Monday, January 19, 2009
HB 191, the Montana new pit bull ban, has been scheduled for a hearing January 22nd at 3 PM in Room 172. The bill is sponsored by Robyn Driscoll. DogsBite.org urges all Montana residents to email or call the Local Government Committee members (see list of members and contact information) and offer your support of this progressive bill. If you can attend this hearing, it promises to be unforgettable. Learn how to testify before the committee (see instructions) and learn a brief history of HB 191.
Castalia, IA Considers Ban on New Pit Bulls
Castalia, IA - Another Iowa town is considering a pit bull ban. This past Monday, the Castalia City Council scheduled a public hearing on an ordinance that prohibits pit bull type dogs, or regulates the ownership of these dogs located within the Castalia before the adoption of the ordinance. Existing pit bulls could stay in the city but would need to meet certain requirements, including purchasing $500,000 in liability insurance. If adopted, Castalia will be the first city in Winneshiek County to have one. (See other Iowa cities with pit bull regulations.)
Sioux City, IA Adds Microchipping to Ban
Sioux City, IA - City Council recently voted 4-1 to amend its 4-month-old pit bull ordinance by requiring existing pit bulls to be microchipped, to be confined in a pen, kennel or dog run while outside and to be restrained on a 6-foot leash while being walked. Anyone walking a pit bull must also be at least 18 years old. Simultaneously, they dropped the muzzle proposal. The new regulations take effect Saturday. In September, the council banned the adoption of new pit bulls in the community but allowed current owners to keep their dogs until they die.
Lowell City, MA Looking to Muzzle Pit Bulls
Lowell, MA - Citing 31 pit-bull related bites and attacks on humans and domesticated animals in the past two years, Lowell City Council wants to put a tight leash on the breed and its owners. On Tuesday, the council is expected to vote on an ordinance mirroring a Boston law requiring pit bulls be leashed and muzzled when off their owner's property. The City of Haverhill has a similar ordinance. The vote comes after the council adopted a "vicious and dangerous dog" ordinance. (See other Massachusetts cities with pit bull regulations.)
Cleveland, MS Dangerous Dog Ordinance Shows Results
Cleveland, MS - After a series of attacks on people and pets, Cleveland passed a dangerous dog ordinance that declares pit bulls "dangerous." Cleveland Police Chief, Buster Bingham, says the ordinance is working. He said that many people are turning over their dogs upon realizing that they cannot meet the new requirements. Part of the requirements include: being 21-years of age, $100,000 liability insurance, mandatory spay/neuter and posting a "Dangerous Dog" sign. (See other Mississippi cities with pit bull regulations).
Thomas County, GA Sheriff Wants Pit Bulls Out
Albany, GA - After the fatal mauling of 5-year old Chyenne Pepper, Thomas County Sheriff Carlton Powell is asking for a pit bull ban in Thomas County. The father of Chyenne Peppers spoke at the County Commission meeting too. He expressed great grief over his loss and backed the Sheriff in banning the dogs that took his daughters life. Powell said he doesn't want to risk human life for an animal ever again. He expects county officials to take action in the next couple of months. (See other Georgia cities with pit bull regulations).
01/06/09: 2009 Fatality: 5-Year Old Chyenne Peppers Killed by Three Family Pit Bulls
09/16/08: Pit Bull Ban Passes in Sioux City, Iowa
05/23/08: Haverhill Expecting Huge Turnout on Dog Law Hearing
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| 1/14/2009 3:50 PM |
With regard to Lowell Massachusetts, there is an organization of dog breeders in that state called Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Owners (another breeder front group hiding under the "responsible owner" moniker) who opposes any breed specific legislation or any breeder legislation at all.
Most of them are harmless, elderly dog breeders but the organization is getting controlled by a Charlotte McGowan and Holly Stump (pit bull breeder) who belong to and lobby for an organization called NAIA http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=NAIA_Trust started by McGowan's good friend http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Patti_Strand (she helps run the puppy mill arm of AKC and is on the AKC board)
This is an anti-humane, anti-public safety, anti everything but making money from dogs front group that has connections to http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Center_for_Consumer_Freedom
Puppy mill breeder sites and dog fighter sites post links to NAIA and plainly state that NAIA represents their interests and lobbies for them.
You will see links to the CCF consumer Freedom site on those kinds of sites and forums as well.
There are NAIA members in many states that coax the AKC breed club people into lobbying for the pit bull breeders and dog fighters, or have co opted these "federations" or similar groups to run their own show and hide their lobbying.
In Massachusetts, MSPCA has also followed the direction of ASPCA to support pit bull breeders and dog fighters and oppose BSL.
| 1/15/2009 10:27 AM |
I'm excited to see so many jurisdictions moving forward! And a special shout out to Castalia, IA for the good sense to understand that 500 thousand is the lowest reasonable limit of liability for a pit bull. (Recent medical costs and awards for damages have run in the millions... Sonoma Co, CA; KC, MO, for example)
It takes more than a thoughtful official to bring about change; it requires thoughtful officials with hutspa and fortitude to overcome the pit lobby and move forward.
| 1/15/2009 10:40 AM |
I am from Massachusetts, and I agree with the above poster. Many shelters and animal welfare organizations actively promote pit bull ownership here, and even go so far as to give prospective owners false information, (breed doesn't matter; its all how you raise them). In my town, I have heard multiple stories of naive and non-dog savvy people being tricked into adopting pit bulls and pit mixes because shelter workers lied to them about the breed of the dog they were adopting, (calling it a lab mix, for example). In one case, the pit bull's increasingly aggressive behavior forced the family to return the dog to the rescue organization; it turned out it was the dogs third unsuccessful placement.
Most incidents with pit bulls go unreported, but when you talk to dog walkers, or dog owners who are active in the community, you inevitably find a pattern of pit bulls causing problems. The more urban an area, the more pit bulls you will find, the more problems will exist.
To the above poster, thank you for your comments...it explains why such a progressive state would have such weak public safety/anti-cruely laws.