Category Archives: North Carolina

North Carolina bill to restrict multiple breeds is nixed

Rep. Rodney Moore, of North Carolina, was not anticipating the backlash he received in response to his bill that would restrict multiple breeds of dogs and their mixes.

We have been hearing rumors that he pulled the bill since roughly 72 hours after the bills introduction.

This bill is officially dead, though there is some confusion as to whether this was a voluntary action or an action by the assigned committee.  In a news report it is stated the bill died in committee, not that Rep. Moore pulled it.

The breeds of dogs targeted by this bill were Rottweiler, Mastiff, Chow, Presa Canario, wolf hybrid, pit bull (which are defined as Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Pit Bull Terrier).

In the same report Rep. Moore is quote saying, “he wasn’t sure that the breeds designated by the bill as aggressive are ones “with the most incidents,” but he said they “were the most prevalent by the feedback that I’ve gotten.”

Initially, Rep. Moore was saying that he created the list of targeted breeds based off of those restricted by insurance companies.  This may be the “feedback” he is referring to.

Regardless of the reason the bill has died, we are pleased with the outcome.

Some people having been expressing support for this legislation, which would require a criminal background check, as well as a class to own the previously mentioned dogs.  We feel that a much larger point was being missed in support of the bill. Aside from the fact the breed discrimination is breed discrimination, no matter how you package it, this bill by default would have legally labeled all dogs of those breeds, their mixes and their look a likes as aggressive.

We already know where this road leads. We can look to Ohio as an example.  The severity of the restrictions does not matter. Such a label on the state level targeting certain breeds creates an avalanche of local municipalities that create tighter restrictions on the same dogs targeted by state law, as well as creating a dangerous precedent for other states.  One can applaud intentions but should never applaud intentions implemented in a thoughtless or reckless way that would create a swath of chaos in its wake.

First alert for NC, Second alert for NC

Advertisements

North Carolina HB956 assigned to committee

UPDATED INFORMATION HERE

The North Carolina bill to restrict ownership of multiple breeds of dogs has been referred to the House Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House. No date has been set as of yet for the bill to be heard.

HB 956 would restrict the following breeds and their mixes:

Rottweiler
Mastiff
Chow
Presa Canario
wolf hybrid
pit bull, which are defined as Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Pit Bull Terrier

The bills sponsor Rep. Moore is now saying that he derived this list based off of dogs that insurance companies restrict.  Basing legislation on restrictions from insurance companies would be absolutely detrimental to dog owners everywhere who currently have insurance, or want to obtain insurance. Considering that one of the requirements of the bill is to notify an insurance company that you have a targeted dog and are in compliance with the regulations, should this pass, we can expect people to be dropped from their insurance, even if there were previously no issues.

North Carolina residents: Members of the committee to write in opposition of the bill can be found here.

Block e-mails: (Remember that if you put all the e-mail addresses in the “to” line the e-mail may be bounced back as spam so be sure to utilize to CC address line):

Tim.Moore@ncleg.net, Justin.Burr@ncleg.net, Paul.Stam@ncleg.net, John.Blust@ncleg.net, Jamie.Boles@ncleg.net, Marcus.Brandon@ncleg.net, William.Brisson@ncleg.net, Becky.Carney@ncleg.net, Leo.Daughtry@ncleg.net, Jean.Farmer-Butterfield@ncleg.net,
Elmer.Floyd@ncleg.net, Larry.Hall@ncleg.net, Susi.Hamilton@ncleg.net,
Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.net, Bryan.Holloway@ncleg.net, Darren.Jackson@ncleg.net, Linda.Johnson2@ncleg.net, David.Lewis@ncleg.net, Tim.Moffitt@ncleg.net, Jason.Saine@ncleg.net, Ruth.Samuelson@ncleg.net, Edgar.Starnes@ncleg.net, Michael.Stone@ncleg.net, John.Torbett@ncleg.net

Please continue to reach out to the bills sponsors to urge them to withdraw the bill.

Representative Rodney Moore: Rodney.Moore@ncleg.net

Representative Larry Pittman: Larry.Pittman@ncleg.net

Previous alert for North Carolina.

North Carolina bill filed to restrict multiple breeds

UPDATED INFORMATION HERE

A bill has been filed in the North Carolina House of Representatives that would restrict the ownership of several breeds of dogs.

HB 956, a bill to “Regulate Ownership of Aggressive Dog Breeds,” proposes an amendment to North Carolina’s dog laws that would impose restrictions on the following breeds and “dogs that are predominantly of any of the following breeds:”

Rottweiler
Mastiff
Chow
Presa Canario
wolf hybrid
pit bull, which are defined as Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Pit Bull Terrier

The following are the requirements proposed to own one of the targeted dogs:

-Submission to a criminal background check

-Enrollment in “a course of instruction of no less than four hours duration provided by the Humane Society of the United States, or any of the rescue organizations for any of the aggressive dog breeds as defined in subsection (a) of this section that is designed to educate the owners of these dogs about their temperament and about the requirements for responsible ownership of the breed”

-A person must notify their insurance carrier, if any, of compliance with the other provisions

-A person must obtain a special permit from the Department of Insurance

Once again, we have a piece of legislation that fails to outline, in the case of mixed breed dogs, what the standard is to prove a dog is one of the listed breeds or mixes.

