Category Archives: Oklahoma

Oklahoma Senator drops bill to allow breed specific legislation

On January 23rd Fox 23 out of Oklahoma reported that state Senator Patrick Anderson was abandoning an emergency bill that he proposed to allow breed specific legislation on the state level.

Immediate public pressure has been cited as one possible reason the bill was dropped. Fox 23 stated

“One possible reason the bill was abandoned, an outpouring of backlash against it. People against the passage of this bill started a petition that got thousands of signatures from people who opposed the possible law.”

Senator Anderson has also been quoted saying “We’re not going to move forward on it,…There’s just too much opposition to it.”

When the bill was proposed Best Friends Animal Society issued an alert that 900 Oklahoma residents responded to. In addition a petition garnered 9,000 thousand signatures.

At this time Senator Anderson has said he will not pursue this issue.

Congratulations to Oklahoma residents for standing up for equal rights for all dog owners! This is the perfect example of how the voice of the people can make an immediate and profound impact.

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Best Friends alerts for KY, OK and MA

Best Friends has issued alerts for residents of Kentucky, Oklahoma and Massachusetts. If you reside in one of these states, use Best Friends’ quick and easy letter writing tool to take action and let your voice be heard:

OKLAHOMA

A bill has been proposed in the Oklahoma legislature that would authorize governing boards of incorporated municipalities to restrict ownership of any breed of dog within municipal limits. SB32 declares that an emergency exists, and the Bill is immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety. Oklahoma statute Title 4, §4-46 currently prohibits local, municipal and county authorities from regulating dogs based on breed.

OKLAHOMA RESIDENTS: Take a stand to protect your rights, your community, and your pets. Please let your state legislators know that you oppose OK SB 32.

Best Friends action alert and letter writing tool to contact officials:
http://www.capwiz.com/bestfriends/issues/alert/?alertid=62325486

MASSACHUSETTS

Boston officials have filed a bill that would reverse the provision on the recently enacted Animal Control Act that prohibits breed specific legislation in the state of Massachusetts.

Best Friends action alert and letter writing tool to contact officials:
http://www.capwiz.com/bestfriends/issues/alert/?alertid=62327731&type=ST

KENTUCKY

Earlier this year, the Kentucky Supreme Court interpreted Kentucky statutes as permitting a landlord to be held liable when a tenant’s dog attacks someone on our about the leased premises. In a plurality opinion, the Court determined that the landlord can be considered the statutory owner of the dog if the landlord has permitted the dog to be kept on the leased premises. A copy of the full opinion can be read here.

KENTUCKY RESIDENTS: Ask your legislators to pass HB 15 or HB 101 to help Kentucky renters keep their pets.

Best Friends action alert and letter writing tool to contact officials:
http://www.capwiz.com/bestfriends/issues/alert/?alertid=62326781

Oklahoma – Whispers of BSL on State Level

UPDATE:  In late breaking news –

“It’s a flawed animal! Frankly, I believe it belongs in a zoo.”  said Representative Paul Wesselhoft tells KOKH-TV Fox 25 in an evening report.

Wesselhoft authored a state bill a few years ago targeting pit bull owners.  The measure gained no support.  Today, he’s inspired to re-introduce measures that would impose tougher punishments for pit bull owners.

We will monitor this situation, if the measure appears to gain any ground at all we’ll provide you with contact information.

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In 2011, Midwest City OK’s BSL was struck down by OK Supreme Court after a resident sued.  The long standing ban was found unconstitutional.

Wednesday night an Oklahoma City woman was alledgedly fatally wounded by her granddaughters pit bull after it broke free from a cage during a severe thunder storm.

Now, another resident that claims he was attacked 2 years ago by yet another dog is speaking out in support of state law that would ‘make sure it never happens again.’

Elliot says, “I think  you have a right to own a pit bull dog, I’m not saying that you don’t.  But the dog has a propensity to be more aggressive by nature.”  Elliot thinks pit bull owners should have a special license to own one and he believe there should be tougher punishments for people who let their pit bulls run loose.

According to Okalohoma state law §4-46

“B. Potentially dangerous or dangerous dogs may be regulated through local, municipal and county authorities, provided the regulations are not breed specific. Nothing in this act shall prohibit such local governments from enforcing penalties for violation of such local laws.”

Per the State Supreme Court’s Ruling in March, 2011, ‘Home Rule’ does not provide any local government to enact BSL or supersede the state law.

“Pit Bull Attack Victim Wants Law

Oklahoma City Police continue to look into what caused a dog to attack and kill a woman in her own apartment Wednesday night. Police say Nellie Davis died after her granddaughter’s pit bull broke out of its kennel and attack her. Investigators believe a thunderstorm that night set the dog off.

Now another victim of a pit bull attack is coming forward to share his story. He hopes his story helps change state law.

Cecil Elliott says he was attacked by a pit bull two years ago. Elliott says the dog attacked while he was walking through his neighborhood. When Elliott heard about how Nellie Davis died from a dog attack, he says it brought back memories of his experience. Now he wants to make sure it never happens again. Eliott thinks pit bull owners should have a special license to own one and he believes there should be tougher punishments for people who let their pit bulls run loose….”

http://www.okcfox.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/kokh_vid_7216.shtml

Oklahoma – Whispers of BSL on State Level

In 2011, Midwest City OK’s BSL was struck down by OK Supreme Court after a resident sued.  The long standing ban was found unconstitutional.

Wednesday night an Oklahoma City woman was alledgedly fatally wounded by her granddaughters pit bull after it broke free from a cage during a severe thunder storm.

