Tag Archives: american bulldog

New York bill to prohibit insurance discrimination ordered to third reading

Last year a bill was introduced in the New York state legislature that would address breed discrimination in insurance practices.

The bill, A3952, would prohibit insurance companies that conduct business in New York state from canceling or refusing to issue a policy based solely on the breed of the clients dogs.  The bill died in the Senate during the 2013 session because the session ended.

Not only would this bill prevent companies from refusing to issue or canceling coverage, this bill would also prevent differential pricing based on the breed of dog of the insured.

The direct language of the bill states that,


The bill does not prevent insurers from canceling or refusing coverage to dogs who have been declared dangerous or have a bite history or history of aggressive behavior specific to that dog.

On January 8th the bill was reintroduced to the New York legislature.   The Senate returned the bill to assembly.    The bill was then ordered to its third reading.

A3952 is on the calendar for  Wednesday, January 22nd 2014.

This bill would help so many people in the community.

It would help renters by eliminating discriminatory policies for those who own property, making it easier for landlords who would be open to renting to some one with a targeted dog to do so.  This increases housing options and as a result, owner retention in situations where people have to move.

They also help to compensate victims of dog bites by increasing the pool of covered owners.

They also help a lot of dog owners.  Insurance companies can restrict any breed of dog they wish.  There are currently quite a few breeds and mixes that cannot get coverage.  This is NOT just a “pit bull” issue.  It effects the owners of German Shepherds, Chow Chows, Rottweilers, Akita, Husky, Malamute, every dog that is on one insurance list or another.

NEW YORK RESIDENTS:  Please reach out now and tell your legislators that you support this bill.

You can find you Assembly members on the states website here.

Because of the powerful opposition to any form of insurance regulations, it is incredibly important that legislators constituents reach out to support such measures.

2013 breed discrimination year in review

In 2012, everyone felt the tide was turning against breed discriminatory laws.  This year is no different.  The following is a list of confirmed passages, repeals and refusals of breed discriminatory laws in 2013.

In 2013, 3 states passed laws on the state level that prohibit breed discriminatory laws.  Connecticut, Nevada and Rhode Island joined the other states that had previously outlawed breed discrimination on the state level.

This year we saw the effects of Massachusetts’ 2012 passage of a law prohibiting breed discriminatory laws, with all the municipalities in the state repealing their laws, instead of attempting to fight to keep them.  Boston was the only municipality that made an attempt to create an exemption in the state law that failed.  There are still a few that need to be confirmed as having removed their laws from the books officially.  Those listed are ones that have been confirmed as removed from the cities code of ordinances via e-mail or phone.

The following municipalities in MA repealed their breed discriminatory laws, to be in compliance with the state law:


The following municipalities have repealed a breed discriminatory law in 2013:

-Basehor, Kansas
-Osawatomie, Kansas
-Garnett, Kansas
-Riverside Missouri
-Annapolis, Missouri
-Waunakee, Wisconsin
-Darlington, Wisconsin
-Bessemer, Pennsylvania
-Wooster, Ohio
-Pickering, Ohio
-Orrville, Ohio
-Welsh, Louisiana

The following places had a partial repeal of their breed discriminatory laws:

-Newark, Ohio
-Bloomer, Wisconsin
-Dodge City, Kansas

The following places rejected breed discriminatory laws:

-Waterloo, Iowa
-Camanche, Iowa
-Ringstead, Iowa
-Baker City, Oregon
-Breckenridge, Colorado
-Greybull, Wyoming
-Watertown, Wisconsin
-Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
-Rockaway Beach, Missouri
-Westwego, Louisiana
-Columbus, Nebraska
-Great Bend, Kansas
-Manderson, Wyoming (rejected adding additional  breeds to existing ban)
-Flint, Michigan
-Lansing, Michigan
-Royal Oak, Michigan
-Broward County, Florida
-Bronwood, Georgia

The following states had failed attempts to pass breed discriminatory laws at the state level or to repeal state level prohibitions on BDL:

-North Carolina
-Rhode Island

The following places passed a breed discriminatory law:

-Riverside City, California (spay/neuter)
-Riverside County, California (spay/neuter)
-Dover Arkansas (ban)
-Garland County, Arkansas (confinement)
-Murfreesboro, Arkansas (ban)
-Livingston County, Kentucky (restrictions)
-Clay, Alabama (ban: In litigation)
-Bluefield, West Virginia (ban)
-Hornbeak, Tennessee (restrictions)
-Schuyler, Nebraska (restrictions)

In Summation, we have 3 states pass prohibitions against breed discriminatory laws and 5 states who rejected either a state-wide restriction, or an attempt to repeal the prohibitions against BDL.  One of those states, Rhode Island, went from a bill to restrict breeds at the state level, to a prohibition against breed discriminatory laws at the state level in one year.

