Tag Archives: dangerous dog

Tennessee update

3/18/13 UPDATE

Citing massive backlash to the legislation the sponsor of this bill has officially withdrawn the legislation.

_____________________3/15/13 post below_____________________

This update comes via Pit Bull Awareness of Tennessee:

It seems like there is A LOT of misinformation going on around the proposed amendments to HB621 and SB865. There have been several releases of documents on various different sites which have conflicted information in them. Several sites have the proposed amendment showing no mention of pit bulls and several other sites show where it clearly states that pit bulls should be considered vicious… with that said, until the proposed amendment is entered by Rep Gilmore and is on the states site directly, we are in a wait and see situation until something concrete comes from the state itself.”

Read more here.

There are two different versions of this bill circulating.  Frankly both versions are concerning because of the language employed. In the one version available on the states website there is a section that reads “Any dog which because of its physical nature and vicious propensity is capable of causing serious bodily injury, as defined in this section, or death to humans or other animals and would constitute a danger to human life or property;” Full text of the bill to be found here.

This language is so vague as to be applicable to virtually any dog. One thing that dangerous dog laws need for enforcement is specificity, which this language does not have. There is no definition as to what a “vicious propensity” constitutes. This leaves any dog open to having people taken to court to fight a dangerous dog declaration because of the municipalities perceived idea of what the breed of dog may be or a perceived idea of what constitutes a vicious propensity.

The previously posted amendment says that a vicious dog will include dogs which “belongs to the breed that is commonly know as a pit bull dog. The ownership, keeping or harboring of such a breed of dog shall be prima-facie evidence of the ownership, keeping or harboring of a vicious dog.” 

We discussed the issues with this language here.

The status of this amendment as of right now is that it has been proposed as a change to the two bills that have been introduced to address vicious dogs in Tennessee. They must first go through several legislative steps in order to be passed.

We feel that from a public safety stand point not only should the proposed amendments be opposed, but also the language highlighted in the bills that is in the version on the states website should also be opposed.

HB 621 has been placed on the calendar for the Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee for March 20th. SB 865 has yet to be set for  a date.

Tennessee residents: Please reach out to express your concern about both the proposed amendment to these bills and the vagueness of the language of the bills as they stand now.  Just because a specific breed is not mentioned in the current versions, does not mean these bills would not impact owners in a breed specific way.

Contact information for the Agricultural and Natural Resource Subcommittee can be found here. You can find you respective legislators here.

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Watertown Wisconsin considering breed specific restrictions

Watertown Wisconsin is considering creating an ordinance that would single out pit bull type dogs as dangerous by default.  City officials cite the increase in number of dog bites and attacks as the reason for the proposed changes. “Pit bulls” are said to be the primary culprits.

Data from the city tells a different story. In an article published by the Watertown Daily Times the data is shown but the whole story presented by the data is excluded.

There were 1,831 dogs registered with the city in 2012, according to the dog report completed by the police. The most popular dog in the city was the labrador retriever with 315 reported, followed by the shih tzu with 118, followed by the golden retriever with 113. There were 44 pit bulls registered in the city in 2012.

According to the report, 78 dog bites to humans were reported between Jan. 1, 2010 and Aug. of 2012. Pit bulls were involved in 19 percent of bites, mixed breed or others were involved in 18 percent, unknown breeds in 17 percent, labrador retrievers in 8 percent and cocker spaniels in 8 percent.

This data leaves out the number of unregistered dogs, which is usually the majority of dogs in a municipality. Also missing is whether the biting dogs were registered but most importantly is the context of the numbers.  19% of bites in this case is roughly 15 bites in a 17 month period, spanned over whatever various mixes of dogs were considered to be pit bulls. While any dog bite is unacceptable from a community safety standard, addressing a minority of bites with an ordinance will not reduce the real factors involved in dog bites.

If one type of dog were to be singled out the remaining 81% of bites would have virtually nothing done about them.

Residents and locals:  Reach out now to your officials to stress the importance of breed neutral as a better path to public safety. 100% of bites need to be addressed. A committee meeting will be held Wednesday Feb. 13th at 5:00 in room 2044 at Watertown City Hall, 106 Jones Street.  Please attend the meeting if at all possible, or you can contact you aldermen here.

Rhode Island Action Alert

Residents of Rhode Island, your quick action is needed.

A bill has been introduced that would create regulations for pit bull type dogs on the STATE level, much like the recently repealed Ohio law.

SB 178 would regulate the care and control of “pit bulls” including requirements for insurance, confinement and muzzling.

One of the more outrageous portions of this bill…

“(a) Signs Required. Every veterinary office, kennel, commercial breeder, commercial animal establishment, pet shop and dog grooming business must post a sign stating in English, the following:

“BOTH PURE AND MIXED BREED PITBULL DOGS ARE CLASSIFIED AS DANGEROUS. FAILURE TO REGISTER, MUZZLE, CONFINE, AND INSURE A PITBULL IS A VIOLATION OF THE LAWS SUBJECT TO PENALTY. Chapter 4-13.1 of the Rhode Island General Laws.

“IF YOU OR YOUR FAMILY IS AT RISK BECAUSE SOMEONE LIVING NEAR YOU FAILS TO CONFINE, MUZZLE OR INSURE A PITBULL DOG, CONTACT THE ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER” (HERE INSERT CURRENT PHONE NUMBER FOR THE LOCAL ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER).

The sign must be prominently displayed to the public and clearly legible.

(b) Penalties. Failure to post a sign as required by this section shall be a civil violation subject to a one hundred fifty dollar ($150) civil penalty. Every day a sign is not posted shall be a separate violation.

This bill has been referred to the Senate Environment & Agriculture Committee.

Rhode Island Residents:  Action on this must be quick and decisive. Reach out now to your legislators and have them stop this bill.  You can find your representatives here.

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….

Yalobusha County, MS – BSL DEFEATED

Officials in Yalobusha County, Mississippi voted unanimously to enact a vicious dog ordinance at the Board of Supervisors meeting on November 20.  The ordinance will go into effect on December 22, 2012.

Read more Bless The Bullys Commentary….

Review the ordinance….

Aberdeen, SD – Pit Bull Ban Discussion

During a work session last night, city officials in Aberdeen, South Dakota discussed the possibility of implementing a pit bull ban in the city limits. We learned a few weeks ago that the city council agreed to revisit the city’s animal control ordinance after the issue was brought up by a resident at the last council meeting.

Read more….

 

Aberdeen SD – Council Looks To Re-Open Discussions On Breed Bans

In March of 2011 StopBSL reported Aberdeen Council passed a breed-neutral ordinance after six-amendments were offered, including two that would have made the ordinance breed-specific.  The approved ordinance restricts dangerous dogs, but rather than by breed, individual dogs earn the title based on their behavior.

In October of the same year, discussion again leaned heavily toward amending the new ordinance to ‘scrutinize’ specific breeds more than others.
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