Also notable is the lack of definition of what constitutes a “mastiff.”  There are roughly 20 separate breeds that are considered mastiffs.

The question must be raised as to who will be developing a curriculum for these classes people are supposed to take. Who determines exactly what constitutes the requirements for responsible ownership of one breed over another?  Who will pay for developing this program?

In an interview, the bills sponsor Representative Rodney Moore was quoted saying, “It’s just to let people take responsibility for owning those breeds. Because they’re good dogs, all of them. But they have the potential.”

Representative Moore is clearly concerned about both the dogs and his community but this particular piece of legislation is a misdirected attempt at forcing responsibility on some people, while allowing lax care from others. All dog owners need to be held to the same standard. By creating special standards for one breed over another, we alienate good owners and create a false sense of security when it comes to other dogs. A gross disparity in the expected care and control of dogs invariably fails the community as a whole.

The financial impact of breed discriminatory laws is something that cannot be ignored. According to Best Friends Animal Society’s fiscal calculator, the estimated cost of enforcing this type of legislation for pit bulls only would be over $14,000,000 a year.  This does not factor in the cost of enforcing this for all the other dogs listed.

North Carolina Residents: Please reach out now to your Representatives to ask them to oppose HB 956. Also, politely and professionally, reach out to Rep. Rodney Moore and the bill’s co-sponsor, Rep. Larry Pittman, to ask that this bill be withdrawn.

You can find your specific representatives on the states website.

Representative Rodney Moore: Rodney.Moore@ncleg.net

Representative Larry Pittman: Larry.Pittman@ncleg.net

Camp LeJeune, NC – Eastern Bases

As of September 30th, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune‘s pet policy will undergo further changes, banning all aggressive dogs and specific dog breeds.

The Marine Corps banned aggressive dog breeds in 2009, but owners who had lived on a Marine Corps base with a restricted dog before the ban were allowed to “grandfather in” their dogs and keep them on base, new residents however were not allowed to bring their restricted breeds on base when they moved after the initiative was adopted.

Recently Animal Control has taken over pet registration on the Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River bases resulting stricter enforcement of the pit bulls, rottweilers and wolf hybrids restrictions.

It was estimated in March of 2010 that of 200 dangerous dog breeds living on Camp LeJeune, only a quarter of the dogs were properly registered.  Ongoing difficulties in maintaining proper registration of grand-fathered allowances may be one reason we’re seeing this change.  However, when the original initiative was first proposed, a deadline of December 2011 was discussed.

Now, regardless of when the dog was acquired, all owners of pit bulls, rottweilers and wolf hybrids will face the difficult decision of moving off base or giving up their pet.  In addition, all pet owners will be required to reregister their pets under the new system by the same date.  Even though statistically it would appear the enforcement of the restrictions and requirements was difficult to enforce, base officials have elected to impose more restrictions for enforcement.

According to Sgt. Brent Mitzel of the Provost Marshal’s Office Animal Control, “It also has to do with base housing.  There (have) been incidences in the past with bites and stuff like that, and we’re all just trying to limit the potential hazards.”

Alisa Johnson, a Marine and president of Dogs on Deployment, a 501(c)(3) national non-profit which provides a central online database for service members to search for individuals or families who are willing to welcome a Dog On Deployment into their home for the length of their owner’s deployment.

“Service members should never have to choose between their family pet and serving at their next duty station. Every day, I talk to families affected by these harmful policies and it’s time for that to end,” Johnson said.  Johnson’s organization is currently spearheading a more suitable option to implement a military-wide standardized pet policy so there is no confusion for enlisted members when assigned to a new base.  Her proposed policy would target aggressive dogs rather than focus on breeds or types of dogs.

In an interview with JDNews.com Mitzel said Animal Control will also test dogs for aggression during registration, and if the dog is considered aggressive by the staff, regardless of the breed, it will not be allowed on base.

“If they try to bite us, snap at us, growl, snarl show any type of aggression toward us, we’ll make that determination on whether we believe that pet is aggressive,” Mitzel said. “If it’s a three-pound dog and it’s trying to bite everybody’s hand off, we will not register that dog on the base.”

According to statements in the JDNews.com article, animal control will also determine if a dog is a banned breed or a mix of any of the banned breeds by visual ID.  If they “suspect” the dog to be mixed with an affected breed, they will not approve registration of the pet on base according to Mitzel.

“We’re going to tell the owner they can contest it with a DNA test if they’d like. Once we get the results back, if it’s not one of those banned breeds and it’s not aggressive, then we’ll register it on base,” he said, adding that if the results come back positive, the dogs will be forced to leave the base, with or without their owners.

