Suit Targets 4 Cities
UPDATED: 1/18/08: In the second time this week, a constitutional challenge has been filed in federal court against laws that regulate pit bulls. In this instance, a challenge has been filed concerning ordinances that ban pit bulls in four central Arkansas cities. Responsible Owners of Arkansas Dogs (ROADS) is behind the court filing. Roger Schnyer, the founder and director of ROADS claims that such bans are enacted without "proper legal input."
In the instance of Lonoke, Arkansas, City Attorney Randy Grice (who is by definition a proper legal advisor) drafted the ban on pit bulls based upon legislation that has been upheld by the Arkansas Supreme Court. Mr. Grice said: "We relied heavily on Maumelle’s city ordinance, which was upheld as constitutional by the Arkansas Supreme Court. We went to great lengths to ensure due process is met. We didn’t just haphazardly draw this up."
“We went to great lengths to ensure due process is met,” Grice said. “We didn’t just haphazardly draw this up.” Under the policy, a pet dog that is considered a banned breed is euthanized only when an owner fails to come get it after it has been seized, Grice said. Owners who claim their dogs aren’t allowed to keep them in the city limits. Grice said the seizure process includes “several notices” sent to the owner and does not occur in simply a matter of days.
Similarly, North Little Rock’s animal control director, Billy Grace, said the previous city attorney assured him that the pitbull ban “has been upheld all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court.” Grace said that since his city’s enactment of the ban in 2004, “We have picked those things up left and right.... It’s probably the best thing we’ve ever done.” He said he has sympathy for the dogs, who often have ended up in the hands of unscrupulous owners, and that irresponsible owners, in fact, are the reason for the ban.
News articles dating back to 2005 indicate that pit-bull bans or restrictions apply in North Little Rock, Sherwood, Maumelle, Pine Bluff, Lonoke, Jacksonville, Mc-Gehee, Des Arc, Hot Springs and Beebe. Earlier this month, Little Rock officials discussed regulating ownership of the dogs and classifying them as a dangerous breed without enacting an outright ban. - Arkansas Democrat Gazette, December 31, 2007
State Supreme Courts that have upheld breed-specific laws include: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.