Public Meeting was very productive.   Between 40 and 50 people attending the meeting and 11 spoke.  All of the speakers were against any Breed Specific Ban, but were in favor of stricter rules regarding dangerous or vicious animals.  In the Council meeting that followed discussion made it clear that after hearing viewpoints of the public that the Council were not looking towards any BSB.  I am working on a draft Ordinance that will NOT include any BSB  but will define how a dog is deemed “Dangerous” and what the criteria is for keeping that animal in Haskell  and  how a dog is deemed “Vicious”.

Please note that while a breed ban appears to be off the table in Haskell, it is not yet clear whether the future animal ordinance will be breed specific in another way.

StopBSL is doing its best to follow the developments in Haskell, but news coverage has been minimal, and the city website’s posted council agendas are out of date. If you are a local or resident in or near Haskell, please help us track upcoming council meetings on this topic! Send alerts and information to

All alerts for Haskell, AR:

Trumann, AR: “Pit bulls” now banned

Trumann, AR, has had a breed-specific law in place for many years (all “pit bulls” are regulated as “vicious” dogs). The BSL has apparently not had any good effect on their dog control issues, so last night the city council voted to ban “pit bulls” instead. There is a grandfather clause, but owners of grandfathered “pit bulls” are subject to heavy ownership restrictions.

Going back in my files, it appears that Trumann has occasionally considered an all-out ban since at least 2006. The officials’ reasoning for the ban has consistently been that “pit bull” owners aren’t complying with the vicious dog law—therefore, a ban is necessary. Officials seem to feel that the same scofflaws that couldn’t or wouldn’t follow the old breed-specific restrictions will suddenly become fine law-abiding citizens now that the new ban is in place.

Trumann City Hall
Mayor: Sheila Walters
Clerk: Marlene Hancock
P.O. Box 100, Trumann, AR 72472
Phone 870.483.5355
Fax: 870.483.6833

Trumann bans pit bulls from city limits

Posted: Jul 13, 2011 12:11 PM CDT
By Josh Harvison

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) – […] Members of the council voted in favor of an ordinance to amend Ordinance #499 regarding vicious or dangerous animals. Among the changes in the ordinance include the banning of specific breeds.

“We had a vicious dog ordinance for several years, however, we didn’t feel like it was strong enough,” said [Mayor] Walters.

According to language in the ordinance, all American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and other specific breeds will be banned from the city limits. Other animal limitations include animal fighting or attack training.

Section I of the ordinance permits owners to “grandfather” their pit bull pets into the city if they register the animal with the Trumann Animal Control Office within 60 days.[…]

Walters said residents have not abided by other vicious dog ordinances. […]

Full article retrieved 7/13/11 from

Haskell, AR: Town asks for public input on proposed breed ban, July 11

Haskell, AR, city council is seeking input from locals and residents regarding their proposal to ban “pit bulls” (to include American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, and all dogs of similar appearance). The public hearing will take place on Monday, July 11, at 6:30 PM at Haskell City Hall, 2520 N. Hwy. 229, Benton, AR.

City of Haskell, AR
Phone: 501-776-2666
Fax: 501-776-1201

Jeff Arey, Mayor,
Laura Dempsey, Administrative Assistant,
Josh Meadows, Animal Control,
City Council members
Ronnie Ballard,
Rose Marie Wilkinson
Brad Graham,
Allan Nash
Dwayne Hippensteel,
Gary Vice
Hal Baker
Ray Bennett

Most council members have not provided working email addresses. However, you may send your correspondence via the Mayor’s fax number or email with a polite request to forward it on to them.

Email block for cut and paste (note not all city council members have email);;;;;

All alerts for Haskell:

Haskell town hall meeting set Monday on dog ban

July 7, 2011

Haskell City Council has called a town hall meeting for Monday to hear comments from residents on amending the city’s animal control ordinance, the possibility of banning the pit bull breed of dog inside the city limits and redefining how a dog is deemed vicious. […]

In order to have a productive meeting, the council has established the following rules:

•Those wishing to comment must sign a sheet giving name and address.

•Persons wishing to comment will be called in the order that they signed the sheet and they must stand at the podium to speak and address the audience,

•Each person will be allowed to speak for three minutes with additional time possibly given if the time allows.

•Orderly conduct will be expected by attendees. […]

Full article retrieved 7/9/11 from

Russellville, AR: Pit bull ban has not decreased dog bites

In Russellville, AR, total dog bites have remained fairly steady despite a pit bull ban. The Animal Control director feels that the ordinance was nevertheless effective, saying that the ban has “done exactly what people wanted it to do.” I guess people wanted the ban to calm hysteria about “pit bulls,” not to improve public safety and reduce dog bites.

No decline in dog bites since pit bull ban

Animal Control director: Ordinance is effective

By Whitney Snipes,
Story date: July 3, 2011

Despite numbers that fail to show a decline in dog bites reported to the city’s Animal Control since its inception, the department’s director feels the city’s ban on pit bulls has been effective. […]

“I think it’s done exactly what people wanted it to do,” Vernon said. “We had a lot of citizens wanting us to do something about it, and the mayor at the time (Raye Turner) wanted us to do something.” […]

Full article retrieved 7/6/11 from

Contact the mayor and city council:;;

Contact the Animal Control director, Mike Vernon:

Haskell, AR: Breed ban proposed

Thanks to Jodi for this alert! According to the news article I found, the proposed “pit bull” ban would include American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bulldog.

The City of Haskell, Arkansas is currently considering an ordinance that would ban “pit bulls.” I am trying to obtain a copy of the proposed ordinance, but it is my understanding it would NOT include a grandfather clause.

Haskell is a small town of approximately 2,000 people. The town has an employee that acts as the animal control officer, but performs many other duties for the city, as well. The “shelter” is small, open-sided shed that holds approximately 5 crates.

It is extremely important to note that a rescue is located in the Haskell city limits. Should this ordinance pass, not only will the dogs currently residing in Haskell be prohibited, but its passage has the potential to affect countless dogs that could otherwise be pulled by this rescue, and deny those dogs the second chance at a new life. Members of this rescue are pleading for help to stop this ordinance from passing.

The first reading and vote will be held on July 11, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. It is imperative that we have a full house at this meeting!

In the meantime, please send your POLITE, RESPECTFUL and INFORMATIVE opposition to breed specific legislation to the Haskell officials listed below. Please also send your viable suggestions and alternate ordinances for their consideration.

Arkansas has some hard-hitting BSL supporters, and you can bet they will be making their voice heard on this issue. PLEASE act on this regardless of where you live!

Haskell is very small and does not have its agendas or minutes posted online. If there is a local nearby who can help keep StopBSL updated on this issue, it would be appreciated.

City of Haskell, AR
Phone: 501-776-2666
Fax: 501-776-1201

Jeff Arey, Mayor,
Laura Dempsey, Administrative Assistant,
Josh Meadows, Animal Control,
City Council members
Ronnie Ballard,
Rose Marie Wilkinson,
Brad Graham,
Allan Nash,
Dwayne Hippensteel,

Council members Gary Vice, Hal Baker, and Ray Bennett do not make their e-mail address available. However, you may send your correspondence via the Mayor’s fax number with a polite request to forward it on to them.

Email block for cut and paste (note not all city council members have email);;;;;;;

Haskell City Council to discuss pit bull ban

June 13, 2011

An ordinance banning pit bulls within the Haskell city limits will be the main item on the agenda at Haskell City Council’s meeting today.[…]

Specifically, the ordinance specifies these as American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and American Bull Dog.[…]

Full article retrieved 6/24/11 from