DNA testing has long been used by military bases and veterinary clinics to determine the breed of a dog.  Many argue that testing is not accurate however and it is unclear if the dog’s owner will be responsible for the cost of the testing.

“In a memorandum distributed Army-wide on Feb. 3, 2012, Col. Bob Walter, director of the Army’s Veterinarian Service Activity, stated there is no scientific method to determine a breed and that breed bans are unlikely to protect installation residents,” the petition from Johnson’s nonprofit that calls for standardized pet policies across the military reads. “The letter recommends generic, non-breed, specific dangerous dog regulations with emphasis on identification of dangerous and chronically irresponsible owners.”

Currently, the Army and Air Force ban pit bulls, rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, chows and wolf hybrids, while the Marine Corps bans only pit bulls, rottweilers and wolf hybrids. Navy policies vary by installation. Some private base housing offices have additional breed restrictions beyond the listing of the military branch, meaning a family that moves from one base to another could be forced to give up their dog depending on the pet policy on that particular base.

“There is a huge lack of consistency with these policies,” Johnson said. “What we’re asking for is the DoD to give our military some piece of mind.” In an interview with Pit Bulletin Legal News Radio, Johnson said “It’s a huge morale problem when you have families that are being broken up over breed restrictions.”  Johnson’s petition calls for a standardized, consistent military policy for all pet owners, regardless of the breed and asks that the military focus on strong enforcement of general dangerous dog policies and pet education programs for troops.  When considering only 50 dogs were registered as required at Camp LeJeune in the past, certainly enforcement appears to be a matter of concern for effective animal control.

Johnson added that their petition is not “an attack on military policies.” Rather, it’s a request for the military to “make a change that’s going to help our military families, instead of hurt them.”

You can help by supporting Dogs on Deployment, signing and sharing their petition, and by contacting the House and Senate member for your state’s Armed Services Committee.  In a POLITE, RESPECTFUL and INFORMATIVE explanation make them aware that the policies target responsible pet owners, innocent dogs and creates a burden on public shelters faced with the owner-release that results from the policies and attitudes of military animal control.

House Armed Services Committee:

http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/contact-information

Senate Armed Services Committee:
http://www.senate.gov/general/committee_membership/committee_memberships_SSAS.htm

Dogs on Deployment Change.org petition:
http://www.change.org/petitions/standardize-military-pet-policies

Dogs on Deployment:
http://dogsondeployment.org/

JDNews:
http://www.jdnews.com/articles/marine-106859-corps-aggressive.html

MarineCorpsTimes:
http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2010/03/ap_lejeune_dogs_032510/

Rosman, NC reminder: Breed ban may be discussed, Aug 14

Update 8/26/12: Per the city clerk, there has been no further discussion of a “pit bull” ban since the July council meeting.


During the July 10 council meeting, the Rosman, NC board of aldermen discussed the possibility of a “pit bull” ban. We’re making an educated guess that they intend to look into the issue further and bring it back up for discussion at the next council meeting.

Rosman’s next town council meeting will be on August 14, 2012, at 6:00 PM at Town Hall, 6 Main Street.

Because Rosman is a very small town, we have limited information on this issue and would appreciate any locals who can keep us informed about it.

Previous alert with contact information for city officials: https://stopbsl.org/2012/07/13/rosman-nc-breed-ban-suggested/

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.

Rosman, NC: Breed ban suggested

Many thanks to Hank for this heads up!

During the July 10 council meeting, the Rosman, NC board of aldermen discussed the possibility of a “pit bull” ban. We’re making an educated guess that they intend to look into the issue further and bring it back up for discussion at the next council meeting.

Rosman’s next town council meeting will be on August 14, 2012, at 6:00 PM at Town Hall, 6 Main Street.

Please contact Rosman town officials and respectfully educate them about the many problems with breed-discriminatory laws. Please provide breed-neutral alternative solutions for their consideration. From the facts provided in the news article (below), it sounds like they have a loose dog problem or a leash law enforcement problem—issues that can be solved easily and fairly without breed discrimination.

Contact information for Rosman officials:
Rosman Town Hall, PO Box 636, Rosman, NC 28772
Phone: 828-884-6859
Fax: 828-884-4159
Email: rosmantown@comporium.net (may not work)
http://www.transylvaniacounty.org/town_officials__mayor.htm

Because Rosman is a very small town, we have limited information on this issue and would appreciate any locals who can keep us informed about it.

Rosman May Ban Pit Bulls

July 12, 2012 | Vol. 126-No. 58

Banning pit bulls and charging commercial outfitters and camps a river access fee at Champion Park were the two topics that dominated discussion at the Rosman Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday night.

Alderman Walter “Chub” Pettit said the town has a bad problem with dogs, particularly pit bulls, running loose. He asked if the town could ban pit bulls. […]

Remainder of article is for subscribers only. http://www.transylvaniatimes.com/story/2012/07/12/news/rosman-may-ban-pit-bulls-rosman-nc/9618.html