Tag Archives: city council

Waterloo Iowa rejects calls for breed discriminatory law

At last nights City Council meeting in Waterloo Iowa, city officials rejected calls for a ban or restrictions on pit bulls.

Sandie Greco, the department head of Waterloo Animal Control, told the packed City Council meeting that there will be updates to the dangerous dog laws, in a breed neutral way.

We’re basically going for nonspecific breeds.  To specify a breed to be banned does not work.

City staff had discussed breed discriminatory ordinances with some other towns that have these laws, such as  Omaha, Nebraska and Des Moines, Iowa.

Interestingly Omaha just had an article published lauding the success of their breed based law.  In the article, it stated that bites from pit bulls are way down, but there has been an increase in attacks from other breeds.  It would appear that despite the claimed successes of this law, officials in Waterloo were unconvinced.  There is a lot to be unconvinced of, considering that, overall, Omaha is no safer than before they passed their breed based dangerous dog law.  In fact, based on the numbers provided by Brent Toellner Omaha has experienced a general stasis in attacks, with the highest amount of bites in six years occurring in 2012.

Whatever it was that officials saw or heard from those other municipalities, Waterloo leaders made the right choice.  The new law is set to target irresponsible owners by raising fines associated with vicious and potentially dangerous dogs, a possible reckless owner designation that would prevent repeat irresponsible owners from being allowed to own a dog for several years, and the altering and microchipping of any dog picked up by animal control. Other suggestions were made at last nights meeting as well.

The details of the ordinance are still being solidified.  We look forward to seeing the results of Waterloo’s common sense approach.

When the Council has an ordinance ready for a vote, there will be hearings for public input.  People should remain active in the process, in order to help draft the most effective breed neutral law possible for the welfare of the entire community.

Previous alert for Waterloo: https://stopbsl.org/2013/09/01/waterloo-iowa-officials-are-discussing-breed-based-restrictions/

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Burnaby Canada increases penalties to own restricted breeds

Last night the Burnaby City Council voted unanimously to increase the fines and penalties associated with their breed discriminatory law despite vocal opposition.

Citing an increase in dog bites in recent years, the Council decided to look at their animal control by laws to see what they can do about attacks.  A rather flawed report was put together citing pit bulls and German Shepherds as the primary culprits of attacks.  A local professor analyzed the numbers behind the report, which claimed that the two groups of dogs were attacking in disproportionate numbers.  Among the issues with the report was a question of the premise that attacks have been on the rise in Burnaby.  Also noted is the lack of investigation into a rise in population as a possible explanation for the claimed rise in bites.  This is not to say that rise in population has to equate a rise in dog related incidents as Calgary has proven year after year but if officials are trying to find the core of an issue, all sides must be evaluated in order to best come up with an ethical and responsible solution.

Another issue is breed identification.  Supposedly only 2% of registered dogs are pit bulls.  The population of targeted dogs would be underestimated because the reporting is based on the owners ID.  Because pit bulls are restricted, some owners may be labeling their dogs as other breeds or mixes, so they would not have to comply with the regulations.

Many people voiced opposition to the potential increase in fines and fees associated with ownership of targeted dogs.  Included in these were advocates, dog professionals, lawyers and regular members of the community whose professions are not related to the topic.

The changes raise licensing fees for targeted breeds to $150 per year, fines for unmuzzled targeted dogs was raised to $200 and impoundment fees to $400.

Targeted dogs are defined as: “a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, an American Pit Bull Terrier and any dog generally recognized as a pit bull or pit bull terrier and includes a dog of mixed breed with predominant pit bull or pit bull terrier characteristics.

Officials were cited data from pro-BDL lobbyists.  This data was all based in the United States, not Canada.  There was an agenda in the use of the source, seeking data to support their argument, rather than dealing with local data, which presented a weak case.

After the meeting advocate April Fahr was quoted in the news saying, “We also have to ask ourselves, well, six per cent of pit bull bites occurred in Burnaby over the last ten years — what are we doing about that other 94 per cent of bites? What happened here tonight that’s going to prevent those other 94 percent of bites?”

Certainly a question to ponder, and one which officials have roundly ignored.

Great Bend KS to discuss ban

The Great Bend City Council will discuss a possible breed ban during their next meeting.

The meeting will be held on Monday May 20th.

There is limited information at this time about what positions the council takes and this appears to be a residents request that is being considered. The Council will consider a ban on “pit bulls and other vicious dogs.

The Great Bend City Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the City Office, 1209 Williams, Great Bend, Kansas.

Residents and locals: Please attend the meeting to respectfully and factually support breed neutral laws. Alternatives to breed discrimination can be found here. Tips for contacting legislators can be found here.

If you cannot attend the meeting please write with your opposition to a ban.

The Great Bend staff directory can be found on the cities website.

There are no e-mail addresses available for the individual council members but you may write to the City Administrator City Howard Partington at
hdpart@greatbend.com with a note that the correspondence is for the council.

Flemingsburg Kentucky City Council passes first reading of breed ban

At Monday nights meeting, Flemingsburg Kentucky City Council voted unanimously to alter their current breed discriminatory ordinance, which regulates pit bulls, to a complete ban.

Members of the council cite complaints from their constituents about dogs at large as the reason for the change.  Once again, a municipality has instituted a breed specific ordinance that has failed to increase the overall safety of the community.  Instead of recognizing the ordinances failures and instituting strong breed neutral regulations, they choose instead to continue to waste resources on targeting dogs based on their appearance.

All dogs deemed to be a targeted dog would have to be removed 30 days after the passage of the proposal.  A fine of $250 accompanies the loss of the dog.

All members of the community should be concerned about the current state of animal control. Proper reform will finally begin with officials abandoning the breed discriminatory laws and instituting a strong owner based law that would provide hefty penalties for non-compliance and a more easily enforceable standard.  The community will find much more of the animal control resources available to address problem owners when they stop targeting dogs based on appearance.

Flemingsburg residents and locals: The second reading of the ordinance will be on June 10th.  Reach out, politely, to officials to offer breed neutral alternatives, that would increase public safety and keep animal control funds where they need to be.

Often officials do not know what they are doing in crafting these ordinances. It is up to those of us who are knowledgeable to help point them in the direction of effective laws.

Contact information for the council is spotty.  Some of the Council members have chosen to not provide contact information but others have.

City Clerk Joy Roark: joyroark@altiusbb.com

Council Member Meredith Story: MLSTORY@windstream.ne

Council Member Scott Manning: (606) 845-6301

Council Member Van Alexander: (606) 845-1531

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….

Schuyler, Nebraska – MULTI-Breed Restrictions Considered

On Tuesday, December 4, 2012, the Schuyler, Nebraska city council will hold the second reading of a proposed dangerous dog ordinance that targets several breeds of dogs including:

American pit bull terrier,
American Staffordshire terrier,
Staffordshire bull terrier,
Dogo Argentina,
Presa Canario,
Cane Corso,
American bulldog,
Chow chow,
Doberman,
Rottweiler;
and American bandagge.

Read more from Bless the Bullys….