Tag Archives: community

Waterford Township, MI: Group working to repeal BSL

Waterford woman working to change township pit bull ban

Published: Friday, December 16, 2011
By CAROL HOPKINS, carol.hopkins@oakpress.com

When Mary Dunham received a ticket from Waterford Township for having a pit bull in mid-October, she felt like a victim. […]

A $170 DNA test on 6-year-old Keane that came back three weeks later showed him to be a Labrador-boxer mix.

[…] That incident has spurred her to try and change the township’s pit bull ban and create the Oakland County Dog Ownership Group and Specialists (ODOGS) support group.

Dunham, along with 10 supporters, have been meeting to discuss alternate ideas for Waterford.

“We’re pushing to get responsible pet ownership in place of the pit bull ban,” she said. […]

FYI

People who wish to learn more can email the ODOGS group at odogs48329@yahoo.com.

The Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/pages/ODOGS-Oakland-Co-Dog-Ownership-Group-and-Specialist/308483512515529

Full article and video can be found here: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2011/12/16/news/local_news/doc4eea8e331c535130545284.txt?viewmode=fullstory

Contact info for city officials
Waterford Board of Trustees, 5200 Civic Center Drive, Waterford, MI  48329
Online contact form: http://twp.waterford.mi.us/Reference-Desk/Comments-Suggestions.aspx
City Clerk Kari Vlaeminck, (248) 674-6266
Fax (248) 674-5466

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New at StopBSL: Find a Local Group

“Is there a local group I can join to stop proposed BSL in my town?”
“Is anyone else trying to get this law repealed?”
“How do I find other people near me who want to stop BSL here?”

StopBSL gets this kind of question frequently—and until now, we’ve relied on memory, post comments, and Google Search to provide an answer.

We would like to invite you to help us create a list of local groups (and individuals) that are focusing their efforts on a particular breed-specific law in a particular municipality, state, or region.

If you

  • want to start a local group to oppose a breed-specific proposal or law in your area
  • or know about or are part of a local group that is opposing a breed-specific proposal or law in your area
  • and want your neighbors to join you in opposition to a local breed-specific proposal or law

please fill out this short form so that we can add your group to our public list.

As the list grows, you and I can quickly refer interested individuals to this list so they can find and join local opposition to BSL. A well-organized and vocal community group is an invaluable tool for fighting local BSL—they can attend council and board meetings, contact local news media, educate the community, and more.

The list of local groups can be found here. (Since we’ve only just started gathering data, please be aware that this list is basically empty right now. We hope it will fill up quickly!)

Please share this new resource with your fellow BSL opponents! The more groups we can add to the list, the easier it will be for people to find and get involved directly in their community.

Oktibbeha County, MS: Public hearing on vicious dog ordinance, Sept 13

Update 9/20/11: Great news! The proposed ordinance under consideration is NOT breed-specific. Thanks to Anita for keeping StopBSL updated!

Thanks to Anita for this information!

The County Board will hold a public hearing to discuss a proposed dog ordinance on September 13 at 10:00 AM in the old Courthouse, 2nd Floor. The county currently does not have a leash law or dangerous/vicious dog ordinance.

The official proposal has not been publicized yet, and it is unclear at this time whether the proposal will be breed-specific or breed-neutral. Some residents and the news media have expressed concerns about specific breeds. StopBSL suggests that county locals and residents attend the public hearing to determine whether the proposal is breed-specific and to guide public discussion away from breed-specific measures if BSL is brought up.

Previous alerts for Oktibbeha County: http://stopbsl.com/?s=oktibbeha

StopBSL would like to request assistance from locals and residents in the county to help keep an eye on the situation in Oktibbeha. The board’s agendas and minutes are not posted online, and news coverage hasn’t been the most reliable source. We would appreciate information about whether the proposal is breed-specific, whether the public asks for BSL during the public hearing, and whether the county board seems receptive to BSL.

Oktibbeha County, MS: Council asks for public comment on vicious dog ordinance, Sept 6

Oktibbeha County, MS, intends to schedule public hearings to gather local input about a possible dangerous/vicious dog ordinance. Though they do not have an official proposal ready for discussion, the county board also expects to take public comment and suggestions during the September 6 board meeting.