Additionally, New Mexico and Georgia both proposed state level prohibitions.  New Mexico came close to passing a state level prohibition against BDL, but the legislative session ended before a final vote was taken.  The bill had passed all other steps nearly unanimously.   The Georgia prohibition was attached to some very controversial measures and though legislators were supportive of the aspect addressing BDL, they were not supportive of the other sections, so the bill died.  At least 5 states looked into prohibiting discrimination in insurance practices, Maine, New York, Maryland, West Virginia and Massachusetts.  Most of these bills were tabled for study.

There were 10 passages this year that effect 14 distinct breeds, and their mixes, as well as wolf hybrids.  The breeds effected by the places that passed these laws are as follows: Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Dobermans, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Akitas, Chows, American Bulldogs, Dogo Argentino,  Presa Canario, Cane Corso, American Bandogge and Wolf hybrids.

There were 12 municipalities who decided, based on the evidence, to repeal their breed discriminatory laws, and 10 that repealed due to a state law having been enacted, bringing total repeals to at least 20.

There were at least 18 municipalities who had a proposal that was rejected.  This number is actually much higher than what is listed here.  The reason for this is that there are quite a few places that had a proposal or recommendation that was breed discriminatory that has not been officially rejected, but rather “tabled indefinitely.”  Only places that officially rejected a proposal or recommendation were counted.

While we tend to focus on places considering breed based laws, it is important to note that there have been hundreds of places (at the very least) that amended their dangerous dog laws in 2013.  Only a very small minority ever even consider targeting certain breeds or types of dogs.  

Breed discriminatory laws are not the norm now, nor have they ever been.

We try our hardest to make sure these numbers are as accurate as possible but there may be some omissions.  Should there be something we missed, that is between the dates of January 1st, 2013 and December 31st, 2013 that can be confirmed, please feel free to reach out to us at StopBSL.org@gmail.com, so that we may correct the omission.

Dover Arkansas passes breed ban

Tuesday night the Dover City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that bans pit bulls.

The new law, which takes effect immediately, defines pit bulls as American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and American Bulldogs and “any dog that has been registered as a pit bull, referred to as such, or that is defined or identified as a dog belonging to any of the pit bull dog breeds.”

There is a grandfather clause that gives residents with a targeted dog 60 days to come into compliance with requirements in order to keep their dogs.  Those who fail to come into compliance will have their dogs confiscated.  The owner of a grandfathered dog must be at least 21 years old, the dog must be confined according the specifications of the law, the owner must provide documentation that the animal was licensed prior to the ordinance being passed, proof that the dog has received a rabies vaccination, and the dog must be altered.

This was an unusual ordinance because the law exempts registered show dogs with certain documentation.

If the theory is that certain dogs are dangerous solely based on their breed, it would stand to reason that pure breed dogs would more than likely carry whatever it is officials claim makes these dogs more dangerous than other breeds.  This law effectively allows for the closed gene pool of these supposedly dangerous dog to continue to live in their town, but bans dogs of unknown heritage, and therefore unknown genetics.

Failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the ordinance will result in the immediate seizure of the dog.  Owners face a misdemeanor charge, punishable with a fine no less than $150 and no more than $500.

If the dog is not claimed within three business days, the dog will be killed.

Previous alerts for Dover:



Dover Arkansas passes first reading of breed ban

The City Council in Dover Arkansas has passed the first reading of a breed ban at their last meeting in City Council.

The ordinance has been ordered to be held for 30 days.

Targeted dogs include American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Bull Dogs as well as “any dog that has been registered as a pit bull, referred to as such, or that is defined or identified as a dog belonging to any of the pit bull dog breeds,” as stated in a recent report in The Courier.

Dogs who currently reside in the city will be grandfathered in but owners must adhere to a strict series of regulations.

There is an interesting exemption in this law.  A dog that is registered with the AKC as a show or working dog would be exempt from the ban by showing proof of the registry, a three generation pedigree, as well as having the AKC registration number tattooed on the dogs leg.

What is strange about such an exemption is that officials are going off the premise that these dogs are some how more dangerous than others by the simple fact of their breed.  This ordinance will only be targeting dogs that look like the targeted breeds, which are going to be the mixed breed dogs of unknown lineage.  Dogs that can be proven to be one of the targeted breeds will be exempt and dogs that cannot be proven to be one of the targeted breeds will be banned.   So officials are banning short haired mutts from town, and dogs that are known to be of these breeds are still going to be allowed.

