Tag Archives: county

Best Friends Alert for Arkansas

A bill has been introduced on the state level that will create vast inconsistencies in the animal laws throughout the state.  SB 910 would allow Quorum Courts, also commonly known as Commissions Courts, to pass laws regarding animals in any manner they chose should the majority of landowners petition for a change.

Quorum Courts are not courts per say, but are more like a County Board of Commissioners, in that they do not create judicial rulings but instead act as a legislative body that oversees legislative action on the county level.

Most concerning about this bill is that it does not impose any kind of limitations on the kinds of laws these Courts can pass. The most concerning portion of this bill is the part that reads

including without limitation”

Though the bill specifically mentions leash laws, this language that precedes mention of leash laws leaves the powers of the courts open to anything that the officials would like, including breed specific laws.

This would leave an enormous difference in the laws from community to community, with no consistency, or regard for personal property rights.

Full text of SB 910 can be found here.

Arkansas residents: Please reach out now to your legislators to oppose this bill. Good animal laws are ones that are clearly defined and consistent for all members of the community, things that this bill is not.

You can find your legislators here.

If you are having trouble wording your own correspondence you can use the form Best Friends Animal Society has set up.  Please remember that by personalizing the first portion of this e-mail form, the correspondence becomes that much more effective.

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Garland County, AR: Breed ban proposed

UPDATE:  According to local reports, Garland County will not enact BSL at this time.  We are awaiting copy of the enacted amendment and will post as soon as it is available.  In the meantime, thank you to John for sharing this information from a local paper:

Amendment includes; County wide have to fence dogs. All dogs- from cocker spaniels to labs, no matter if you’ve got 1 lot or 250 acres. County wide leash law too. Moving fines up to $500 first offense, 90 days in jail, which is class C, becoming a class B misdemeanor (1 year in jail and thousand dollar fine) if your dog is out of a fence and not on a leash. Also mandatory education if they get caught, forcing them to witness euthanasia on stray dogs, financial liability if the dog bites.
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Garland County, AR:  UPDATE

The Quorum Court took input from residents Monday night before starting work on a new committee specializing in vicious dogs.

County leaders say there have been at least four cases in recent months when a pit bull attacked a human or another animal.  Justice Mary Bournival says action must be taken.

“Though I am not leaning toward any breed specific action at this time, we can’t ignore the obvious here. Pit bulls are inherently dangerous. Not all pit bulls attack. But all of our attacks have been pit bulls,” said Bournival.

No decision was made. The meeting was only a forum to allow the community to react.

Leaders say they will now form a community subcommittee to address this issue and make recommendations to county leaders.  The animal committee is made up of law enforcement, animal control, and local officials tasked with drafting a new ordinance to address what’s considered a growing problem of roaming vicious dogs.

One official says no time table has been set for the draft of the new ordinance that may be the last thing between an entire ban on vicious dogs, that may include pit bulls.

“If what we draft this time around we find is not dealing with the issue,” said Justice of the Peace Mary Bournival, “then the ban may pop its ugly head.”

Please contact the Quorum Court director, Rick Davis, County Judge, at (501) 622-3600 or email address RDavis@garlandcounty.org with any POLITE, RESPECTFUL, and INFORMATIVE correspondence including breed-less alternatives that can be passed on to subcommittee members.

http://www.fox16.com/news/local/story/Garland-Cty-leaders-ponder-vicious-dog-ordinance/zCjFtBdxBE2ufnBbM3xJjQ.cspx

http://www.katv.com/story/19568620/garland-county-working-on-new-ordinance-after-pit-bulls-attacks

According to the article below, the Quorum Court of Garland County, AR, will discuss a possible county-wide ban on “pit bulls” on September 17. I’m not sure why the date is given as September 17, since the schedule states that Quorum Court meetings are held on the second Monday of each month. Per the county website, the next meeting is scheduled for September 10 at 7:00 PM.

For clarification regarding the exact time/date of the Quorum Court meeting when this will be discussed, please contact the Quorum Court director, Rick Davis, County Judge, at (501) 622-3600 or email address RDavis@garlandcounty.org.

The Quorum Court members are Justices of the Peace and their contact information can be viewed here: http://www.garlandcounty.org/file.php?id=351 However, the most effective means of conveying your opinion about a potential breed ban or BSL would be for you to attend the upcoming Quorum Court meeting.

UPDATE: Garland County pit bull attacks bring calls for ban on breed

Posted: Aug 28, 2012 6:51 PM CDT
By Matt Johnson

[…] “We haven’t done enough to protect the people,” said Mary Bournival, Garland County Justice of the Peace.

