Tag Archives: responsible

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.

Topeka, KS to consider removal of BSL

Topeka’s animal control has been overbudget by $27,000 annually, primarily because of the dogs they catch and confine under their “pit bull” legislation. These suspected “pit bulls” aren’t aggressive, as the city attorney notes; so the public isn’t really being made safer. To make matters worse, the dogs involved in court cases (due to owners disputing breed ID) clog the local shelter, causing the shelter to euthanize dogs that are not suspected “pit bulls” due to lack of space.

This does not appear to be on the agenda for the next city council meeting. However, locals may wish to contact city councilmembers to voice their support for the repeal of BSL and the institution of non-breed-specific dog laws.

City Council Contact Info:
Karen Hiller, khiller@topeka.org
John Alcala, jalcala@topeka.org
Sylvia Ortiz, sortiz@topeka.org
Jack Woelfel, jwoelfel@topeka.org
Larry Wolgast, lwolgast@topeka.org
Deputy Mayor Deborah Swank, djswank@cox.net
Bob Archer, barcher@topeka.org
Jeff Preisner, jpreisner@topeka.org
Richard Harmon, rharmon@topeka.org

City may scrap pit bull rules

Pit bull confinement regs contribute to overrun in animal control budget

By Tim Hrenchir
June 25, 2010 – 4:56pm

Assistant city attorney Kyle Smith told the council this past week that the committee, which is working with Councilwoman Karen Hiller, is suggesting moves that include doing away with the city’s breed-specific rules regulating ownership of pit bulls.

Read the whole story here: 



Read assistant city attorney Kyle Smith’s memorandum describing suggested revisions to Topeka animal ordinances and view what the Topeka Police Department has paid to confine dogs suspected of being pit bulls.

Calgary, AB, Canada: Enlightened approach to managing pets nets public safety results

Despite the sensational headline and opener text, the real value of this article is the details and discussion about Calgary’s much-admired dog legislation and enforcement.

Dog attack continues in Calgary woman’s nightmares

By Tamara Gignac, Calgary Herald
June 8, 2010 6:45 AM

Last year, bylaw officers logged 424 aggressive dog incidents, including 159 bites. Compare that to 1985, when the city received 1,938 complaints, including 621 bites, at a time when Calgary was home to only 600,000 people.

Asked to explain the city’s peculiarly docile pet population, top bylaw officer Bill Bruce can quickly rhyme off a chorus of theories.

“We have damn good legislation, we take aggression extremely seriously and we have great public education,” he says.

Read the rest of the article here: 


Garland, TX: Fencing Requirement for Pit Bull Dogs

Texas state law (Texas Health & Safety Code §822.047) prohibits breed-specific ordinances. Garland, TX, has recently instituted breed-specific fencing requirements for “pit bulls.” However, it does not appear to be officially codified in the city’s ordinances; at the moment, they are calling this an “ordinance-based directive.”

Garland is attempting to “sweeten the deal”–perhaps to quiet objections–by saying that because of this ordinance, they can now start adopting out “pit bulls” from their animal shelter, something which they refused to do in the past. Yet, finding good homes for pit bulls is done elsewhere in Texas on a regular basis without the need for breed-specific ordinances, and without the need to discriminate against all “pit bull” owners in the city.

If secure fences are important for “pit bull” ownership, it is because they are important for dog ownership in general; all dog owners should be held to the same requirements and should be expected to provide the same standards of care for their dogs. There is no legitimate reason why “pit bull” owners should be required to have secure fences while owners of other breeds or types of dogs are not required to have the same.

Please note it is unclear what, if anything, city council members know about this directive. Please direct primary correspondence to the creators of this directive: Jason Chessher (Deputy Director of Health) and Diana Oats (Animal Services Manager). Correspondence to city council should be made with the consideration that council members may not be well-informed about the directive.

The Animal Services Advisory Committee has been working on this directive. Next public meeting of the committee: 12:30 PM on Friday, July 16, 2010 in the City Council Work Session Room at City Hall, 200 N. 5th St.

