Tag Archives: bull mastiff

2014 Year in Review

It is time to take a look back at 2014, and what the year has brought us in the world of breed discriminatory laws.  2013 was a good year, but pales in comparison to what happened this year.

Below is a list of passages, repeals and rejections of breed discriminatory laws, as well as some notable court cases.  For our purposes, rejection means when a breed discriminatory law of any kind was brought up by an official and discussed.  Because of this, this list may vary from what others consider a rejection, which differs greatly depending on who is asked.  We use this definition in order to have a base from year to year, with which to compare.


Repeals:
Kennet, MO
Bonner Springs, KS
Canton, MI
Waterloo, WI
Bradford, PA
Clayton, MO
Garden City, KS
South Bend, Indiana
Washington Court, OH
Dearborn County, Indiana
Muscoda, WI
Hallsville, MO
Spring Hill, KS
Fairway, KS
Moreauville, LA
Cambridge, WI
16 total


Partial repeal:
Whitepine, Tennessee


Rejection:
El Dorado KS-rejected adding breeds to existing law
Cincinnati, OH
League City, TX
Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana
Randolph County, AR
Madison, WI
Medford, OR
Monticello, AR
Springdale, AR
Baker City, OR
10 total


Passage:
Lake Elsinore, CA MSN
Carroll County, MS
Humphrey, AR (“pit bulls” Rottweilers and Bull Mastiffs)
3 total


State:

In 2014 both Utah and South Dakota passed state-wide prohibitions against breed discriminatory laws.  Washington, Missouri and Maryland all attempted similar bills but ultimately the bills died at some point in the process.

Maryland:  Legislators finally passed a bill that over turned the disastrous court of appeals ruling in the case of Tracey v Solesky.  Legislators were hung up on the standard of liability for dog owners, but were unanimous about the need to over rule the landlord liability for dog bites and the breed discriminatory part of the ruling.  They finally reached a consensus after years of debate.


Court cases:

New Llano, Louisiana:  Unenforceable by court order.  The Nelson family sued the town of New Llano after they were told to remove their dog from the town or risk her being killed.  The Nelsons had just moved to New Llano and were un-aware of the ban.  Mazzy was held in boarding for a long time as the court case went through the process.  An injunction was filed and granted by the judge.  This case is still technically active.

Clay, Alabama:  In early 2013, the town of Clay passed a breed ban.  This was immediately challenged and mid 2013 an injunction was filed.  2014 saw that case before the courts and the judge ruled against the town.  A couple notable things about that case was the judge saying that the town cannot ban something they have had no issue with.  Officials admitted the ban was passed after the read an article about “pit bulls.”

We have seen repeated victories in court against Reynoldsburg, Ohio’s law, though they remain at the level of municipal court and are limited to people keeping their dogs and not challenging the law itself.

Aurora, Co:  Aurora became the second city to put a breed discriminatory law on the ballot and, though the ballot measure ultimately failed, we saw amazing success in messaging, as well as a stark reminder that many people are not even aware they are living under these laws.  A full analysis of the events can be found here: https://stopbsl.org/2014/11/06/aurora-colorado-the-good-the-bad-and-the-silver-lining/

2014 was a remarkable year for the rights of individuals and community safety.  More and more municipalities are seeing the failure of breed discriminatory laws and overturning them.  No doubt 2015 will be better.

It can be easy to lose sight of the larger picture when dealing with this fight day in and day out.  We hope that this post shows that the tide is, in fact, turning against breed discriminatory laws, and laws that target irresponsible and reckless owners are winning out.

If you know of a repeal, rejection or enactment that is not on this list, please let me know by e-mailing StopBSL.org@gmail.com.

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Springville Alabama is considering a multi-breed discriminatory law

On May 6th the Springville City Council tabled an ordinance that would redefine what a dangerous dog is.  The current suggestions include breed discriminatory language that would target “any pit bull terrier which is defined as any Cane Corso breed of dog, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier or Bull Mastiff breed of dog.” 

This is by far the strangest inclusion of breeds in a definition of a “pit bull terrier” that I have seen so far. The very fact that the American Pit Bull Terrier is not the first on the definition, but Cane Corso is, is extremely telling about how much the officials understand about the topic.

The ordinance would require owners of targeted dogs to get a special registration, confine the dog according to the law, muzzle. Initially the idea of insurance was brought up but was rejected.

The director of public works has stated that they were “mirroring” other towns ordinances and that the changes are a cross-section of the laws of neighboring towns.

