Category Archives: Pennsylvania

Bristol Borough, PA: Council intends to proceed with BSL



Pennsylvania state law is very clear: breed-specific dog laws are not allowed.
3 P.S. § 459-507-A

Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 3 P.S. Agriculture
Chapter 8. Dogs and Cats
Dog Law
Article V-A. Dangerous Dogs
§ 459-507-A. Construction of article
(c) Local ordinances.–Those provisions of local ordinances relating to dangerous dogs are hereby abrogated. A local ordinance otherwise dealing with dogs may not prohibit or otherwise limit a specific breed of dog.

During the council meeting, the Borough solicitor deliberately confused the issue, focusing on the legality of muzzles rather than the legality of breed-specific laws.

BSL is widely acknowledged by lawmakers in PA to be prohibited. Reading, PA, had their dangerous dog law thrown out by a court because it violated this state law. Other cities in PA, such as Wilkes-Barre, have recognized that breed-specific laws are not legal. State legislators have also confirmed that state law does not currently allow breed-specific laws—hence the furor over HB 671, in 2009, after it was revealed that the bill would have eliminated the prohibition against BSL.

Next Bristol Borough council meetings:
Agenda meeting January 10, 7 PM, Borough Hall
Work session meeting February 7, 7 PM, Borough Hall

BRISTOL BOROUGH MUNICIPAL BUILDING, 250 POND STREET, BRISTOL, PA 19007
Fax Number: 215-788-5366
Borough Office Phone Number: 215-788-3828

Solicitor William Salerno, 220 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, PA 19007
Phone : 215-788-5450

Borough Council contact info:
Lorraine Cullen, lcullen@bristolboro.com
James Lutz, 215-788-2647
Anthony Muccie, amuccie@bristolboro.com
Patrick Sabatini, 215-781-9003
Ralph DiGuiseppe, rdiguiseppe@bristolboro.com
Leo Plenski, Jr., lplenski@bristolboro.com
Robyn Trunell, rtrunell@bristolboro.com
Betty Rodriguez, brodriguez@bristolboro.com

All alerts for Bristol Borough: http://stopbsl.com/?s=%22bristol+borough%22

Dog owners say muzzles not the answer

By: George Mattar, phillyBurbs.com

Several dog owners and the executive director of the Bucks County SPCA spoke before Bristol council Tuesday about a proposed ordinance which may require pit bulls and even all breeds of dogs be muzzled when on public property.[…]

Other dog owners believe the borough cannot legally enact an ordinance requiring muzzles on pit bulls, or other breeds.[…]

“People say we are violating state law. That is not true. We need to separate the myths from the facts. No cases we have found have said a municipal dog law is unconstitutional,” [Borough solicitor William Salerno] said. […]

Council did not act Monday, but next week it hopes to advertise the proposed ordinance in which DiGuiseppe would like to see a leash law, all dogs 25 pounds and larger to wear a muzzle and all pit bull and pit bull mixes wear a muzzle on public property.[…]

Full article retrieved 1/5/11 from http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/courier_times/courier_times_news_details/article/2463/2011/january/04/dog-owners-say-muzzles-not-the-answer.html

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Bristol Borough reminder: BSL may be discussed, Jan 4

All alerts for Bristol Borough: http://stopbsl.com/?s=%22bristol+borough%22

PA state law prohibits breed-specific laws. Council member Ralph DiGuiseppe is pushing for a breed-specific muzzle law, and has called it his “top priority.”

BRISTOL BOROUGH MUNICIPAL BUILDING, 250 POND STREET, BRISTOL, PA 19007
Fax Number: 215-788-5366
Borough Office Phone Number: 215-788-3828

Borough Council contact info:
Lorraine Cullen, lcullen@bristolboro.com
James Lutz, 215-788-2647
Anthony Muccie, amuccie@bristolboro.com
Patrick Sabatini, 215-781-9003
Ralph DiGuiseppe, rdiguiseppe@bristolboro.com
Leo Plenski, Jr., lplenski@bristolboro.com
Robyn Trunell, rtrunell@bristolboro.com
Betty Rodriguez, brodriguez@bristolboro.com

Next council meeting: Jan 4, 7 PM, at Borough Hall. Locals are invited to speak about this proposal.

Bristol Borough, PA: BSL still a top priority for council

All alerts for Bristol Borough: http://stopbsl.com/?s=%22bristol+borough%22

PA state law prohibits breed-specific laws.

BRISTOL BOROUGH MUNICIPAL BUILDING, 250 POND STREET, BRISTOL, PA 19007
Fax Number: 215-788-5366
Borough Office Phone Number: 215-788-3828

Borough Council contact info:
Lorraine Cullen, lcullen@bristolboro.com
James Lutz, 215-788-2647
Anthony Muccie, amuccie@bristolboro.com
Patrick Sabatini, 215-781-9003
Ralph DiGuiseppe, rdiguiseppe@bristolboro.com
Leo Plenski, Jr., lplenski@bristolboro.com
Robyn Trunell, rtrunell@bristolboro.com
Betty Rodriguez, brodriguez@bristolboro.com

Next council meeting: December 13, 7 PM, at Borough Hall. Locals are invited to speak about this proposal.

Pit bull ordinance top priority

By: GEORGE MATTAR, Bucks County Courier Times
BRISTOL BOROUGH

Although it may not become the law until early next year, Bristol Borough Council President Ralph DiGuiseppe reiterated Monday that he wants a muzzle ordinance for all pit bulls and pit bull mix breeds.

[…]”I don’t care what the state says; my job is to protect the people and other animals. I will push for this law,” DiGuiseppe said.

