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14 thoughts on “Arkansas Legislature - House Floor Debate for HB 1519, a Bill Prohibiting Cities from Enacting Breed-Specific Laws

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  1. Colleen, thanks for making it so easy to send thank-you notes to these knowledgeable Arkansas House Representatives. Done!

    Your article is simply outstanding. We appreciate your time and energy to create an incisive report. Bravo!

  2. Representative Matthew Brown: “To me there’s something fundamentally wrong where the associations that promote pitbulls even warn owners: when you take your dogs out you must take a break stick with you. Because if your dog does snap and latches onto a kid or latches onto another dog you have to have this stick.”

  3. I just watched this on YouTube. The guy pushing for the laws to be changed on breed ownership in housing and for insurance policies compared a chihuahua to a GSD (or other ‘perceived’ dangerous breed.

  4. Well, good for Arkansas!

    Will the hammer finally come down for the people responsible for breeding/selling/promoting these dogs with a history of slaughtering other animals and people?

    I know it’s been a hot topic lately so maybe BSL will become the norm.

    Then all we’ll need is enforcement

  5. Thank you, Colleen. This was fascinating and infuriating at the same time. First of all, comparing banning Germans to banning pitbulls is a specious argument. The usual one is comparing discrimination of Black people to banning pitbulls. (Being that this is the South, for damn good reason, they were careful not to do that.) Black people or Germans or whomever should never be brought into this argument. Comparing human beings to dogs is despicable. Ignorant pit people bring this up a lot as if they’re enlightened by the scourge of racism/discrimination. This debate and outcome gave me hope that maybe we’re on the right track. It seems the Tennessee attack is having an impact. A new book called “Death by Pitbull” has recently come out. The author, a lawyer, was inspired to write it after he learned of the Bernard case. Maybe someday that family will be willing to talk about losing their two babies to their pitbulls. If even ONE child’s life could be saved, it would be worth it for them to do it.

  6. Thank you, Colleen for this article. I will write to the pols and thank them for their work on this bill. I hope to see pit bulls eliminated. Yes, there are some nice ones. I get that. But the breed was created to maim and kill and they are physically suited to that, not to mention the mental aspect. No other breed comes close to their propensity to attack, and the frequency with which they turn on their own families is truly frightening.

    • I’d love to see them eliminated, too. The point you made about they’re not all bad was likened to the M&M test. If you had a whole bowl of M&M’s and you knew only one was poison, would you take that chance and eat one? Why would someone have an animal in your home that could potentially kill you or your children? That’s always the great mystery to me.

  7. PLEASE, if you email the legislators to thank them, point out that in the 70s Dobermans KILLED NO ONE, maybe a handful in the 80s, and the stats haven’t changed on these dogs since then. There is no “media conspiracy” to demonize pit bull type dogs, the stats simply speak for themselves. This shopworn “first it was the Dobes, then it was the GSDs” pit lobby trope needs to be debunked.
    It’s terrible how these elected officials flat out lied in testimony.

    • Plus there’s a vast difference between “dog bit someone” because there’s a continuum of damage just like “Fella hit someone” well, how badly? Did the fella hospitalize someone, bruise them? Were there stitches? What are the chances he’ll do it again?


      Murder. Slaughter. Mauled to bloody ribbons. Tortured to death.

      It’s rare that dogs other than pitbulls do the latter. And on those few occasions when they do–nobody gets paid millions of dollars to excuse their behaviour.

      Lawyers aren’t lining up with their hands out to save the Killer Poodles.

    • Between 1974 and 1998 (chart), Doberman’s were involved in very few fatalities in comparison to pit bulls and rottweilers. Neither the 1970s, 1980s nor 1990s was the “decade of the Doberman.” An urban myth of the “choking Doberman” apparently emerged in 1981. Between 1981-1982 there was 1 Doberman fatality and 5 pit bull fatalities. The 1950s era has more controversy, including their usage as a military dog (1958 Sports Illustrated) and two fatalities (“Dobermans, then also popular, were the most feared of breeds. Newspapers all over the U.S. in 1955 reported the fatal mauling of Winifred Bacon, 64, by her two Dobermans near Toms River, New Jersey. Five years later a Doberman killed Frances Tetreault, 50, of Northvale, New Jersey. The second fatality in five years inflicted by a single breed of dog in one region lastingly established the bad reputation of Dobermans.” – Tetreault was the owner of Aufdenberg kennels, the attacker was her prize winning male. According to old newspaper reports, her doctor had told her to get rid of the dog because it has bitten a number of people. Also in New Jersey, after a Doberman attacked its owner in 2003, the owner demanded the dog to be put down by the Associated Humane Societies shelter. They instead adopted the dog out and it killed 67-year-old Valerie DeSwart at her Medford, New Jersey home, becoming one of the early instances of an adopted dog killing a person.

  8. We have long since reached the point where our ‘elected representatives’ do the bidding of whoever greases their palms the best. Pit advocacy is flush with cash, victim advocacy not so much.

  9. I wasn’t ever going to back down and I presented the statistics to the family friend of Robby Taylor and his mom, and said this is not an isolated incident, let them choose to advocate and they did a really good job, Representative Brown also talks about Levi, my son, because I worked with the Robby Taylor family to aid in any way I could and so did Dennis Baker, we had their back and try to answer any questions they had and if we couldn’t we find the information for their case, and never have let Levi’s case get swept under the rug, and never will. Awareness is my priority and just being there thru their grief. We won’t back down, for so long I was the only one advocating in Arkansas until the Robby Taylor family joined in and we moved mountains that I was shocked and wanting to move for ten years now. I want to say thank you to all the advocates from other states that help me learn how to advocate for BSL and human safety. I love y’all, n we are changing Arkansas one day at a time. This has been a long time coming for me, and for us, we feel like a job well done. Our children are still dead, but this made it a little easier knowing we are saving lives, and making this happen.💯

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