The county currently does not have a leash law or dangerous/vicious dog ordinance. It is not clear at this time exactly what kind of law residents will request. However, StopBSL feels that there is a possibility that the residents at the Sept 6 board meeting will request BSL or a breed ban.

Fortunately, the county board does not seem inclined toward breed-specific measures—but nevertheless, the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors could probably use some public encouragement to maintain a breed-neutral course. To contact the Board of Supervisors, call the County Administrator’s office at 662-323-1520 (a few supervisors have email; for details visit http://www.oktibbehacountyms.org/government/index.htm).

VERY important: keep correspondence respectful and informational; the county board has not expressed interest in breed-specific laws and several board members have made statements against breed-based discrimination. Please commend them and encourage them to continue thinking this way.

Oktibbeha to schedule public hearing for vicious animal ordinance

DAVID MILLER
SEPTEMBER 3, 2011 10:20:00 PM

STARKVILLE — In anticipation of public pressure to adopt a vicious animal ordinance, the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors plans to schedule public hearings about the issue at Tuesday’s meeting.

Following a pit bull attack on two children on Self Creek Road on Aug. 13, the board has studied ordinances in Pontotoc and Lowndes counties. […]

County Administrator Don Posey said there isn’t a special hearing to discuss a possible ordinance for Tuesday’s meeting, though citizens can express concerns during the usual public comments portion of the meeting.[…]

Read more: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=12825#ixzz1X6fpZFhT

StopBSL would like to request assistance from locals and residents in the county to help keep an eye on the situation in Oktibbeha. The board’s agendas and minutes are not posted online, and news coverage hasn’t been the most reliable source. Ideally, a resident or local could make a special effort to stay in contact with the Chancery Clerk or the County Board of Supervisors in order to stay on top of developments.

Seattle, WA: Group to demonstrate to ban “fighting breeds” from parks, Sept 1

What: A group called “Families and Dogs Against Fighting Breeds” will be holding a demonstration / rally / petition signature gathering event on September 1, 2011 (this Thursday) at 5:30 PM at Westlake Park, 401 Pine Street, Seattle. The group is pushing the Seattle city council to ban “fighting breeds” of dogs from city parks.

More Details: FDAFB defines “fighting breeds” as: Akita, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino, Dogue de Bordeaux, Juvasz, Presa Canario and Tosa Inu. However, their primary focus has been on “pit bull”-type dogs.

Note that FDAFB’s initiative is not an effort to stop dog fighting, or to punish owners who engage in such training and abuse, or even to regulate individual dogs that have been raised and trained to fight. As with most groups that are supportive of BSL, FDAFB is unconcerned with a dog’s actual genetics, breed history, or training. All that matters is that the dog “looks like” one of the breeds that the group considers a “fighting breed.” (Even the group’s list of “fighting breeds” does not appear to be based on a set of criteria that makes sense.)

The group’s founder, Ellen Taft, has made headlines in the past for her efforts to discriminate against owners of certain dogs; her early efforts included calling for “fighting breeds” to be prohibited from serving as assistance dogs for people with disabilities, and in 2008 her group tried to get the Seattle city council to ban “pit bulls” from the city. She is associated with Dogsbite (Colleen Lynn) and the two groups have worked together.

City Council Says:  Many Seattle city council members have stated that they are unsupportive of BSL and breed bans. The apparent exception at this point is councilmember Tom Rasmussen; Taft says that Rasmussen agreed to support the group’s efforts to ban “fighting breeds” from parks if the group could show that there was enough public support for it.

How to Show Your Opposition:  Opinions are divided as to the best way to oppose FDAFB’s initiative. There are two prominent options on the table. You may choose neither, or one, or both.

1. Contact Seattle city councilmembers and express your opposition to any kind of BSL or ban, including a breed-specific ban in city parks (or anywhere else). You may also wish to express your opposition to FDAFB’s discriminatory agenda in general—so that council members will remember the public’s sentiments no matter what idea FDAFB is trying to push. You can find Seattle councilmembers’ contact info here: http://www.seattle.gov/html/citizen/city_officials.htm  Please remember, only Tom Rasmussen has publicly expressed support for FDAFB; please correspond with council as if they are generally in agreement with you (remain polite, informative, and succinct—do NOT attack or insult). Let’s keep city council on our side, not piss them off.

