Appeals Judge Upholds Ruling
Oklahoma City, OK - We call your attention back to the Catholic sisters in Oklahoma City. The sisters operate two schools in the city. In 2005, a pit bull breeder built a kennel on adjacent property to the south school, Villa Teresa Moore, which services children ages 3-5. The kennel houses 42 pit bulls (view photos) and is located 1,800 feet away. For the past several years, the sisters have been trying to remove the unlicensed breeder.
Back in June, Governor Brad Henry signed bill 1754 into state law making it illegal to operate an unlicensed kennel closer than 2,500 feet from a school or daycare facility. The pit bull kennel, owned and operated by Kenneth Gonzales, is situated 1,800 feet from Villa Teresa Moore, which holds over 90 children. Since the passage of the new state law, the Sisters have been in various courts trying to get the law enforced.
In July, a Cleveland County judge ruled against Gonzales. He issued a temporary civil injunction forcing Gonzales to move his kennels. The pit bull breeder appealed this order. On September 16th, a Cleveland County appeals judge upheld this ruling. State Representative Mike Reynolds, who helped craft bill 1754, expects this ruling to be appealed by Gonzales as well, but also expects that Villa Teresa Moore will win.
The sisters are now one step closer to victory. Their battle, however, is a stunning reminder that laws are designed to protect property owners (Kenneth Gonzales) and not school children.
06/25/08: Coverage of Catholic Sisters Seeking to Remove Pit Bull Kennel