Category Archives: West Virginia

West Virginia HB 4432 would prohibit breed discrimination by property insurance co

Update 5/28/12: The legislative session is over and this bill is dead.

Filed this week in West Virginia, HB 4432 is a very simple bill that would prohibit declination or termination of property insurance based solely upon a home owner’s possession of a certain breed of dog. The bill does not prohibit insurers from denying coverage for any dog that has actually bitten.

Some people have had difficulty finding a place to live with their pet dog, even if it’s well-trained and well-behaved, because it looks like a breed that the property insurance company prohibits. HB 4432 would make it possible for people to get property insurance no matter what their dog looks like. However, bills like HB 4432 can be a hard sell; insurance companies have a lot of money and influence, and they don’t like being told to stop discriminating.

With things going well for BSL repeals in Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere, we feel that with enough public support, WV HB 4432 has potential to succeed.

HB 4432 has been moved to the House Banking and Insurance committee. It is not on the agenda yet. Please write the following committee members and ask them to support HB 4432.
clif.moore@wvhouse.gov; d.perry@wvhouse.gov; delegatedoug@yahoo.com; daniel.hall@wvhouse.gov; tom.azinger@wvhouse.gov; bob.ashley@wvhouse.gov; jonathan@delegatejmiller.com; ron.walters@wvhouse.gov; sam.cann@wvhouse.gov; ryan.ferns@wvhouse.gov; ron.fragale@wvhouse.gov; john.frazier@wvhouse.gov; bill.hartman@wvhouse.gov; mhunt@markahunt.com; richard.iaquinta@wvhouse.gov; virginia.mahan@wvhouse.gov; tmanchin@manchininjurylaw.com; harold@hardynet.com; delegatejim@aol.com; stan.shaver@wvhouse.gov; david.walker@wvhouse.gov; mitch.carmichael@wvhouse.gov; nelson@wvhouse.gov; john.oneal@wvhouse.gov; brian.savilla@wvhouse.gov

Read the text of WV HB 4432: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Status/bills_text.cfm?billdoc=hb4432%20intr.htm&yr=2012&sesstype=RS&i=4432

All alerts for HB 4432: http://stopbsl.com/?s=WV+HB+4432

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West Virginia HB 3080 would create statewide BSL

Edit 4/10/11: This bill has died in committee.

Please read through this entire post to understand the strange situation presented by this bill that has been newly introduced in the West Virginia Legislature. Thanks to Jo for the heads up.

West Virgina HB 3080, as filed, declares all “pit bulls” to be “dangerous”; owners of “pit bulls” would therefore be subject to a number of proposed restrictions on dangerous dogs. However, due to a lack of careful editing, the bill as filed would also prohibit the labeling of dogs as dangerous based on their breed. Obviously, these two actions contradict each other.

HB 3080 as originally written would prohibit breed-specific legislation in West Virginia. Delegate Mark Hunt evidently inserted the pit bull-specific definition of dangerous dog at the request of a constituent. Unfortunately, due to this hasty insertion, the bill now conflicts with itself.

See if you can follow along. I have boldfaced the important text.

ARTICLE 20C. DANGEROUS DOG ACT.
§19-20C-1. Definitions.
For the purposes of this article, these terms are defined as follows:[…]

(c) “Dangerous dog” includes any dog that:

(1) Has, off its owner’s property, attacked another animal or livestock;
(2) Has attacked, unprovoked, any human being, whether on or off the owner’s property;
(3) Any breed of pit bull; or
(4) Has bitten or attacked a person, causing wounds or serious injury creating a potential danger to the health and life of the victim;
(5) This term does not include those animals which cause injury or damage to a person while that person is committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense against the owner or agent of the owner :

(A) Which cause injury or damage to a person while that person is committing a criminal trespass upon the premises occupied by the owner, agent, or keeper of the animal;
(B) Which cause injury or damage to a person while that person is teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the animal, or;
(C) That are certain breeds or types of dog.[…]

§19-20C-9. Exceptions.
A dog may not be declared a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog based solely on:

(a) The breed or type of dog;[…]

Assuming HB 3080 is ultimately revised to make sense with the breed-specific language, it would propose a myriad of restrictions on all “pit bull breeds.” Note that “any breed of pit bull” is not defined by this proposed law so it is unknown exactly which breeds of dogs would be subject to it.

