BSL Updates

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Shadow NPC,- MDM

Ban the Deed - Not the Breed
Barked: Tue Aug 11, '09 6:09am PST 
[BSL-UPDATES] Showdown over Fort Worth animal control ordinance (TX)

Showdown tonight over Fort Worth animal control ordinance


FORT WORTH — Two groups of dog owners are sparring over a proposal to rewrite Fort Worth’s animal ordinance, making it more expensive for people to keep dogs that have not been spayed or neutered.

The barkfest is scheduled to be settled tonight, when the City Council votes on the proposed ordinance.

Fort Worth picks up about 23,000 animals a year and euthanizes about 60 percent of them. The city’s euthanasia rate has dropped from about 75 percent in the last six years, when the animal control department began cracking down on irresponsible pet owners.
Code Compliance Director Brandon Bennett said the ordinance is tailored to go after the causes of stray dogs and dog attacks: owners who don’t have their animals sterilized and don’t have a secure fence. Fort Worth had 1,140 dog bites last year, and 96 percent were committed by "intact" dogs.

"We want dogs not to be strays; we want people not to be attacked," Bennett said.

Numerous dog breeders say that the ordinance will increase the number of strays and that a related proposal to increase the annual license fee would disproportionately affect low-income people.

"Instead of trying to criminalize these pet owners, they need to address the people that are breaking the law," said Tom Lundberg, president of the Lone Star State American Pit Bull Club.

Mary Beth Duerler, executive director of the San Antonio-based Responsible Pet Owners Alliance, said it makes more sense to offer low-cost spaying and neutering services in low-income areas.

"We definitely do approve of voluntary spaying and neutering, but this [the city proposal] will just cause resentment from pet owners," she said.

On the other side of the issue are dog owners like Jason Smith, who led fundraising for Fort Worth’s dog park. The problem with loose dogs is part of Fort Worth’s rural heritage, he said.

"We’ve got some rural attitudes that don’t fit an urban setting about unwanted pets," Smith said.

Both sides point to other cities as examples. Denver saw a sharp decline in the number of dogs it has to euthanize after passing a mandatory spay and neuter ordinance. Denver also prohibits pit bulls, but cities can’t pass such breed-specific laws in Texas.

In Los Angeles, though, the number of strays turned in at the shelter has increased dramatically in the year since the city adopted a mandatory spay and neuter ordinance, although Smith said the reason may be the recession.

Fort Worth tried to learn from Los Angeles’ experience, Bennett said.

"With other cities that have enacted mandatory spaying and neutering, there have been some questionable results, at least in the near term," he said. "That’s not what we’re doing."

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Major provisions Dogs would have to be spayed or neutered unless the owner took a two-hour class or paid a one-time $50 fee.

The price of a dog license would rise from $7 to $12 annually.

People who got an identification chip implanted in their animal could get a three-year license for the same price as a one-year license. Currently, all animals released from the city shelter are required to have the chip implanted.

All dogs would have to be confined by a 4-foot fence in an enclosure of at least 48 square feet.

Owners of aggressive dogs would have to build stronger fences, in some cases, even if the dog didn’t attack a person. Dogs could be declared aggressive if they dug out of their yard or attacked other animals.

Dogs declared dangerous in other cities couldn’t be moved to Fort Worth.

Police or animal control officers would be allowed to seize animals that are tethered to a fixed object.

Unrestrained dogs would not be allowed to ride in the backs of pickups.

Shadow NPC,- MDM

Ban the Deed - Not the Breed
Barked: Thu Aug 13, '09 5:22am PST 
[BSL-UPDATES] TN - White County won't ban pit bulls

White County won't ban pit bulls
Megan Trotter
Herald-Citizen Staff
Tuesday, Aug 11, 2009

SPARTA -- The White County Commission Monday night declined to ban pit bulls, citing that singling out that breed to ban was impossible on the county level.

The meeting room in the White County Courthouse was bursting at the seams with concerned citizens as the commission met to discuss a proposed ban on pit bull dogs in the county.

Recent attacks on citizens by dogs that were part pit bull, along with officers being attacked by the dogs belonging to law violators, prompted Sheriff Oddie Shoupe to bring the problem forward to the commission during its last meeting in July.

County Attorney Gary Dodson told the commission the proposal to ban specific breeds would not be legal unless the county was zoned properly.

However, officials admitted that there was still a vicious dog problem in the community that needed attention.