Contact information for city officials:

Jason Chessher, Deputy Director of Health, JChesshe@ci.garland.tx.us

Diana Oats, Animal Services Manager, DOats@ci.garland.tx.us

Mayor Ronald Jones, mayor@ci.garland.tx.us

Douglas Athas, council1@ci.garland.tx.us

Laura Perkins Cox, council2@ci.garland.tx.us

Preston Edwards, council3@ci.garland.tx.us

Larry Jeffus, council4@ci.garland.tx.us

John Willis, council5@ci.garland.tx.us

Barbara Chick, council6@ci.garland.tx.us

Rick Williams, council7@ci.garland.tx.us

Darren Lathen, council8@ci.garland.tx.us


Fencing Requirement for Pit Bull Dogs

Complete directive language:

Fencing Requirement – Pit Bull Dogs

Fencing Requirement – Pit Bull Dogs (Spanish Version)

News Release sent May 24, 2010

Garland, Texas – May 24, 2010 — Garland Animal Services is preparing to enforce new fencing requirements for pit bull dogs or pit bull crossbreeds. Pit bull dogs or crossbreeds thereof have been responsible for the most dog bites since statistics have been kept (2004). Additionally, 27% of the dogs caught while running at large are pit bull dogs. In response to this growing public safety problem, Garland Animal Services has developed an ordinance based directive that requires owners of pit bull dogs to maintain the animals within a six foot fence.

Specifically, the fence must meet the following requirements:

  • The fence must be six feet tall, measured from the ground.
  • The fence must be constructed of wooden planks at least ½ inch thick or 11 gage chain link fencing.
  • There may be no gaps or openings larger than 2 inches.
  • Fencing must be firmly attached to brace posts buried no less than 18 inches deep.
  • All gates must have a locking mechanism that keeps the gates securely closed.

These directive requirements become effective August 1, 2010.

Pit bull dog owners are exempt from the aforementioned requirements if their dogs are properly registered prior to August 1, 2010 and if they maintain compliance with all applicable Animal Service Ordinances such as the display of city tags and not allowing the dogs to run at large. Pit bull dogs not registered prior to August 1, 2010 must be maintained within an enclosure that meets these requirements. Owners who obtain pit bull dogs after August 1st must consider the cost of fence construction as a cost of owning a pit bull dog.

Toledo, OH: “Pit bull” adoption approved by Humane Society

A small step forward, but state law complicates matters significantly. The Humane Society will only allow two “pit bulls” for adoption at any one time, and adopting one of these dogs costs more, takes more time, and comes with extra steps and requirements.

Pit bull adoption approved by Humane Society

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reversing a policy in place for many years, the Toledo Area Humane Society (TAHS) has decided to begin adopting out pit bulls.

Article retrieved 4/22/10 from http://abclocal.go.com/wtvg/story?section=news/local&id=7398893

Hendersonville, NC: Free dog safety program, Feb. 20

An opportunity to improve public safety through education:

Rabies clinic, dog safety program in Hendersonville Saturday

STAFF REPORTS • February 19, 2010

HENDERSONVILLE — Henderson County Animal Services will offer a free dog safety program for parents and children at 11 a.m. Feb. 20 at its facility at 828 Stoney Mountain Road.

Full story retrieved Feb. 20, 2010 from http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20100219/NEWS01/100219013

Puerto Rico: Ban on pit bulls to be repealed

Translated with Google Translate, with edits for sense.
(Alert from BSL Workshops/Updates)


The legalization of pitbulls advances

The College of Veterinarians welcomes the Legislature’s move to repeal the ban on the breed of dogs

By Pedro Bosque Pérez

The possession of pitbulls or dogs born from crosses with that race took a step toward legalization after the Legislature approved the repeal of Act 158 of 1998, which prohibits possession, importation and breeding the dogs of the breed Pitbull Terrier, their hybrids and crosses in Puerto Rico.

“At last we got these dogs equal with other races which may also be potentially dangerous,” said Dr. Victor Oppenheimer, past president of the College of Veterinarians of Puerto Rico. […]