Current Clive City dog law singles out three breeds of dog as vicious; pit bull terriers, American pit bull terriers and American Staffordshire terriers. The ordinance may change next month amid concerns that would not withstand legal challenge. Similar laws across the country have been struck down as unconstitutional because they focus on specific breeds or genders.

“It’s kind of like saying, ‘All Caucasians are bad,’ ” City Manager Dennis Henderson said.

A proposal – approved 3-0 by council members Ronni Begleiter, Steven Brody and John Edwards – restricts any dangerous dog that attacks or threatens a person. A dangerous dog must remain locked in a pen or kennel or leashed, and any that attacks a person could be captured and possibly euthanized by the city.

The change is nearly identical to measures under consideration by Des Moines and other suburbs in an effort to create uniform dog control rules in the metro area. It also requires owners to have liability insurance of at least $100,000.

“It’s really an improvement from our current ordinance,” said City Attorney James Wine.

Advocates for the terrier breeds have long argued that high-profile attacks have created a misguided public impression that the dogs are inherently dangerous. In June 2005, a Des Moines teenager suffered serious bite wounds to her leg when she stepped between a Staffordshire terrier and her 6-year-old brother as they were walking home from school. Neighbors said at the time the dog had been running loose for weeks.

Dog-attack cases are rare in Clive, city officials said. Clive’s new ordinance must pass two more council votes before taking effect, Henderson said, and is subject to change. (DesMoinesRegister)

This is a strong move in the right direction! As pretty much anyone who really knows about dogs can tell you, any breed of dog can bite and attack. Yes, pit bull breeds can be dangerous and vicious as can any dog of any breed that has been poorly bred, left unsocialized and untrained or improperly trained.

It’s astonishing that BSL continues to spread even after studies have proven its fatal flaws. BSL is ruinously expensive to implement and enforce. Determining a dog’s breed or mix is extremely difficult, often resulting in mistaken identities and ensuing lawsuits. BSL does not stop dog attacks or bites. It increases the financial burden on taxpayers, animal shelters, and animal control agencies. It doesn’t stop irresponsible owners or dissuade criminals. It doesn’t educate anyone about proper dog care. In the end, the punishment is doled out solely on responsible owners and good dogs. Good dogs are confined to their homes, unable to gain valuable social skills and training opportunities – or they are simply killed. Law-abiding owners are the only ones who end up shelling out money to pay for special licenses or souped-up fences, and they are the ones whose hearts are ripped out when their sweet dog is arbitrarily deemed “dangerous” and euthanized. (StopBSL)

More locales need to realize the unconstitutionality and futility of BSL and bring their laws in line. Currently there are 12 states that have State level laws prohibiting local municipalities from passing BSL but as you can see some municipalities have

  • California
    • San Francisco – pit bull breeds must be spayed/neutered within the city
  • Colorado
    • Aurora – Presa Canario, American Bull Dog, Dogo Argentino, Toso Inu, Cane Corsa, Pit Bulls Banned, existing dogs are grandfathered
    • Castle Rock – Pit Bulls banned
    • Commerce City – Pit Bulls banned, grandfather clause with extreme requirements
    • Denver – Pit Bulls banned, being fought in court, is also listed in the top ten of least dog friendly locales
  • Florida
  • Illinois
    • Buffalo Grove – Restriction on Pit Bull Terriers and Rottweilers
    • Cicero – Pit Bulls Banned
    • Gillespie – Illegal to own a Pit Bull
    • Greenville – Illegal to own a Pit Bull
    • Lombard – Pit Bulls banned
    • Marysville – Pit Bulls banned
    • Northlake – Pit Bulls and Rottweiler and Rottweiler mixs banned
    • Salem – Pit Bulls banned
    • Sparta – Pit Bulls automatically classed as ‘dangerous dogs’
    • Westfield – Illegal to own a Pit Bull, Dobermans banned
    • Wheeling – Illegal to own a Pit Bull
    • Wilsonville – Illegal to own a Pit Bull
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
    • Larchmont – Pit Bulls banned
  • Oklahoma – they are considering changing the law and allowing BSL
    • Midwest City – Pit Bulls banned
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Virginia

NOTE – this information is not all inclusive
Source – Stop BSL

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