Tag Archives: ban

Aurora Colorado may reconsider their ban

There are a few cities in Colorado that maintain their breed discriminatory laws in spite of the state law that prohibits breed discrimination by municipalities.  These places are allowed to do so under the banner of “home rule,” or, to put a complex issue simply, the right of a municipality to self governance, independent of state laws.

These remaining “strong holds” are often lauded by the pro-BDL lobby as successes despite their well documented failure at reducing dog bites overall, and their failure to reduce severe dog bites.

Aurora is one of these cities.

The ban in Aurora targets the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, their mixes and any dog resembling these breeds.

The law requires the city to keep data on the ban, so we have a very clear case study on the failure of breed discriminatory laws, even when actively enforced.

We covered bite data from Aurora in depth in 2011, when a repeal was being discussed.  This detailed data can be found here.

A summation of the data is that before the ban was enacted bites were declining.  They had been declining for a 3 year period with a significant decline between 2004 (211 total bites) and 2005 (137 total bites).  After the ban was enacted in 2006, bites increased every year until 2010 where a drop off occurred.  This drop still put the years total at higher than the year preceding the ban.

It is not uncommon that attacks go up after a breed discriminatory law is instituted.  Valuable animal control resources end up being diverted to targeting dogs that are not a problem in the community, leaving little time and resources to address those that are a problem.

Councilwoman Renie Peterson is planning on introducing a measure this spring that would repeal the ban.  This is not the first time a repeal has been tried.  In the past the council has been resistant to repeal, mostly citing outdated science as a justification.  Peterson, herself, introduced the repeal in 2011 that failed to gain enough support to pass.

As the science behind canine genetics has advanced, so has our understanding of why the physical attributes of a dog cannot measure the dogs impact in the community.  We have seen the fall of many long-standing bans and restrictions lately, often citing these new findings on genetics and behavior, as well as the difficulty of enforcement and the legal issues breed discriminatory laws raise.

Aurora has seen it’s fair share of litigation over the ban, including a lawsuit over the bans violation of the American’s with Disabilities Act, regarding service dogs.

There are still some on the council who support the ban and a repeal faces the same hurdles previous attempts faced.

A measure like this needs resident support.  In the past, officials have not been open to hearing from those outside the community, as is usually the case.  Since the ban affects those in Aurora, residents should reach out and ask their council members to support a repeal.

This is an issue for all residents.  Aurora is not safer, and tax payer dollars are being wasted in a time when cities are struggling to find resources for basic necessities.

All communication with officials should be respectful and factual.  The focus should be on the failure of the ban to create a safer community, the violation of property rights and due process.  Emotional arguments are ineffective and counter productive.  Comprehensive breed neutral laws have a remarkable track record of success in helping to create safer communities, while leaving the legal rights of citizens intact.

If anyone in the area is interested in becoming actively involved, you can reach out to ColoRADogs, a local group, at coloradogs1@gmail.com.

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Clay Alabama agrees to not enforce breed ban

Clay Alabama officials have agreed, under the advice of their attorney and under the threat of a lawsuit, to not enforce their breed ban.

An injunction and lawsuit alleging many constitutional violations was filed on July 30th.  The first hearing was set for the 19th of August.  This hearing has been postponed pending an agreement that was struck between the lawyers representing both sides.

In the agreement, the city of Clay has agreed to not enforce their ban and to make arrangements to meet the concerns addressed in the lawsuit.  A time frame for action to be taken has been set for September 15th.  A status report must be given by that date.

From the Clay agreement,  “the parties are in agreement to Work cooperatively in an effort to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution to the claim involved herein.”

This means that both the city officials and attorneys will be working together to redraft the ordinance in a way that will satisfy all the parties involved.

This does not mean that the ban is repealed at this time or that the fight is over in Clay.  The possibility for the lawsuit to move forward is still there, should officials not be willing to remove all breed discriminatory aspects of the ordinance.

Springville Alabama was also looking into a possible breed ban and have postponed discussions at this time.  It remains to be seen what effect this will have on the situation in Springville.

We will update accordingly as the process continues or you can follow what is happening in Clay by visiting Fight BSL in Clay at http://fightbslinclay.org/home.html.

Rockaway Beach MO pit bull ban proposal fails

A proposed breed ban and vicious dog ordinance has failed in Rockaway  Beach Missouri.

The ban failed, according to officials, because it was not seconded for a reading.

The bill died due to the lack of a second for a reading,” said Rockaway Beach City Clerk Susan Kettlekamp. “The bill was quite broad and encompassed dangerous dogs and a ban on pit bulls.Full story (subscription only)

This means that one Alderman brought the proposal forward but no other council member would support the proposal in its current form.

