Category Archives: Georgia

Gainesville, GA: City council decides against breed ban

Gainesville city council says they won’t ban “pit bulls.”

The reason? The city attorney says state law prohibits breed bans. We’re actually not aware of any GA state law that prohibits GA municipalities from passing BSL. Plenty of municipalities in GA have BSL. But we’re happy not to correct the city attorney and council in this case.

All alerts for Gainesville, GA:

Gainesville won’t ban pit bulls

Georgia law prohibits breed-specific prohibition

By Ashley Fielding,
POSTED: May 1, 2012 11:30 p.m.

[…] But after the first of them, Gwinnett County resident Johanna Falber, spoke, City Attorney James E. “Bubba” Palmour said the city could not, under Georgia law, exclude the ownership of a specific breed.

Palmour had looked into the request after a woman called on the City Council at its April 17 meeting to initiate a citywide ban on the breed. […]

After the city attorney’s statements, however, Mayor Danny Dunagan said the council won’t be taking any more action on pit bulls — a decision that drew praise from those present. […]

Full article retrieved 5/2/12 from

Georgia: Effort to ban breeds reaches state legislature

A resident of Gainesville, GA, has turned to state legislators to request a statewide breed ban. State representative Carl Rogers has agreed to help this resident pursue a statewide breed ban.

Please make sure your correspondence with Rep. Rogers and all other lawmakers is RESPECTFUL and informative!
Rep. Carl Rogers, Room 417, State Capital, Atlanta GA 30334
Phone: 404-656-5146
Find your other state representatives here (yeah, Georgia Assembly does not have their own legislator finder):

Residents have mixed feelings on pit bull breed

Advocates say bad owners are the problem

By Aaron Hale
POSTED:April 28, 2012 11:30 p.m.

[… Gainesville resident] Brannon has since written the governor and spoken to state Rep. Carl Rogers on the issue, with Rogers promising to put the issue of dangerous dogs, specifically pit bulls, before the state legislature.

“We’ve got to do something to be protective of (potential) victims, especially children, before they become victims,” he said. […]

One local elected official said he is poised to take that a step further.

“What I promised Ms. Brannon,” Rogers said, “is we would certainly look at trying to ban the breed.”

The representative said he believes pit bull attacks are happening enough to draw the state legislature to act.

Before doing so, Rogers said he’ll bring in experts on animals and breeding, as well as victims of pit bull attacks, to talk about the problem and garner possible solutions. […]

Full article retrieved 4/30/12 from

Gainesville, GA: Group plans to speak against BSL at city council meeting, May 1

Faced with possible BSL or a breed ban in Gainesville, a group of community members plans to speak at the next council meeting, May 1. They would love warm bodies to attend for support.

The breed ban effort is unfortunately spreading to the state level (see next post). All Georgia residents need to get involved to put a stop to these efforts.

If you are local to Gainesville and would like to be involved in this effort to stop BSL, please read the below information carefully. Courtesy of Johanna:

Tomorrow, Tuesday May 1st, is the Council meeting in Gainesville. As you know by now, there is a push on the ground to get BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) passed in the area that could potentially result in either restrictions, requirements or an all-out ban.

I spoke to the Deputy City Clerk, Alisa Grayson, and City Clerk, Denise Jordan. Both were very receptive and appreciated my calling to advise them of our coming. They are allowing the public to speak at the very start of the meeting, afterthe Pledge of Allegiance. While they do not have a “limit” to the number of speakers, the Attorney may reduce the number of speakers if we each speak for more than “a few minutes”. I gave them each my word that we would come prepared with facts, be professional and unemotional and each speak for four minutes or so, tops. They were very appreciative.

I ask that everyone that plans on speaking send me an email to so that we can plan on each of our points. They liked that each of us will cover one topic free from emotion so that we can give more time to one another. Please plan on wearing red or black (or both!) whether you speak or not. If anyone has name badges, feel free to bring one and wear it.

Tuesday May 1st 5:30pm

DeKalb County, GA: County moves forward with BSL repeal

It’s taken nearly a year, but DeKalb County is finally moving forward with plans to repeal the breed-specific language in their county zoning ordinance.

A previous alert, and a more thorough explanation of the current ordinance in DeKalb County, can be found here:

Residents and locals, please write the county commissioners and THANK them for making a smart decision. The old zoning ordinance was confusing, unnecessary, and particularly deadly for shelter dogs. Please show your support for removal of the breed-specific language.