This creates a logistical and legal nightmare for the town of Dover, practically ensuring the most arbitrary enforcement possible and opening up the town to costly litigation.

If passed, people who have a targeted dog will have 30 days to register and comply with the restrictions required by the grandfather clause.  These include confinement requirements, signs that must be posted, sterilization unless medically exempted or a registered show/working dog, special registration and a mandatory tattoo.  At this time there is no mention of the option to microchip instead of tattoo.  If found to be in violation owners of targeted dogs will have 3-5 days to comply of the dog will be confiscated and killed.

Dover is an extremely small town of just over 1,000 people, with limited online presence. The following is the only information currently available for the Dover officials:

Residents and locals, please reach out now to respectfully oppose institution of this confounding attempt at a breed ban.  Be polite and offer alternatives.  If anyone can attend any meetings between now and when the ordinance will come up next month please do so.  When e-mailing please include a request that the correspondence be forwarded to the members of the City Council.

Dover City Hall Office
8904 Market Street
Dover, AR
Phone: (479) 331-3270
Fax: (479) 331.3388

Mayor of Dover
Honorable Patrick Johnson
Email: mayorofdover@centurytel.net

City Treasurer/Recorder
Regina Kilgore
Email: treasurerofdover@centurytel.net

Court Clerk
Vonna Marpel
Email: dovercourt@centurytel.net

Rhode Island HB5671 assigned to committee

The Rhode Island bill to prohibit breed discriminatory laws on the state level has officially been assigned to committee.

Initial information was that the bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  A last-minute change, however, puts the bill in the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture.  This Committee will be meeting next on Monday July 1st, and it is very possible that HB5671 could be heard then.

When writing please put Support HB5671 in the subject line so legislators can see the support without having to read all of the e-mails.

There is opposition coming out of the places that have breed discriminatory laws, most notably Pawtucket,  so the more support offered, the better.  Officials from Pawtucket have done several interviews in opposition to the bill, and we can be sure they are also talking to legislators in opposition.  In the House vote those legislators who voted against this bill were from these areas.

The contact info for this committee is below:

Chairman: sen-sosnowski@rilin.state.ri.us


Rhode Island HB5671 to prohibit breed discriminatory laws advances to Senate

Today Rhode Island HB5671 passed the full House with a vote of 59-9.

The bill, which would prohibit any municipality from enacting a breed discriminatory law, was initially recommended to be held for further study by the House Committee.  The bill was held for over a month but was subsequently passed unanimously out of Committee. A little over a week later the bill passed the full House.

HB5671 now moves onto the Senate side, beginning with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sources inside Rhode Island have stated that more support is needed to push this bill through the Senate.  The legislative session in Rhode Island ends soon.  Legislators have been tallying supportive e-mails so it is imperative that everyone reach out and express support for this bill.

Below is the contact information for the committee.  Please remember to use the cc or bcc function when copying the e-mail addresses.  Despite sources knowing a large number of people who wrote in support of this bill, many of the legislators have said they have not received a lot of correspondence about it.  E-mails with many addresses in the “to” line are usually bounced into spam boxes, so dividing the addresses is extremely important to making sure they are received by legislators.

When writing include “Support HB5671” in the subject line so that those who are going through the e-mails do not have to read the entire thing to know what it is about.  This will make any “at a glance” tallying easier and more effective.

Committee Chairman: sen-mccaffrey@rilin.state.ri.us

sen-archambault@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-conley@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-hodgson@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-jabour@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-lombardi@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-lynch@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-metts@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-nesselbush@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-raptakis@rilin.state.ri.us

Rhode Island HB5671 advances to full House

The Rhode Island bill to prohibit breed discrimination on the state level has passed committee today.  It now moves on to a vote in the full House.

HB5671 will include language saying that “no city or town may enact, and rule, regulation or ordinance specific to any breed of dog or cat in the exercise of its power to further control or regulate dogs, cats or other animals as authorized by this chapter”  in both the section regulating vicious dogs and the general dog law section of state statutes.

The bill will take effect upon passage.  The language is very clear and simple, which is always a good thing in legislation.  The clearer the law the better it is for the citizens.

It is incredibly important to reach out and urge your legislators to support this bill because the legislative session ends on the 30th of June.

Rhode Island residents: Please reach out now and urge legislators to support this bill.  You can find your specific legislator here.  You must put your zip code into the search function on the top of the page.  Look for your Representatives and Senators to contact both so that they will know their constituents support HB5671.