Mayor William Isely is showing some hesitation. He has said that he does not want to be premature in enacting this ordinance and thought that it needs more looking into.

The next work session was supposed to be on May 22 but needed to be cancelled because one of the members could not attend.  There is currently no date for the session, though it should come up soon.

Because they are still in the work session stage, it is extremely import to reach out and offer opposition to this ordinance. Politely ask that they institute a strong breed neutral ordinance instead and reject breed discrimination.  Showing that a breed discriminatory law would open them up legally and would not help the community, and then offering alternatives will go a long way. The Mayor and Council are putting work into this, let’s help them out to avoid the trap BDL creates.

Mayor William Isely: wisley@springvillealabama.org

Councilman Hugh Marlin: hmarlin@springvillealabama.org

Councilman Wayne Tucker: wtucker@springvillealabama.org

Councilwoman Katrina Hennings: khennings@springvillealabama.org

Councilman Chip Martin: cmartin@springvillealabama.org

Councilman David Jones: djones@springvillealabama.org

Councilman Larry Jones: larryjones@springvillealabama.org

Saginaw, MI: Breed-specific ordinance proposed

Saginaw, MI, has been hashing out the details of their dangerous dog ordinance for months. The ordinance is finally available online, and despite some news reports to the contrary, it is indeed breed-specific.

The ordinance definition of “dangerous dog” includes

(C) Any dog of a breed that appears consistently in the top five (5) of the breeds on credible, analytical listings of “Most Dangerous Dogs” as verified and supplemented by local data and records for Saginaw County. The “list” shall include any dog that by physical appearance could be believed by any reasonable person to have sufficient physical or temperamental characteristics or behaviors to be a “mix” of any of the breeds listed or a “mix” with a non-listed dog where the mixture exhibits the dominant physical appearance of a dog on the list, and any other dog that has the substantial physical characteristics and appearance of those breeds on the list. Such list shall be updated annually and available on the City’s website and in the City Clerk’s Office.

This year’s “dangerous breed” list singles out “pit bull,” Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Bull Mastiff (Presna Canario) [sic], and Alaskan Malamute.

  • How did the city select these breeds (and types, since “pit bull” is not a breed)?
  • What breeds are they including in the “pit bull” category? That’s at least three breeds right there.
  • Do they realize that Bull Mastiffs and Presa Canarios are not the same breed? That’s two different breeds. [Ed note: I have seen this bizarre combo of breeds done in only one other place–in Merritt Clifton’s non-credible report of dog bites by breed. Clifton’s report has been extensively debunked here and elsewhere. If Saginaw is using Clifton’s “data” to produce their list, that reflects very badly on them.]
  • Why are they calling it a “top five” list when the list clearly encompasses eight or more breeds?
  • Which “credible, analytical listings of ‘Most Dangerous Dogs'” are they using (especially since none exist)? [Ed note: Primary source appears to be Merritt Clifton’s non-credible piece of garbage.]
  • What county data is being used to compile this list, and where can the public go to view that data?
  • Who is responsible for collecting new data and releasing a new list every year?

The ordinance leaves these questions, and many more, unanswered. Keep in mind, too, that Code Enforcement officials will be responsible for breed identification.

Locals are encouraged to voice their concerns and request removal of the breed-specific portion of the ordinance. The ordinance will be discussed again at an upcoming council meeting.

City of Saginaw City Hall, 1315 S. Washington Ave., Saginaw, MI 48601
Phone: (989) 759-1400
Fax: (989) 759-1607

Mayor Greg Branch, anngreg@chartermi.net
Amos O’Neal, amossam@charter.net
Dennis Browning, dbrowning125@charter.net
Dan Fitzpatrick, dlfitz@ameritech.net or danfitzpatrickonline@gmail.com
Larry Coulouris, lcoulouris@yahoo.com
Amanda Kitterman-Miller, akitterman@spsd.net
Dr. William “Bill” Scharffe, drbills@charter.net
Paul Virciglio, Ptvirciglio90@charter.net
Andrew Wendt, wendtmsu93@yahoo.com

Email quicklist
anngreg@chartermi.net; amossam@charter.net; dbrowning125@charter.net; dlfitz@ameritech.net; lcoulouris@yahoo.com; akitterman@spsd.net; drbills@charter.net; Ptvirciglio90@charter.net; wendtmsu93@yahoo.com

All alerts for Saginaw: http://stopbsl.com/?s=saginaw