"We've already answered 372 calls this year. Last year it doubled that. That is $40-50,000 a year that you as tax payers are paying my department to go out and make these calls," said Shoupe.

It was suggested that the people gathered in protest of banning pit bulls get together to discuss ideas for diminishing the problem, as well as deciding what types of laws they wanted to pass. The County Commission requested they bring these ideas back to the next meeting.

"I'm not for banning dogs," said Shoupe. "I have been trying for three years to get this dog situation, this animal situation under control. We have a chance here to do it. These guys are listening to you. They'd be more than glad to help. Let's do it legally, the right way, and help one another and stand together as a group, without vigilantes." 19B9-E2E2-67E258BD5B13F00A
Shadow NPC,- MDM

Ban the Deed - Not the Breed
Barked: Thu Aug 13, '09 5:24am PST 
[BSL-UPDATES] Council approves new pet ordinance (Fort Worth, TX)

Fort Worth Council Approves New Pet Ordinance
Katherine Blake
FORT WORTH (CBS 11 / TXA 21) ―

Late Tuesday evening the Fort Worth City Council approved changes to the city's animal ordinances. The vote came after a public hearing that included tears and frustration.

Tuesday night's testimony was very emotional at times, with some people sharing the nightmare of having loved ones killed in dog attacks.

While opponents say they feel the pain of those families, they dont agree with the action taken here tonight.

David Kersey was the grandfather of a dog attack victim. "The dog that killed my granddaugther never bit anyone in 14 years. You hear that all the time. These dogs are dangerous. No ifs and or buts about it."

Kersey found his granddaughter in January after the 3-year-old was mauled to death by a neighbor's Rotweiler. He and other members of Brooklyn Milburn's family were among the speakers at tonight's Fort Worth City Council meeting who spoke out in favor of changing the city's animal ordinances.

"You still think rules are adequate enough until you become that someone" said Brooklyn's aunt Jamie Baggett.

Among other things the new laws change pet registration fees. Instead of seven dollars a year, it will now cost 12 dollars for three years if a pet is microchipped, or 36-dollars annually for animals without microchips.

People who choose not to get their animals spayed or neutered will have to attend a two hour safety class or pay a 50 dollar fee.

Brandon Bennett with Fort Worth Code Compliance explains the fee "There's over 1000 bites a year, and if you look at just the last six months 1.3 percent are spayed or neutered, so 99 percent of them are still in tact."

Rachel Carden's dog isn't fixed. She doesn't think the new law is fair. "Because its my choice. It's my dog. I take care of him like I should."

Others don't like the fact that all dog owners will now be required to have four foot fences in their yards...with stronger fences required for some canines considered more aggressive. "I'm sympathetic to ya'll that lost child to maulings. I am. However this proposed ordinace singles out a specific breed. The American Pit Bull Terrier."

The council members say the laws do not target any specific breeds. They voted unanimously for the new laws which will also forbid people to transport unrestrained dogs in the back of pick up trucks.

Shadow NPC,- MDM

Ban the Deed - Not the Breed
Barked: Thu Aug 13, '09 5:24am PST 
[BSL-UPDATES] Council drops breed ban idea (West Columbia, TX)

WC council drops breed ban idea By John Tompkins
The Facts

Published August 12, 2009

WEST COLUMBIA — After learning state law was stacked against them, West Columbia City Council decided to use the laws it already has to combat dangerous dogs rather than ban certain breeds.

Council members opted not to take any action during a meeting Monday night on a proposal to ban pit bulls and Rottweilers from the city limits. Any such ordinance, City Attorney Wes Griggs said, would violate state law, which prohibits bans against specific dog breeds.

“There are ordinances on the books that deal with nuisance or vicious dogs,” Griggs said.

Council voted at its July 13 meeting to craft an ordinance to ban the breeds after several residents complained a pit bull lunged at a West Columbia resident and knocked her down, council members said.

Rather than placing a ban on a specific breed, the city should work to eliminate dogs that have posed a danger to residents rather than breeds, Councilwoman Donna Schwebel said.

“When an ordinance talks about a nuisance animal, that’s before the bite,” she said.

Prior to the meeting, West Columbia Mayor Laurie Kincannon read a statement to the crowded room apologizing for the decision to have the ordinance drafted.

“Our concern was for the health and safety of our citizens,” she said.

Kincannon said the council had “no intention” of violating residents’ rights.