Contact information for county commissioners
Board of Commissioners, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, GA 30030
Fax: 404-371-7004;;;;;;

This issue will be on the commissioners’ agenda for May 8 at 9:00 am in the Maloof Auditorium at 1300 Commerce Drive.

‘Pit bull’ may be removed from county ordinance

Written By: Andrew Cauthen

[…] Marian Eisenberg, zoning administrator, told commissioners April 10 that the intent of the amendment is to remove “pit bulls” from the county’s definition of [what is not a] household pet in the county’s ordinance. […]

“The text does not specifically state that you may not own a pit bull; it simply states that a pit bull by definition is not considered a household pet,” Eisenberg said. […]

Because ‘pit bull’ is not a recognized breed, “it is not a breed that has a legal definition,” said Burke Brennan, the county’s chief communications officer. […]

The ordinance has “caused a lot of misunderstanding and disadvantages to owners of dogs,” Cornell said. “It became more of an obstruction than anything helpful. It didn’t mean anything.” […]

The proposed text amendment is expected to be on the May 8 agenda for the Board of Commissioners.

Full article retrieved 4/29/12 from

Gainesville, GA: Resident asks council for breed ban

A resident in Gainesville, GA, has asked city council what she needs to do to get a breed ban passed. Council has decided to do some research with local animal control.

If you live in or around Gainesville, please reach out to council members and respectfully assist them with their research. Explain why breed-specific laws are ineffective, unfair, expensive, and difficult to enforce. Provide them with acceptable breed-neutral alternatives.

Contact info for city council:
Next council meeting: May 1

Gainesville woman wants ban on pit bulls

By B.J. Williams Editor
Posted: Friday, April 20th 2012 at 10:41am

GAINESVILLE – […] Jean Brannon appeared this week at a Gainesville City Council meeting to ask council members what steps she needs to take to have the dogs outlawed.

“Do I need to do a petition? Do I need to start going door to door? Do I need to get somebody on every street to go to their neighbors and sign something? What do we need to do to get rid of them,” she asked. […]

Councilwoman Ruth Bruner suggested the council do some research with local animal authorities before giving Brannon any advice on how to proceed.

Full article retrieved 4/23/12 from

Thanks to Jodi for the heads up!

Results of BSL: Yakima, Omaha, Terrell County, UK

The purported purpose of breed-specific laws is to increase public safety by reducing dog bites. This is the whole reason behind BSL.

As a community considers BSL, public officials and the news media have no difficulty finding shocking and appalling dog bite statistics that seemingly reinforce the need for BSL.

As such, we would likewise expect municipalities that have passed BSL to have no difficulty finding and publishing amazing statistics showing a sharp decline in dog bites after the passage of BSL. They should be able to easily prove the success of their discriminatory law by demonstrating a reduction in dog bites.

On the contrary, we get news articles like the following, which clearly demonstrate only the abject failure of BSL. Not only does BSL fail to reduce dog bites, it creates new problems.

Omaha, NE

Since Jan. 2009, Omaha, NE has had BSL for “pit bulls,” defined as American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, Dogo Argentinos, Presa Canarios, Cane Corsos, American bulldogs, and any dog that resembles one of these breeds. Currently, dogs of these breeds of any age must be muzzled, leashed, and harnessed when in public, unless the dog has passed a Canine Good Citizen test.

In late 2009, the city cracked down on “pit bull” owners who were violating the new law, resulting in 90 citations in a six-month period. Because of the high volume of citations written, officials stated the law was “working better than expected.”

Officials claimed success again in 2010, after data showed that “pit bull” bites had decreased. But 2010 dog bite statistics from the city, obtained and analyzed by KC Dog Blog, showed that dog bites overall had increased, with Labrador Retrievers leading the pack. Non-“pit bulls” were now doing more biting, suggesting that the problem of irresponsible owners hadn’t gone away, it had just shifted from “pit bulls” to other types of dogs.

Humane Society officials at the time claimed that severe bites had decreased—but refused to provide any evidence of this. The city had only recorded an average 5 severe bites per year prior to the passage of BSL, so even if severe bites did decrease, it wouldn’t have been by much. And given that officials conveniently “failed to mention” that total dog bites had increased, it suggests that they’re being less than honest about the data.

This month, Omaha news media once again makes much ado about the number of citations written for violations of the city’s BSL. This, according to the city, means the discriminatory ordinance is working.