2. Attend one of the counter-rallies on Sept 1. Families Against Breed Bans is the largest known group that is planning a response. If you plan to go this route, please remember to be responsible and respectful (and please consider that most dogs should probably stay home). A counter-rally can be a good way to visibly and vocally combat discrimination. On the flip side, the mere existence of a counter-rally can unintentionally lend credibility to FDAFB—in addition to any negative incidents that may occur at the counter-rally. Be aware of the need to be on your best behavior.

StopBSL does not intend to officially track this issue unless and until a councilmember agrees to write up a breed-specific ordinance—but we will be keeping an eye on developments and will issue alerts if an elected official takes up the flag in support of BSL.

Oktibbeha County, MS: Whispers of BSL

Oktibbeha County, MS, currently does not have a leash law or dangerous/vicious dog ordinance. Over the last few years, dog bites (some severe) have made headlines—particularly “pit bull” bites—and on these occasions residents have asked the board to enact dog laws. Some of the board members have also looked into the dog laws of surrounding areas. Several board members and the county attorney have stated in the past that they do NOT want proposed dog laws to be breed-specific.

Despite ongoing dialogue about the need for county dog laws, the county remains without any kind of leash law or vicious dog law. A recent highly-publicized “pit bull” incident in the county has residents once again calling for county-wide vicious dog laws. The residents intend to approach the county board at the next board meeting, which should be September 5.

It is not clear at this time exactly what kind of law the residents will request, nor is it clear whether the board of supervisors will answer the call. However, considering the persistent requests for an ordinance and the news media’s focus on “pit bull” attacks specificially (which also focuses the public’s outrage on “pit bulls”), StopBSL feels that there is a possibility that the residents at the Sept 5 board meeting will request BSL or a breed ban.

Fortunately, the county board does not seem inclined toward breed-specific measures—but nevertheless, the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors could probably use some public encouragement to maintain a breed-neutral course. To contact the Board of Supervisors, call the County Administrator’s office at 662-323-1520 (a few supervisors have email; for details visit http://www.oktibbehacountyms.org/government/index.htm).

VERY important: keep correspondence respectful and informational; the county board has not expressed interest in breed-specific laws and several board members have made statements against breed-based discrimination. Please commend them and encourage them to continue thinking this way.

StopBSL would like to request assistance from locals and residents in the county to help keep an eye on the situation in Oktibbeha. The board’s agendas and minutes are not posted online, and news coverage hasn’t been the most reliable source. Ideally, a resident or local could make a special effort to stay in contact with the Chancery Clerk or the County Board of Supervisors in order to stay on top of developments.

Recent news article for more information on the situation in Oktibbeha: http://wcbi.com/article.php?subaction=showfull&id=1313439988&archive=&start_from=&ucat=2

Earlier news articles:
Feb 2011: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=9985
Aug 2010: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=7405

Webinar: The Calgary Model for Success

Today (Aug 17) and Friday (Aug 19), Petsmart Charities Webinars will feature “The Calgary Model for Success,” a presentation by Bill Bruce about Calgary’s effective, breed-neutral animal control bylaw.

Anyone may attend and benefit from these webinars. To find out more about what has worked in Calgary, and what can make your community safer and more humane, visit https://petsmartcharities.webex.com/ (Click the Training Center tab if necessary, then view the Upcoming tab.)

Summary of the Webinar, from Petsmart Charities:

The animal control bylaw in Calgary, Alberta, Canada has been hailed by many as a HUGE success. While other cities and provinces in Canada are banning breeds, Calgary is choosing education program and stronger enforcement. Pet owners in Calgary have a support system that addresses their needs before they become a problem. They have a mandatory licensing program for both cats and dogs which has provided the funds to help even more animals. The program has also lowered the number of impounded animals, increased owner return rates, lowered the euthanasia rates and lowered the number of fines for bylaw infractions! In this webinar, Bill Bruce of The City of Calgary Animal Services will share with you the steps he and his organization took to bring his community such a successful program, and the impact it had on animals’ lives in that community.