“I’m very proud our council was able to step back,” she said.

When resident Allen McCormick planned to speak at the meeting about the ordinance Monday night, he said he believed Kincannon had beat him to the punch.

“It pretty much squashed what I came here to address,” he said.

McCormick said the problem with dangerous dogs most often is not the dog.

“I think we do need to deal with these irresponsible owners,” he said.

A Houston attorney who specializes in legal matters involving dogs spoke at the meeting and told residents existing laws are enough to control dangerous dogs.

A dog only has to lunge at a person and it can be deemed dangerous, regardless of the breed, said Zandra Anderson.

“Texas is one of the toughest states for dangerous dogs,” she said.

Dogs are not allowed to be loose in the city, and owners can be fined if their dogs are not secured, Police Chief Michael Palmer.

“They can be cited or fined,” he said.

Palmer said if a dog is found to be dangerous, police can require the owner to further ensure it is secure by putting up a higher fence. If the dog continues to pose a problem, animal control can take custody of it, he said.

If a dog bites a person and it causes a serious injury, the owner faces up to 10 years in prison, Anderson said. If the dog causes a death, it could mean 20 years in prison, she said.

“Punish the deed and not the breed,” she said.

John Tompkins is senior reporter for The Facts. Contact him at (979) 849-8581.
Shadow NPC,- MDM

Ban the Deed - Not the Breed
Barked: Thu Aug 13, '09 5:26am PST 
[BSL-UPDATES] **ALERT** Springdale, Arkansas

The council meeting minutes for last night's meeting (August 11), list an animal control issue to be heard, but no mention of particular breeds.

Please send your POLITE, RESPECTFUL AND INFORMATIVE letters of opposition to the Springdale, Arkansas officials listed below.

Jodi Preis
Bless the Bullys

Doug Sprouse

City Administration Building
201 Spring Street
Springdale, AR 72764.
(479) 750-8114
(479) 750-8559

Ward 1, Position 1
Name: Jim Reed
9460 Oak Drive
Springdale, AR 72762

Email: Ward 1, Position 2
Name: Kathy Jaycox
145 Woodcliff Lane
Springdale, AR 72764

(479) 750-4124 (Home)

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Ward 2, Position 1
Name: Mike Overton
3511 Normandy
Springdale, AR 72764

(479) 751-1008 (Home)
(479) 756-3380 (Work)
(479) 756-2270 (Fax)
Email: Ward 2, Position 2
Name: Ricky C. Evans
1672 Colby Circle
Springdale, AR 72764

(479) 756-1092 (Home)
(479) 790-3983 (Cell)


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Ward 3, Position 1
Name: Jesse Core
3571 Hamm Lane
Springdale, AR 72762

(479) 750-5269 (Home)
Email: Ward 3, Position 2
Name: Jeff Watson
1907 Pin Oak Drive
Springdale, AR 72765

(479) 751-4250 (Home)
(479) 750-7717 (Work)
(479) 750-7723 (Fax)

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Ward 4, Position 1
Name: Bobby Stout
1470 Amy Circle
Springdale, AR 72762

(479) 756-2737 (Home)
Email: Ward 4, Position 2
Name: Eric Ford
2524 Longwood Street
Springdale, AR 72762

(479) 756-5310 (Home)

Springdale, Arkansas

After a Springdale resident was attacked, the City Council is deciding whether to ban the breed altogether or place them on a dangerous dog registry.

According to Springdale City Attorney Jeff Harper, in 2009 there has been 42 dog attacked, with 33 of them being from "pitbulls."
Shadow NPC,- MDM

Ban the Deed - Not the Breed
Barked: Thu Aug 13, '09 5:26am PST 
[BSL-UPDATES] Pit bull ban debate getting hairy (Denver, CO)

Pit bull ban debate getting hairy
Contributed by: Kathryn Richert/ on 8/12/2009

Supporters of breed-specific legislation say it works; opponents say it's ridiculous

A city ban on pit bulls has been making owners howl. Now a group of them are banding together to protest the ban Aug. 25 in front of the Denver City and County building.

Organizers for the protest say it will be a peaceful, educational opportunity for the public to learn about pit bulls, and a chance to announce details of an organization being launched to fight breed-specific legislation.

Since Denver reinstated its pit bull ban in 2005, forums and Web sites, including, have cropped up against the ban.