The proposal came at the request of a resident who was attacked by 2 dogs, identified as pit bulls.  A man in a car stopped to ask the victim for directions when 2 dogs jumped out of the car and attacked the victim and his dog.  According to the previously cited report, the dogs were being transported by the father of the owner, who turned the dogs over to his father because he was in the process of being arrested at a nearby motel.

Officials cited the Springfield ordinance which was enacted in 2006 in discussions. The was some vocal opposition from at least one board member at the time the issue was raised.  The Springfield ordinance has been under debate for some time, and investigations into it have shown the law to be a public safety failure.

It is possible that the proposal will be brought back to be re-written.  Indeed, strengthening the dangerous dog laws in a breed neutral way would benefit the community, so it would be good for the laws to be evaluated for weak points.

The spurning incident, however, may not have been avoided by any law.  This seems like an instance of a lack of knowing these dogs personally and therefore not exercising the precaution of rolling up the windows of the car.  The man who was supervising the dogs was not the owner of the attacking dogs, and may not have been aware of any issues they had.  This does not negate his responsibility for the incident but this is clearly not a breed issue.

We hope that the victim is afforded justice for his damages.  There may be criminal charges levied, and the medical bills have amounted, so a civil suit also may be in the works.

If you are in Rockaway, please reach out and thank your Aldermen for rejecting the idea of a breed discriminatory law, and urge them to craft a breed neutral bill that would best serve the community.

There is limited contact information but you may write, call or fax with a note of attention to the Board of Aldermen.City of Rockaway Beach,  2762 State Highway 176, Rockaway Beach, MO 65740

Phone: (417) 561-4424
Fax: (417) 561-6025

Osawatomie Kansas repeals 20 year old breed ban

The Council in Osawatomie Kansas has voted to repeal their breed ban after a resident brought the issue to them earlier this year. The resident was targeted under the ban while walking her boxer mix. Unwilling to part with her dog permanently, the resident moved the dog out of the city limits and took the issue to the City Council.

After the issue of the ban was brought forward, a task force was formed to study the current ordinance to see what changes were needed and ultimately came back with several recommendations. A repeal of the ban, anti-tethering, stronger anti-cruelty provisions and a clearer set of provisions for dealing with dangerous dogs are all part of the changes to the law.

Local animal experts made suggestions when the ordinance changes where initially brought to the Council. Offering solutions in conjunction with criticism is an extremely powerful way to engage law makers and participate in the civic process for the betterment of the community.

The clarity of the new ordinance makes it much more enforceable. This will result in a better targeting of owners who are not operating proper care and control of their dogs in the community. At the same time, it will allow those who operate reasonably in the community full access to their personal rights.

The full ordinance can be viewed here.  It is a long read but very comprehensive and would be a good reference to have for people whose communities are considering changes to their dog laws.

Wooster Ohio sets date to hear repeal

A repeal of Wooster Ohio’s breed discriminatory law has been set for its first date.  The topic has been added to the agenda for the April 15th council meeting, 7:30 PM.

In 2000 Wooster banned dogs they defined as a “Pit Bull dog”.  In the ordinance a banned dog is defined as

 “Pit Bull dog” shall include, but not be limited to, any of the following: American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier, or any mixed breed of dog which includes as an element of its breeding any of the aforementioned breeds as to be identifiable as partially of any of the aforementioned breeds.

We have been given a copy of the proposed changes to the law that would make Wooster a breed neutral community. Wooster’s proposed animal law changes can be found here.

The proposed changes strengthen Wooster’s dog laws in many ways that will be good for the community. Wooster will no doubt see many benefits in enacting this legislation.

Wooster residents: Please reach out to officials to briefly and politely ask them to support Ordinance 2013-16, an Ordinance Amending Chapter 505 of the Wooster code of ordinances. Contact information for officials can be found here.

Thank you, Robin, for the information.

Chesterfield, MO – Repeals Pit Bull Legislation

***UDATE***

Chesterfield, Missouri! Bill No. 2909, which amends the “Dangerous Animals” ordinance to REMOVE all the breed specific language was APPROVED at the second reading on December 3rd, 2012!

Way to go Chesterfield!

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Chesterfield, Missouri Council members will meet at 7:00 PM tonight, Monday, December 3rd to move forward with removal of the cities current breed specific legislation REPEAL.

If you are in the area, please attend the meeting in effort to show your support of this action.

For more information….

Manly, Iowa – Repeal of Pit Bull Ban Possible

Officials in the city of Many, Iowa discussed the possibility of repealing the city’s  ordinance bannine pit bulls at last night’s city council meeting.  The city adopted its breed specific ordinance in 2008, but the ordinance has not been enforced.  However, several residents recently received a letter from the city telling them they had 10 days to remove their “dangerous” animal from the city limits.  Those dog owners appealed the order to remove their dogs at last night’s meeting.

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Council voted to table indefinitely a decision on what action it should take to allow time to get a better reading on the desires of the community as a whole.

Read more at Blessthebullys.com…