WV HB 3080 has been sent to the Agriculture Committee for consideration. West Virginia residents, please contact your state representative and senator, the members of the Agriculture Committee, and the bill author to express your opposition to this bill as written. Please be respectful and informative in all correspondence with legislators.

This bill has no hope of getting through committee without revision to clear up the conflicts. Please encourage legislators to revise so that it is NOT breed-specific. In your correspondence, please ask that HB 3080 §19-20C-1 definition (c)(3) be removed. This is an easy revision that will eliminate the wording conflicts and the breed-specific language. The alternative revision, which would make the bill entirely breed-specific, is NOT an acceptable revision.

HB 3080 author: Delegate Mark Hunt, mhunt@markahunt.com

Find your state representative and senator here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Districts/district_zip/zipmems.cfm

Members of the Agriculture Committee:
Delegate Butcher, greg.butcher@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Walker, david.walker@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Evans, allen.evans@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Canterbury, ray.canterbury@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Boggs, brent.boggs@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Guthrie, nancy.guthrie@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Hall, daniel.hall@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Manypenny, mike.manypenny@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Martin, dale.martin@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Phillips, L., linda.phillips@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Phillips, R., rupert.phillips@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Poling, M., mary.poling@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Rodighiero, ralph.rodighiero@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Swartzmiller, rswartzmiller@hotmail.com
Delegate Wells, danny.wells@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Williams, larry.williams@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Anderson, bill.anderson@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Border, larry.border@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Ireland, woody.ireland@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Miller, C., carol.miller@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Overington, john@overington.com
Delegate Romine, roger.romine@wvhouse.gov
Delegate Storch, erikka.storch@wvhouse.gov

Email block for cut-and-paste
greg.butcher@wvhouse.gov; david.walker@wvhouse.gov; allen.evans@wvhouse.gov; ray.canterbury@wvhouse.gov; brent.boggs@wvhouse.gov; nancy.guthrie@wvhouse.gov; daniel.hall@wvhouse.gov; mike.manypenny@wvhouse.gov; dale.martin@wvhouse.gov; linda.phillips@wvhouse.gov; rupert.phillips@wvhouse.gov; mary.poling@wvhouse.gov; ralph.rodighiero@wvhouse.gov; rswartzmiller@hotmail.com; danny.wells@wvhouse.gov; larry.williams@wvhouse.gov; bill.anderson@wvhouse.gov; larry.border@wvhouse.gov; woody.ireland@wvhouse.gov; carol.miller@wvhouse.gov; john@overington.com; roger.romine@wvhouse.gov; erikka.storch@wvhouse.gov

It is worth noting that a similar dangerous dog control bill presented to the legislature, HB 2716, is not breed-specific; however, neither does it expressly prohibit BSL. HB 2716 has also been passed to the Agriculture Committee for consideration.

HB 3080 can be read in its entirety here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Status/bills_text.cfm?billdoc=hb3080+intr.htm&yr=2011&sesstype=RS&i=3080

HB 3080 can be tracked here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Status/bills_history.cfm?year=2011&sessiontype=RS&i=3080

Vienna, WV: First vote to repeal BSL, Jan 27

Thanks to Jodi for this update!

Back in December, we learned that city officials in Vienna, West Virginia were considering revisions to their vicious dog ordinance to REMOVE the breed specific language from the law. The city council agreed to review a revised ordinance at a later meeting.

I have confirmed with the council clerk and the director of animal control that the ordinance has been drafted and the reference to “pit bulls” has been removed. 

The first vote on the ordinance will be taken by the city council tomorrow, Thursday, January 27, 2011. Two votes are required to make the ordinance law.

The council meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at Vienna City Hall. If you are in the area, please try to attend.

BSL has been in place in Vienna since 1984, and a large turnout at the council meeting would be a great way to show support for the changes.

Jodi Preis
Bless the Bullys
www.blessthebullys.com

All alerts for Vienna: http://stopbsl.com/?s=vienna+wv

Vienna, WV: BSL repeal to be considered, Jan 13

Thanks to Jodi for this update!

Back in mid-December, we learned that city officials in Vienna, West Virginia were considering revising their vicious dog ordinance to REMOVE the breed specific language from the law. At that time, the city council agreed to look over a revised ordinance at a later meeting, and the vicious dog ordinance is on the council’s agenda tomorrow, January 13, 2011.

Parks Director Norm Harris is assisting the council in making revisions to the ordinance, and Mr. Harris is opposed to breed specific legislation, believing that owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs. BSL has been in place in Vienna since 1984, and this would be a great win!