"We're gaining speed. You've got thousands of people out there who don't like the law," said Linda Hart, an Englewood resident who doesn't own a pit bull but who his helping organize the protest.

The ban prohibits pit bulls and any mix-breed dog determined to be part pit bull. Denver originally banned pit bulls in 1989 after a 54-year-old minister was attacked by a pit bull. A 5-year-old was killed by a pit bull the year before.

According to, more than 1,800 pit bulls have been euthanized in Denver from 2005 to 2008.

Denver Animal Care and Control did not return multiple phone calls.

Supporters of the ban, including Charlie Brown, Denver City Councilman for District 6, cite the fact that there have been no serious pit bull maulings in Denver since the ban.

"Pit bulls are bred differently than other animals," he said. "They can turn on a dime."

He said it's not realistic to try to identify the pit bulls that won't attack from the ones that might.

Colleen Lynn, president of, a Web site that publishes information about dangerous dogs, says when pit bulls attack, it's vicious and hospital bills are costly.

According to a study done by, pit bulls and rottweilers account for 74 percent of bites that end in death and serious injury.

"The ban is the fastest and most effective way to reduce serious attacks by pit bulls," Lynn said.

Ban opponents say the problem isn't with the breed, it's with a small percentage of irresponsible dog owners.

"The wrong end of the leash is being legislated," said Jan Keith, spokeswoman for ROVERlution, a California-based group that supports dangerous dog laws, just not breed-specific legislation. The group is working to overturn breed-specific legislation in cities such as Denver.

Those against the ban say pit bull attacks are rare; data collected for the Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs, which is comprised of animal control agencies and others, found that among the 129 different breeds of dogs that bite in Colorado, no one breed bites more than others.

Rhea Dodd, owner of Gentle Vet in Denver and veterinarian liaison to the Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs, said the answer isn't a ban - it's dog behavior education and neuter control.

Hart said she is working with Denver City Councilwoman Carla Madison of District 8 on a proposal to relax the law. Among other things, the proposal would require pit bull owners to pay a $50 fee for a pit bull permit, buy a homeowners or renters insurance policy worth at least $1 million and dogs would have to undergo temperament testing.

The Denver dog ban protest is at 1 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Denver City and County Building lawn, 1437 Bannock St. No dogs, please. For more information, call Sherri Moore at 303-396-5327 e-mail ~645681.aspx
Shadow NPC,- MDM

Ban the Deed - Not the Breed
Barked: Thu Aug 13, '09 5:27am PST 
[BSL-UPDATES] Springdale, Arkansas

Contact information for Springdale, Arkansas was issued yesterday.

Please send your polite and respectful letters of opposition to BSL to officials there, as well as suggestions and alternatives to breed specific ordinances.


City To Crack Down On Dangerous Dogs
Options Include Pit Bull Ban
POSTED: 5:27 pm CDT August 12, 2009
UPDATED: 9hi55 pm CDT August 12, 2009

SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- One local city is considering whether to go pit bull-free in an effort to crack down on dangerous dogs.

Springdale wants to put more bite into its vicious animal laws. The city already has an ordinance that allows for animals to be removed or euthanized, but that can only happen after an attack. The new proposals call for prevention, tightening the leash before a dog becomes dangerous.

"Over half of the bites reported over the last 2 years have been by pit bulls. That can be a little misleading, but still that's a pretty hefty number," said Doug Sprouse, the mayor of Springdale.

That's why one of the two options being discussed is a city-wide ban on pit bulls. But Brett Harris, the Animal Services Manager for Springdale, isn't sure that's the right choice.

"If you ban pit bulls specifically, you're leaving 50 percent of the problems out of the mix," Harris said.

That leads to the second option, which wouldn't ban any specific breed of dogs, but would force the owner of any potentially dangerous breed to register with the city.

"From my experience, it's better to target a behavior or an owner who's responsible for their animal rather than a breed by itself," Harris said.

Harris said he's considering a ban as well. But either way, his goal is to prevent bites before they happen.

"Hopefully, through ordinances with the potentially dangerous restrictions, we'll give the owners a wakeup call before it's become a vicious dog," Harris said.

The city is still researching all of its options and looking for public input. But the discussion at last night's city council ordinance committee meeting showed that most members of the city government are leaning toward tightening restrictions, and not an all-out ban of any breed.

If Springdale puts a pit bull ban in place, it would not apply to pit bulls already within the city.
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