She says a county-wide ban on pit bulls will be discussed at next Quorum Court meeting on September 17.

“I would prefer to ban the breed than to continue allowing these to happen,” said Bournival. […]

Full article retrieved 9/1/12 from http://www.katv.com/story/19401161/garland-county-pit-bull-attacks-bring-calls-for-ban-on-breed

Garland County, AR: Breed ban proposed

According to the article below, the Quorum Court of Garland County, AR, will discuss a possible county-wide ban on “pit bulls” on September 17. I’m not sure why the date is given as September 17, since the schedule states that Quorum Court meetings are held on the second Monday of each month. Per the county website, the next meeting is scheduled for September 10 at 7:00 PM.

For clarification regarding the exact time/date of the Quorum Court meeting when this will be discussed, please contact the Quorum Court director, Rick Davis, County Judge, at (501) 622-3600 or email address RDavis@garlandcounty.org.

The Quorum Court members are Justices of the Peace and their contact information can be viewed here: http://www.garlandcounty.org/file.php?id=351 However, the most effective means of conveying your opinion about a potential breed ban or BSL would be for you to attend the upcoming Quorum Court meeting.

UPDATE: Garland County pit bull attacks bring calls for ban on breed

Posted: Aug 28, 2012 6:51 PM CDT
By Matt Johnson

[…] “We haven’t done enough to protect the people,” said Mary Bournival, Garland County Justice of the Peace.

She says a county-wide ban on pit bulls will be discussed at next Quorum Court meeting on September 17.

“I would prefer to ban the breed than to continue allowing these to happen,” said Bournival. […]

Full article retrieved 9/1/12 from http://www.katv.com/story/19401161/garland-county-pit-bull-attacks-bring-calls-for-ban-on-breed

Summit County, OH: Ordinance revisions will not be breed-specific

Although the article below indicates that Summit County is removing language that references specific breeds, I couldn’t actually find any reference to specific breeds in the original county ordinance. Maybe they were talking about the old state law?

Nevertheless, it’s good news that Summit County intends to keep BSL out of their new animal ordinance. The August 27 agenda for Summit County council indicates that this proposal will have a second reading on that date. You can read the full text of the proposed revisions here.

Note: The proposed ordinance only applies to unincorporated areas of the county. Cities within Summit County are unaffected and will continue to follow their own city ordinances.

County proposing updates to animal laws

8/23/2012 – West Side Leader
By Kathleen Folkerth

[…] During Summit County Council’s Rules Committee meeting Aug. 20, members recommended Council adopt the changes, which came about because of House Bill 14 regarding dangerous dogs.

Jason Dodson, chief of staff for County Executive Russ Pry, said the amended ordinance provides definitions of nuisance dogs, dangerous dogs and vicious dogs, and removed references to dogs by breed.[…]

Full article retrieved 8/24/12 from http://www.akron.com/akron-ohio-community-news.asp?aID=16776

York County, SC: Council will consider BSL, Aug 20

York County, SC, county council is revising their animal control ordinances. The current proposal includes language targeting “bully breeds” or “pit bull types.” If approved by the county council, the new ordinance would then go to all the cities and towns in York County for approval—so this is a county-wide issue.

The county council will meet next on August 20. This proposal will be discussed at that meeting. The Council meets the first and third Mondays of each month beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Agricultural Building, 6 South Congress Street, York, South Carolina. Citizens who wish to address the Council may do so at a scheduled public hearing or by contacting the Clerk to Council at (803) 628-3954.

Please be RESPECTFUL and INFORMATIVE in all correspondence with county council members!

Contact info for York County council:
Clerk to Council, (803) 628-3954
http://www.yorkcountygov.com/CountyCouncil/CouncilMembers.aspx
Note one councilmember does not have email
David.bowman@yorkcountygov.com; Bruce.henderson@yorkcountygov.com; ericwinstead72@gmail.com; Bump.roddey@yorkcountygov.com; blackwellpa@comporium.net; District7@yorkcountygov.com

York County Council to revisit animal rules Monday

Published: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012
By Jamie Self – jself@heraldonline.com

York County leaders will revisit proposed changes to York County’s animal rules aimed at empowering animal control officers – while more controversial options including restrictions on tethered female dogs and “bully breeds” will be up for discussion and public input in coming weeks. […]

If the council adopts the law with its new definitions Monday, the proposal would need to pass two more votes and a public hearing before taking effect. […]

One new option would define a “bully” breed as a “pit bull type” of dog, Stuber said.