Now, another resident that claims he was attacked 2 years ago by yet another dog is speaking out in support of state law that would ‘make sure it never happens again.’

Elliot says, “I think  you have a right to own a pit bull dog, I’m not saying that you don’t.  But the dog has a propensity to be more aggressive by nature.”  Elliot thinks pit bull owners should have a special license to own one and he believe there should be tougher punishments for people who let their pit bulls run loose.

According to Okalohoma state law §4-46

“B. Potentially dangerous or dangerous dogs may be regulated through local, municipal and county authorities, provided the regulations are not breed specific. Nothing in this act shall prohibit such local governments from enforcing penalties for violation of such local laws.”

Per the State Supreme Court’s Ruling in March, 2011, ‘Home Rule’ does not provide any local government to enact BSL or supersede the state law.

“Pit Bull Attack Victim Wants Law

Oklahoma City Police continue to look into what caused a dog to attack and kill a woman in her own apartment Wednesday night. Police say Nellie Davis died after her granddaughter’s pit bull broke out of its kennel and attack her. Investigators believe a thunderstorm that night set the dog off.

Now another victim of a pit bull attack is coming forward to share his story. He hopes his story helps change state law.

Cecil Elliott says he was attacked by a pit bull two years ago. Elliott says the dog attacked while he was walking through his neighborhood. When Elliott heard about how Nellie Davis died from a dog attack, he says it brought back memories of his experience. Now he wants to make sure it never happens again. Eliott thinks pit bull owners should have a special license to own one and he believes there should be tougher punishments for people who let their pit bulls run loose….”

http://www.okcfox.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/kokh_vid_7216.shtml

Vinita, OK: Police chief suggests BSL

Two dogs, owned by the same person, running loose at two different times, caused two different dog bite incidents. As a result, the police chief of Vinita has suggested BSL as a possible solution to the “problem.” (Apparently it has not occured to anyone that that particular dog owner is obviously the “problem.” Even the fine against the owner was ultimately dropped.)

Oklahoma municipalities may not pass BSL (per state law). However, residents and locals are encouraged to speak with city officials about the incident and about effective breed-neutral proactive measures that can and should be taken to prevent irresponsible dog owners from endangering the public repeatedly.

City Council meetings are held the first and third Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Vinita City Hall.
City Hall, 104 E. Illinois.
City Clerk/ City Mayor: 918-256-6468
Vinita Police Dept (located in City Hall): 918-256-6414

“This is a terrible situation because, as a law enforcement officer, we want to be proactive and this is a situation where we’ve got to be reactive,” said Vinita Police Chief Bobby Floyd.

Chief Floyd says the two cases have prompted him to look for stronger laws to prevent aggressive dogs from getting loose in the city. He’s talked about requiring certain breeds to only be allowed outside in kennels or to be muzzled. […]

Full article retrieved 11/3/11 from http://www.newson6.com/story/15956032/vicious-pit-bull-attack-injures-vinita-toddler

Midwest City, OK: Breed ban struck down

Oklahoma state law prohibits municipalities from passing breed bans. However, Midwest City had a long-standing breed ban that included pit bulls, bull terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

A resident dog owner sued the city, and after several years of ongoing court battles (during which several lower courts ruled against the city), the state Supreme Court declined to hear the city’s appeal. Thus, the ruling against the city stands; Midwest City cannot legally ban breeds.

All alerts for Midwest City: http://stopbsl.com/?s=midwest+city

Supreme Court overturns pit bull ban

Jesse Wells, KFOR
6:29 p.m. CST, March 9, 2011

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. — A Midwest City family wins a long overdue court battle against the city. The family had been fighting for years to save their bull terrier pets. This week a state supreme court ruling ends the long legal battle.

Lower courts had previously ruled the dog ban violated state law.

This week the state supreme court refused to take up the issue, which means the Midwest City ban is now officially dead.[…]

After filing suit in 2007, Scott Adams always argued and lower court judges agreed, Oklahoma state law prohibits dog bans from being breed specific.

“It was a waste of money and time. I tried to tell everyone that from day one but the city wanted to pursue it. We defended it and won,” said the Stuckey’s attorney Scott Adams.[…]

With no more legal options, Midwest City could still lobby state lawmakers to overturn state law.

They could also draft a new, much less restrictive ordinance.

Full article retrieved 3/9/11 from http://www.kfor.com/news/local/kfor-news-pit-bull-outlaw-overturned-mwc-story,0,214449.story

Oklahoma SB362 moves to General Government Committee

Edit 4/10/11: THIS BILL IS DEAD.

Oklahoma SB362 (“Cody’s Law”), which would allow OK municipalities to pass breed-specific laws, has been assigned to the General Government Committee.

Oklahoma residents are encouraged to contact the committee members and ask them not to support SB 362.

Contact information for the General Government Committee members
Senator Cliff Aldridge, Chair, aldridge@oksenate.gov
Senator Roger Ballenger, Vice Chair, ballenger@oksenate.gov
Senator Tom Adelson, adelson@oksenate.gov
Senator Bill Brown, brownb@oksenate.gov
Senator Harry Coates, coates@oksenate.gov
Senator Byrce Marlatt, marlatt@oksenate.gov
Senator Andrew Rice, rice@oksenate.gov
Senator Ralph Shortey, shortey@oksenate.gov
Senator Greg Treat, Treat@oksenate.gov

Email block for cut-and-paste:
aldridge@oksenate.gov; ballenger@oksenate.gov; adelson@oksenate.gov; brownb@oksenate.gov; coates@oksenate.gov; marlatt@oksenate.gov; rice@oksenate.gov; shortey@oksenate.gov; Treat@oksenate.gov