Pit BullSadly we are seeing more and more dog bans popping us in cities and towns across the country, most notably against pit bulls but in Arkansas some people are fighting back.

Richard Venable of Lonoke, Darius Sims of Jacksonville, Phillip McCormick of Beebe, and Mike Kierry of North Little Rock, along with Responsible Owners of Arkansas Dogs, a nonprofit animal-welfare group have filed a federal lawsuit claiming the pit bull bans are unconstitutional.

Their federal lawsuit claims that the ordinances’ definitions of prohibited breeds are vague and create an undue burden on dog owners to prove a dog’s breed.

The suit says the ordinances discriminate against a certain group of people and interfere with due process by allowing property to be seized without notice, a hearing or fair compensation.

The suit seeks a declaratory judgment that breed-specific ordinances in Beebe, Jacksonville, Lonoke, and North Little Rock violate the Fifth and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and asks for compensatory damages and the reimbursement of fines paid to the cities under the bans. (Todays THV)

This is something that needs to happen more, lawsuits challenging BSL.  As breed specific legislation gains a wider and wider foothold, the only way to fight it is in courts.   Banning specific breeds of dogs and labeling them vicious or dangerous is not going to stop the problem with truly vicious and dangerous dog, it will only drive the problem underground.

The true victims in BSL are the innocent dogs and responsible dog owners.  Problem dog owners with problem dogs, those untrained or wrongly trained, poorly cared for dogs don’t care about the bans because they don’t honestly care about the dogs.  If legislators want to impact the real problem they need to direct the laws against the owners whose dogs run loose and do wreak havoc.  This is the only way to solve the ‘dangerous dog’ problem.

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