Council members could prohibit breeding “bully” breeds and require different enclosures for them. […]

Full article retrieved 8/19/12 from http://www.lakewyliepilot.com/2012/08/15/1632110/york-county-council-to-revisit.html

All alerts for York County, SC: https://stopbsl.org/?s=%22york+county%22

Miami-Dade County, FL: Breed ban remains in place after public vote

Miami-Dade County’s longstanding breed ban will remain in place for now. Voters in the August 14 county primaries voted 37% to 63% to keep the ban.

Although at first glance it seems like a disappointing outcome, there’s reason to have hope that the ban will eventually be repealed. To come away with a more positive outlook, we’d like to share with you a brief history of this monumental and unprecedented repeal effort so you can understand where it all began—and where it can go in the future.

The Law

For 23 years, Miami-Dade County has banned “pit bulls” (American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and any dog that looks like one).

Florida state law prohibits municipalities from passing or enforcing BSL. However, the state law grandfathers in (allows) ordinances that were in place prior to October 1, 1990. The state law specifically makes an exception for Miami-Dade’s breed ban.

2012 Legislative Session

Early in the 2012 Florida legislative session, Representative Carlos Trujillo and Senator Jim Norman filed HB 997 / SB 1322. These bills would have deleted the grandfather clause from state law, removing the special exemption for Miami-Dade and forcing the county to repeal its breed ban.

The bills moved smoothly through the legislative process, clearing several committees, and looked like good candidates for passage.

Miami-Dade County commissioners, most of whom who wanted to keep the breed ban, were very concerned. The commissioners went to the legislature and promised to put the breed ban to a public vote if Trujillo put the brakes on the bill. The bills suddenly lost legislator support and became stalled at various stages.

Public Vote

StopBSL and many other groups were alarmed at the prospect of a public vote on the breed ban. We expected a public vote would not result in repeal (and commissioners doubtless felt the same way) because

  • The public tends to vote with emotions and stereotype, not logic.
  • Miami-Dade residents have not encountered a legally-owned “pit bull” in 23 years. Much of their experience with “pit bulls” is negative.
  • Minority groups—in this case, “pit bull” owners—are at a disadvantage in “majority rules” votes, especially when there is no legal opportunity to dispel stereotypes about the minority group.
  • The people who are most affected by the law—”pit bull” owners—cannot legally live in the county, are not residents, and therefore cannot vote on the fate of the law.
  • County officials and the local news media have strong influence and are supportive of the ban.
  • We predicted the poll question would be biased and confusing.
  • Advocates for repeal had a mere 5 months to overcome all of these embedded and intractable issues.

Indeed, we saw many of these factors come into play over the next several months and throughout the voting period.

Advocates for repeal faced a monumental challenge: to build a coalition, acquire resources, and change public opinion almost overnight. The Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation took up the challenge with everything they had.

The Future

Considering the dire situation, we at StopBSL believe that the public vote results were amazing. Over 80,000 people voted to repeal Miami’s breed ban—one in three voters. MCABSL was also able to raise awareness in the county, unite repeal supporters, and get support from expert groups like the South Florida Veterinary Medical Association.

All this in five months. By contrast, major anti-BSL victories that we celebrated this year in Ohio and Massachusetts took 4+ years (and countless do-overs) to achieve.

Imagine if even a small fraction of those 80,000 people who voted for repeal were to show up at the next Miami-Dade County commissioner meeting. Imagine if those 80,000 Miami-Dade residents—along with all their supporters throughout Florida—contacted their state reps, protested the county’s discriminatory law, asked legislators to refile a bill like HB 997 / SB 1322.

Whether it’s another public vote, another legislative effort to remove Miami-Dade’s grandfather clause, or an effort to vote out pro-ban county commissioners—there are many possibilities to repeal the ban in the future.

However, it can’t be done without YOU. If you live in Florida, especially in or near Miami-Dade, you are a crucial piece of the effort. Please stay united and resolved in your efforts to repeal the breed ban.

Thank You

Many, many thanks to the volunteers and groups, especially MCABSL, who were down in the trenches giving their all for this repeal effort. You accomplished an amazing feat despite the odds, and the support you gained over the last few months will certainly propel you to victory in the future.

Miami-Dade County, FL reminder: Breed ban goes public vote, Aug 14

Absentee ballots and early voting are over and the big day is here. Miami-Dade County will put its longstanding breed ban to a public vote on Tuesday, August 14, 2012.

The ballot question is: “Shall the ordinance repealing the county’s 23 year old law prohibiting the ownership of pit bulls as a dangerous breed of dogs become effective?”

VOTE YES on #500.

Read an eloquent letter from the Miami Coalition Against BSL director here.

Best of luck in Miami-Dade!

All alerts for Miami-Dade County: https://stopbsl.org/?s=%22miami-dade+county%22