The council meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at Vienna City Hall. If you are in the the Vienna area, please try to attend.

Jodi Preis, Bless the Bullys

Previous alert for Vienna: http://stopbsl.com/2010/12/17/vienna-wv-council-asked-to-consider-bsl-repeal/

City of Vienna
City Hall, 609 29th Street, Vienna, WV 26105
Phone: (304) 295-4541

Mayor David Nohe, mayorone@suddenlinkmail.com
Norm Harris, Park Department, normharris@vienna-wv.com

City Council e-mail quick list: rdbibbee@frontier.com, pthornton@vienna-wv.com, jimmiracle@vienna-wv.com, rcrapp@suddenlink.net, rogersb@suddenlink.net, cathy.smith6@va.gov

Vienna, WV: Council asked to consider BSL repeal

Thanks to Jodi for this alert!

At the request of residents, city officials in Vienna, West Virginia are considering revising their vicious dog ordinance to REMOVE the breed specific language from the law.

Please take a moment to encourage the Vienna officials to move toward a generic dangerous dog law (such as the one in nearby Parkersburg, W.V.) that holds owners to a higher accountability for the actions of their dogs, and bases the designation of “dangerous” on the actions of the dog — not its breed.

Jodi Preis
Bless the Bullys, http://www.blessthebullys.com

City of Vienna
City Hall, 609 29th Street, Vienna, WV 26105
Phone: (304) 295-4541

Mayor David Nohe, mayorone@suddenlinkmail.com
Norm Harris, Park Department, normharris@vienna-wv.com

City Council e-mail quick list: rdbibbee@frontier.com, pthornton@vienna-wv.com, jimmiracle@vienna-wv.com, rcrapp@suddenlink.net, rogersb@suddenlink.net, cathy.smith6@va.gov

Vienna officials consider vicious dog ordinance

December 16, 2010 – By NATALEE SEELY nseely@newsandsentinel.com

VIENNA – A Vienna couple seeking a change to the city’s code on vicious dogs asked city council Thursday to take pit bulls out of the ordinance.

[…]Vienna Mayor David Nohe said council would revisit the code with the help of Parks Director Norm Harris.

[…]”You are responsible for your own dog. Period,” said Harris. “I think it’s about time we made some revisions, going toward less of a breed-specific definition.”

[…] Council agreed to look over a revised ordinance at a later meeting.[…]

Full article retrieved 12/17/10 from http://www.newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/542346/Vienna-officials-consider-vicious-dog-ordinance.html?nav=5061

Point Pleasant, WV: Pit bull ban defeated

Previous alerts for Point Pleasant: http://stopbsl.com/?s=point+pleasant

Pit Bull Ban Falls Flat in Point Pleasant

Posted: 10:58 PM Aug 16, 2010
Reporter: Carrie Cline
Email Address: carrie.cline@wsaz.com

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Council ultimately voted to defeat the ordinance to ban pit bull breeds, while also amending a proposal to grandfather in all existing pit bulls in town.

Read the rest of the story here: 

http://www.wsaz.com/news/headlines/100817139.html

Point Pleasant, WV reminder: Breed ban being considered

The next Point Pleasant city council meeting takes place on August 16, 7:00 6:30 PM, at City Hall, 400 Viand Street. The breed ban IS on the agenda for FINAL vote. If approved, existing “pit bulls” will be allowed to remain in the city, but no new “pit bulls” will be permitted. (Thanks, Jo, for this information.)

It is not known at this time whether the proposed “pit bull” ban (no grandfather clause) is on the agenda for this meeting; however, this is an opportunity for locals to voice their opinions about the proposal.

Previous alerts and info for Point Pleasant: http://stopbsl.com/?s=point+pleasant

Mayor Brian Billings, mayor@ptpleasantwv.org
City Clerk Amber Tatterson, cityclerk@ptpleasantwv.org

City Council quick list
gcotton.council@ptpleasantwv.org, mbonecutter.council@ptpleasantwv.org, rdoeffinger.council@ptpleasantwv.org, bpark.council@ptpleasantwv.org, ehunt.council@ptpleasantwv.org, lsmith.council@ptpleasantwv.org, sjuniper.council@ptpleasantwv.org, bbrown.council@ptpleasantwv.org

City Council Contact Page: http://www.ptpleasantwv.org/Main_Pages/Directory/city_of_point_pleasant_council.htm (Two council members do not have e-mail)