DiGuiseppe had told borough solicitor William Salerno last month to begin drafting up an ordinance, which would require all pit bulls to have a muzzle on when off private property. DiGuiseppe wants the ordinance to be voted on in February.[…]

Full article retrieved 12/7/10 from http://www.phillyburbs.com/information/guides/pets/pets_details/article/242/2010/december/07/pit-bull-ordinance-top-priority.html

Bristol Borough, PA: Whispers of BSL

PA state law prohibits breed-specific laws.

BRISTOL BOROUGH MUNICIPAL BUILDING, 250 POND STREET, BRISTOL, PA 19007
Fax Number: 215-788-5366
Borough Office Phone Number: 215-788-3828

Borough Council contact info:
Lorraine Cullen, lcullen@bristolboro.com
James Lutz, 215-788-2647
Anthony Muccie, amuccie@bristolboro.com
Patrick Sabatini, 215-781-9003
Ralph DiGuiseppe, rdiguiseppe@bristolboro.com
Leo Plenski, Jr., lplenski@bristolboro.com
Robyn Trunell, rtrunell@bristolboro.com
Betty Rodriguez, brodriguez@bristolboro.com

Council work sessions are held on the 1st Monday of every month. Council agenda meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of every month. The meetings are held in Borough Hall and begin at 7pm.

Council president urges muzzles for pit bulls

By: GEORGE MATTAR
Bucks County Courier Times
November 09, 2010 02:05 AM
BRISTOL

With that, council President Ralph DiGuiseppe ordered borough solicitor William Salerno to draft a proposed ordinance that would require all pit bulls to wear muzzles on borough property.[…]

DiGuiseppe, himself a dog owner, said he would be devastated if something happened to his dog, but he added he has had enough of pit bulls and wants them muzzled.[…]

Full article retrieved 11/10/10 from http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/courier_times/courier_times_news_details/article/28/2010/november/09/council-president-urges-muzzles-for-pit-bulls-1.html

Erie, PA: Incidents renew calls for regulation of pit bulls, other vicious dogs

Article writer Kara Murphy needs education about how to interpret dog bite statistics and how to identify credible scientific sources (see “Journalist Resources: Scientific Studies” to understand why Animal People/Merritt Clifton’s so-called “study” is not legitimate scientific research): kara.murphy@timesnews.com

City shelter manager Kris Watkins needs education about no-kill initiatives, how to decrease the kill rate, and how to save more “pit bulls” (first step: stop talking about “pit bulls” in a way that feeds the vicious stereotype): staff@theannashelter.com or 814-451-0230.

Erie can’t pass BSL due to state law, but City Councilmembers need information about effective non-breed-specific dangerous dog laws, preferably from locals who understand why the current dog laws are failing.

Send correspondence to the entire City Council by sending to the city clerk:

City Clerk Jim Klemm
Email: jeklemm@erie.pa.us
Phone: (814) 870-1291
Fax: (814) 870-1296

Dept. City Clerk Gloria Criscione
Email: gloriac@erie.pa.us
Phone: (814) 870-1292
Fax: (814) 870-1296

Incidents renew calls for regulation of pit bulls, other vicious dogs

By KARA MURPHY
kara.murphy@timesnews.com
Published: November 23. 2009 1:15AM

[…] The recent attacks have raised questions of whether regulations on pit bull owners should be tightened, an idea that Erie police last raised in 2007 after a series of attacks involving the breed, including two incidents in which Erie police officers shot and killed attacking pit bulls.

But City Councilman Jim Thompson said state law prohibits local governing bodies from putting in place breed-specific laws. He pursued the idea of tightening regulations against pit bull owners several years ago.[…]

Full article retrieved 11/24/09 from http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091123/NEWS02/311239975

Clairton, PA: Clairton City Council Meets Over Pit Bull Problem

A similar story — “Clairton Task Force Will Sink Teeth Into Dog Problems” — at http://www.wpxi.com/news/21248078/detail.html (with a 2-minute video) downplays breed specificity.

Contact info for city officials:
City of Clairton, 551 Ravensburg Blvd., Clairton, PA 15025

Remember: BSL is already in place in Clairton. Correspondence should seek to educate about the flaws with their current system, suggestions for a better ordinance, and to dissuade from a breed ban.

Clairton City Council Meets Over Pit Bull Problem

Oct 9, 2009 1:50 pm US/Eastern

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― […] Meanwhile, the city of Clairton is beginning to crack down on pit bull and other dog owners.

“We have not really been pushing this ordinance, but it’s time that we start getting strict with the ordnance,” said Clairton Mayor Domenic Virgona. “Everyone having a dangerous dog such as a pit bull and Rottweiler and so on must register their dog with the city of Clairton. They must also be on a leash and if they’re going to walk the dog on the street, it must be muzzled.”

Also, the mayor says that anyone who disobeys that ordnance will face a $500 fine. The mayor also says that a ban on pit bulls in the future is not out of the question.[…]

Full article retrieved 10/10/09 from http://kdka.com/pets/pit.bull.problems.2.1237955.html

Bucks County, PA: Advocates: Dog laws shouldn’t be breed-specific

Advocates: Dog laws shouldn’t be breed-specific

August 14, 2009 02:38 AM

By Gema Maria Duarte
The Doylestown Intelligencer

[…] That attack and two others since then have borough and state officials trying to adjust the state’s dog law to allow municipalities to create their own dog ordinances. While that proposed legislation sits in Harrisburg, the borough will enforce the state’s current dog law, officials said.

State law allows attacking dogs to be returned to their owners with a warning to keep the pets under control. Pennsylvania has a three-strike policy, which allows the pet’s return after two incidents unless a dog kills or grievously injures a person. A third incident and the dog is euthanized.[…]

Full article retrieved 8/17/09 from http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/news_details/article/28/2009/august/14/advocates-dog-laws-shouldnt-be-breed-specific-1.html

Advocates: Dog laws shouldn’t be breed-specific