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Stop This Bill! Attention Pit Bull Lovers!

There is a bill to eliminate Pit Bulls in Montana, the entire state. This is a ludicrous bill that goes after innocent animals at the...

Horst Hoefinger  |  Jan 12th 2009


There is a bill to eliminate Pit Bulls in Montana, the entire state. This is a ludicrous bill that goes after innocent animals at the whim of a politician, it must be stopped.

Montana state Rep. Robyn Driscoll, a Democrat who represents the 51st District, has introduced a bizarre bill calling for the elimination of all “pit bulls” from the state. If the bill, H.B. 191, becomes law, owners must surrender their pit bull dogs which must then be euthanized within 10 days.

Those who don’t give up their dogs to be killed? Well, any peace officer is authorized to obtain a search warrant and come and get the dog.

The cost of paying animal control and other law enforcement officers throughout the state to round up family pets and kill them will be substantial. A task force found that a pit bull ban in Prince George’s County, Maryland, just one county, cost $560,000 in one year.

There are exceptions for pit bulls temporarily in the state, passing through, or attending a exhibition, show or competition “sponsored by a dog club, association, or similar organization”. Even for the dog to attend an exhibition, show or competition, the owner must obtain written permission from the county and the sponsor must take steps to “prevent [the pit bull dog] from escaping or injuring the public.” The only other exception is for a pit bull wearing a tag indicating it is a registered pit bull, but the registration and tag must have been obtained before the law’s effective date. Here is a copy of the bill.

The National Canine Research Council reports that between 1965 and 2008, there were 3 fatalities in Montana from dog bites. Yes, 3 in 43 years. In 2005 alone, just one year in Montana, 1,400 people died from smoking and 251 in traffic accidents. (Maybe Driscoll should work to protect Montanans from smoking and second hand cigarette smoke or negligent or drunk drivers; that would at least be something useful.)

The NCRC notes, “All the dogs involved … were …not spayed or neutered….All three cases involved unsupervised children left alone in a yard with unfamiliar dogs (2 cases) or the child wandering off and encountering an unfamiliar, chained dog (1 case).”

The bill, H.B. 191, is now in the House Local Government Committee. Check Animal Law Coalition for updates.

Take Animal Law Coalition’s poll on breed bans on this page!

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Write or call Rep. Robyn Driscoll and urge her to drop this breed ban. Tell her dogs don’t bite because of breed and breed bans don’t make communities safe from dog bites. Instead, they penalize responsible owners and greatly increase animal control costs. Send her the information found here. Be polite.

Robyn Driscoll, (406) 534-4874, rdriscoll@peoplepc.com

Contact the House Local Government Committee by calling Joe Kolman, 406-444-9280

Find Montana legislators and email, fax or call them and urge them to say no to H.B. 191. Here is the fax number for the House: 406-444-4825

This is outrageous and unacceptable to me. A good friend of mine was attacked by a German Shepherd over Labor Day weekend, a totally unprovoked attack. She was walking on a beach with her Jack Russell when the German Shepherd, who was on a balcony of a house, spotted them. It somehow got out of the house and went after her, severely attacking them both.

To go after a dog who has bitten is one thing, to go after an entire breed on the premise they will someday bite is insane. Why aren’t the laws stricter against the people that run the dogfighting rings? Not people who are alleged to run them, but those where there is hard evidence. The people that turn these dogs into fighters, who make them vicious, they are the ones that need to be eliminated.

One of the scariest sentences in the bill is…..(e) any dog that has been registered at any time as a pit bull terrier or has the physical characteristics that substantially conform to the standards established for the breeds listed in this subsection (2) by the American kennel club or the united kennel club.

The physical characteristics that substantially conform to the standards established for the breed? What’s next? What if someone has a mix, when do you determine how much is too much PB? Where does it stop?

This is outrageous, please get those paws busy and call, fax, or email the appropriate parties above to get this bill dropped.

* The beauty above is courtesy The Animal Law Coalition site.