Category Archives: South Dakota

South Dakota bill end prohibit breed discriminatory laws on the state level goes to the Governor

The South Dakota bill to prohibit breed discriminatory laws in the state, SB 75, passed the full House.

The vote was 41-28, for the bill.  SB 75 now moves to the Governor’s desk.  The Governor can either sign the bill or veto it.  If he signs it, the South Dakota will become the 18th state to outlaw breed discrimination on the state level.

This bill was passed through the process at an incredible speed.   SB 75 had its first reading on January 23rd.   The bill received a favorable vote by the Senate committee of 6-1 on January 31st and was moved to the full Senate.

The February 4th vote by the full Senate was very close.   The bill barely passed with 19 votes for and 16 against.  There was a lot of talk of opposition to the premise of the bill, but as we have seen in the past, there were some whose issue was states power versus municipal rights to self governance.

The bill comfortably passed the House committee on February 27th with a 10 to 3 vote for the bill to be moved to the full House.  On March 4th, the bill had its final House vote of 41-28.

The text of the bill is very simple.

Section 1. That chapter 40-34 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:   No local government, as defined in § 6-1-12, may enact, maintain, or enforce any ordinance, policy, resolution, or other enactment that is specific as to the breed or perceived breed of a dog. This section does not impair the right of any local government unit to enact, maintain, or enforce any form of regulation that applies to all dogs.”

It appears that this bill may nullify existing ordinances.  The fact that it specifics that a municipality may not maintain or enforce a breed discriminatory law points to a retro active application.

We will not know for sure until the bill is signed and applied.  Some times the language is too vague to really know the intent of the legislators until the issue of existing ordinance is raised after the bill comes into effect.

South Dakota residents should reach out the Governor Dennis Daugaard via the states website and ask that he sign SB 75 into law.

Aberdeen, SD – Pit Bull Ban Discussion

During a work session last night, city officials in Aberdeen, South Dakota discussed the possibility of implementing a pit bull ban in the city limits. We learned a few weeks ago that the city council agreed to revisit the city’s animal control ordinance after the issue was brought up by a resident at the last council meeting.

Read more….


Aberdeen SD – Council Looks To Re-Open Discussions On Breed Bans

In March of 2011 StopBSL reported Aberdeen Council passed a breed-neutral ordinance after six-amendments were offered, including two that would have made the ordinance breed-specific.  The approved ordinance restricts dangerous dogs, but rather than by breed, individual dogs earn the title based on their behavior.

In October of the same year, discussion again leaned heavily toward amending the new ordinance to ‘scrutinize’ specific breeds more than others.
Continue reading

Aberdeen, SD – Whispers of Breed Specific Regulations

In March, 2011 Aberdeen City County passed a breed-neutral ordinance after six amendments were offered, including two that would have made the ordinance breed-specific.

Councilmembers David Bunsness and Laure Swanson proposed the two breed-specific amendments.

On October 9th, in response to a resident from the Rolling Hills development, Councilman Bunsness said he would like to talk more about restrictive penalties for pet owners who violate the ordinance after an Aberdeen dog attacked another dog.

Councillor Todd Campbell said he’s “not for a ban of any type, but certain breeds need more scrutiny than others.

City Manager Lynn Lander said the council will discuss the animal control ordinance at a work session.  That session will probably take place on Monday afternoon in November and will be open to the public.  The last time Council discussed BSL, local residents were on hand to oppose the suggested legislation.

Please send your POLITE, RESPECTFUL and INFORMATIVE correspondence to:

Mike Levsen, Mayor
Term expires June 30, 2014

Lynn Lander, City Manager

Mark Remily, NE District Council Member
Term expires June 30, 2017

Jeff Mitchell, NE District Council Member
Term expires June 30, 2013

Todd Campbell, NW District Council Member
Term expires June 30, 2017

Jennifer Slaight-Hansen, NW District Council Member
Term expires June 30, 2014

Clint Rux, SE District Council Member
Term expires June 30, 2017

Laure Swanson, SE District Council Member
Term expires June 30, 2015

Tom Agnitsch, SW District Council Member
Term expires June 30, 2013

David Bunsness, SW District Council Member
Term expires June 30, 2015

Sioux Falls, SD update: Committee says BSL not necessary

After discussion at the end of July, the Sioux Falls, SD, Land Use Committee decided against BSL. Councilman Karsky, who had originally proposed BSL, still felt that it was necessary, but he was overruled. The committee will go forward with some minor, breed-neutral ordinance revisions.

No need to toughen dog laws, panel says

8:54 AM, Jul 31, 2012
Written by Sarah Reinecke

Sioux Falls doesn’t need to overhaul ordinances regarding dog bites or dog breeds, a panel decided Monday.

The City Council’s Land Use Committee heard presentations from animal experts and determined dog bites and vicious dogs are not a problem here. Instead of major changes, the committee will consider a few minor tweaks to city laws at a meeting next month. […]

Full article retrieved 8/2/12 from

Contact info if you wish to thank the Sioux Falls land use committee:
Rex Rolfing (Chair), Kermit Staggers, Dean Karsky, Kenny Anderson Jr.;;;

Many thanks also to the advocates and experts who spoke against BSL to the Land Use Committee.

Thanks to Michelle for this update!

Sioux Falls, SD: Whispers of BSL

In July, the Sioux Falls, SD, Land Use Committee will begin discussing ways to reduce dog bites in the city. One of the options brought forward by councilmember Karsky is BSL or a breed ban of some type. Karsky is on the Land Use Committee, so will be participating in early discussions that will shape the city’s options going forward.

Karsky’s statistics (noted in the article below) are suspect, because there are no known scientific, accurate, and up-to-date studies such as the one described. We suspect Karsky got his info from Merritt Clifton, whose “data” is little more than psuedoscience (hand-picked, intentionally mis-analyzed numbers masquerading as scientific data).

Residents and locals, please respectfully contact the land use committee members and tell them why breed-specific laws are not an acceptable solution.

Contact info for Sioux Falls land use committee:
Rex Rolfing (Chair), Kermit Staggers, Dean Karsky, Kenny Anderson Jr.;;;
Meeting agendas:

Council puts dog attacks on topics list

12:17 AM, Jun 10, 2012
Sarah Reinecke

The City Council’s land use committee soon will begin a public discussion about what steps Sioux Falls could take to reduce the potential for dog bites or attacks.

Councilor Dean Karsky, who works in the insurance industry, presented dog bite statistics to the council last week that show pit bulls and Rottweilers are responsible for about 70 percent of all dog bites in the nation that require medical treatment. Karsky said Friday he has not talked to the other councilors about the issue, and while he’s not pushing for any kind of citywide ban on those breeds, he would be for it.[…]

Full article retrieved 6/11/12 from

Oacoma, SD: Breed ban to remain in place

Oacoma OKs dog-breed ban

By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic

OACOMA — The Oacoma town board recently upheld its vicious dog ordinance after a resident requested it be amended.

Jessica Countryman-Vennard asked the board at the Aug. 15 meeting to amend its ordinance to allow pit bull terriers already living in the city to remain with their owners. The board declined the request and left the existing ordinance in place, which bans various breeds from the city. […]

The ordinance doesn’t only pertain to pit bull terriers. It specifically refers to any dog of the bull terrier breed, including bull terriers mixed with Staffordshire terriers, German shepherds, Doberman pinschers or any other breed. […]

Full article retrieved 9/1/11 from