Just don’t look at their dog bite numbers. Public safety is apparently not what the ordinance is for.

Yakima, WA

Yakima has had a ban on “pit bulls” since 1987. Back in 2009, news media reported that “pit bulls” had filled the animal shelter to bursting. The single animal control officer spent a lot of his time responding to “pit bull” calls, usually to find that the “pit bull” was not really a “pit bull” after all. Nevertheless, the ACO said the law was “effective.” There was no mention of number of dog bites.

A recent news report from Yakima tells an interesting story. After a rash of dog bites, the city announced that it intends to start enforcing… the leash law.

That city officials pinpointed leash law enforcement over breed ban enforcement suggests several things: their breed ban is insufficient for promoting public safety; their dog bite problem isn’t a “pit bull” problem, it’s an irresponsible owner problem; and their animal control department is so understaffed that their animal laws aren’t being enforced.

Terrell County, GA

Terrell County commissioners passed restrictions on “pit bull” ownership at the beginning of the year, in response to a single incident in which sheep were killed by loose dogs.

A news article in March lamented that the animal shelter had since filled up with “pit bulls” and that the number of loose “pit bulls” had increased. In April, as the new ordinance goes into effect, the news media confirms that this trend has continued.

We find it extremely ironic that the BSL put in place because of loose dogs has only served to create more loose dogs and a much bigger problem. And even more ironic that the sheep owner who requested this law now claims to feel safer.

United Kingdom

The breed-specific Dangerous Dogs Act seems to be eternally under fire. A recent news article (“Time to tame our four-legged fiends,” The Independent, Tuesday, April 17, 2012)  noted these problems…

  • A rise in status dogs, linked to the breed-specific nature of the DDA. “The Kennel Club says the rise in attacks has been caused by the increased attractiveness of banned breeds, which it said are looked upon as ‘status dogs.’ Bill Lambert, a senior official with the Kennel Club, said the maligned Dangerous Dogs Act has ‘highlighted certain breeds as being particularly dangerous, which has attracted some people towards these dogs.'”
  • A high cost of enforcement of the DDA. “The Metropolitan Police alone spends about £2m a year on kennelling dogs that have been seized under the Act.” The Metropolitan Police is the London police force. £2m is about $3.1 million US.
  • Dog bites are sharply increasing. “The numbers have risen by 30 per cent over the past four years, according to NHS statistics. More than 6,000 people were treated in hospital in 2010-11 because of a dog attack.”
  • Non-targeted breeds are doing most of the biting. “Recent research by the injury lawyers First4lawyers suggested that nearly 30 per cent of people in Britain have been bitten by a dog, with attacks by Alsatians the most common.” Alsatians are German Shepherd-type dogs.

The government has been working on DDA revisions for years, but seems reluctant to acknowledge that the breed-specific portion is causing a lot of their problems (there’s a general feeling that it would be “political suicide” to repeal the breed-specific law). It remains to be seen whether the government will actually fix the DDA.

Lord Redesdale’s Dog Control Bill 2010-12, which would have replaced the DDA with breed-neutral dog control measures, appears to have died quietly in the House of Commons. It failed to clear the second reading stage in March and is not scheduled for further discussion.

Terrell County, GA: Results of BSL

Terrell County, GA, passed BSL in February (all “pit bulls” are “potentially dangerous” and subject to restrictions) and already they are seeing some negative results.

Now might be a good time to suggest that commissioners repeal the BSL they passed so hastily and without much discussion.
Terrell County Courthouse, 235 E Lee Street, Dawson, GA 39842
P.O. Box 525, Dawson, GA 39842-0525
Phone: (229) 995-4476 Fax:(229) 995-4320
County Clerk:

Digging Deeper: Terrell County gets national help for pits

Posted: Mar 07, 2012 5:08 PM CST

By Jennifer Emert

Terrell County, GA – […] Their current shelter is full and Animal Control is getting more calls about stray dogs especially pit bulls.

They believe people are setting the dogs free to avoid steep fees when a new dangerous dog ordinance takes effect next month.

Terrell County Animal Control just created a Facebook page. The County has been inundated with pit bull mix dogs, either abandoned as a result of the new dangerous dog ordinance or in taken from owners who broke the law.

“When you turn loose all the dogs in this county you know we’re going to have people calling and complaining and a lawsuit will follow right behind it,” said Wilbur Gamble Jr., Terrell County Commission Chairman. […]

Full article retrieved 3/8/12 from