Tag Archives: dover arkansas

Dover Arkansas passes breed ban

Tuesday night the Dover City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that bans pit bulls.

The new law, which takes effect immediately, defines pit bulls as American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and American Bulldogs and “any dog that has been registered as a pit bull, referred to as such, or that is defined or identified as a dog belonging to any of the pit bull dog breeds.”

There is a grandfather clause that gives residents with a targeted dog 60 days to come into compliance with requirements in order to keep their dogs.  Those who fail to come into compliance will have their dogs confiscated.  The owner of a grandfathered dog must be at least 21 years old, the dog must be confined according the specifications of the law, the owner must provide documentation that the animal was licensed prior to the ordinance being passed, proof that the dog has received a rabies vaccination, and the dog must be altered.

This was an unusual ordinance because the law exempts registered show dogs with certain documentation.

If the theory is that certain dogs are dangerous solely based on their breed, it would stand to reason that pure breed dogs would more than likely carry whatever it is officials claim makes these dogs more dangerous than other breeds.  This law effectively allows for the closed gene pool of these supposedly dangerous dog to continue to live in their town, but bans dogs of unknown heritage, and therefore unknown genetics.

Failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the ordinance will result in the immediate seizure of the dog.  Owners face a misdemeanor charge, punishable with a fine no less than $150 and no more than $500.

If the dog is not claimed within three business days, the dog will be killed.

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Dover Arkansas passes first reading of breed ban

The City Council in Dover Arkansas has passed the first reading of a breed ban at their last meeting in City Council.

The ordinance has been ordered to be held for 30 days.

Targeted dogs include American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Bull Dogs as well as “any dog that has been registered as a pit bull, referred to as such, or that is defined or identified as a dog belonging to any of the pit bull dog breeds,” as stated in a recent report in The Courier.

Dogs who currently reside in the city will be grandfathered in but owners must adhere to a strict series of regulations.

There is an interesting exemption in this law.  A dog that is registered with the AKC as a show or working dog would be exempt from the ban by showing proof of the registry, a three generation pedigree, as well as having the AKC registration number tattooed on the dogs leg.

What is strange about such an exemption is that officials are going off the premise that these dogs are some how more dangerous than others by the simple fact of their breed.  This ordinance will only be targeting dogs that look like the targeted breeds, which are going to be the mixed breed dogs of unknown lineage.  Dogs that can be proven to be one of the targeted breeds will be exempt and dogs that cannot be proven to be one of the targeted breeds will be banned.   So officials are banning short haired mutts from town, and dogs that are known to be of these breeds are still going to be allowed.

This creates a logistical and legal nightmare for the town of Dover, practically ensuring the most arbitrary enforcement possible and opening up the town to costly litigation.

If passed, people who have a targeted dog will have 30 days to register and comply with the restrictions required by the grandfather clause.  These include confinement requirements, signs that must be posted, sterilization unless medically exempted or a registered show/working dog, special registration and a mandatory tattoo.  At this time there is no mention of the option to microchip instead of tattoo.  If found to be in violation owners of targeted dogs will have 3-5 days to comply of the dog will be confiscated and killed.

Dover is an extremely small town of just over 1,000 people, with limited online presence. The following is the only information currently available for the Dover officials:

Residents and locals, please reach out now to respectfully oppose institution of this confounding attempt at a breed ban.  Be polite and offer alternatives.  If anyone can attend any meetings between now and when the ordinance will come up next month please do so.  When e-mailing please include a request that the correspondence be forwarded to the members of the City Council.

Dover City Hall Office
8904 Market Street
Dover, AR
Phone: (479) 331-3270
Fax: (479) 331.3388

Mayor of Dover
Honorable Patrick Johnson
Email: mayorofdover@centurytel.net

City Treasurer/Recorder
Regina Kilgore
Email: treasurerofdover@centurytel.net

Court Clerk
Vonna Marpel
Email: dovercourt@centurytel.net