Bill Would Allow Cities a Choice
Pennsylvania - State Rep. John Galloway (D., Bucks) will announce legislation today that would allow municipalities to pass laws restricting dangerous dogs. Galloway said he was inspired to draft the bill after experiencing a pit bull attack first hand. A 5-year old girl and her uncle were walking the family dog when the pit bull attacked. The little girl and her dog Luna will attend the event.
A recent attempt by the City of Reading to enact its own local dog ordinance was overturned by Commonwealth Court, which ruled that state dog law supersedes local laws. In February, the court threw out an ordinance that placed restrictions on owners of "aggressive" dog breeds, which were defined as those responsible for 40% percent of dog bites in a year.
Owners of aggressive breeds had to pay $500 a year for permits for unsterilized dogs and use muzzles and heavy leashes on dogs in public. According to the Reading Eagle, the law is credited with helping to reduce dog bites from 130 in 1999 to 33 in 2006. We hope Galloway's legislation makes it to the House floor. We understand this may not be too easy in the state of Pennsylvania.
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