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For the Love of the Dog

Jacksonville Pit Bull Ban Now in Full Effect

Pit Bull PupOn May 18 the Jacksonville City Council threw out the rules and voted to adopt a city-wide pit bull ban and now the ban is in full effect!

Time has run out for pit bulls in Jacksonville.

The ordinance banning the breed had a 30-day grace period to allow pit bull owners in the city to register, microchip and spay or neuter their dogs and that grace period expired Tuesday.

Any unregistered pit bull will now be forced to leave the city or be euthanized. The ordinance bans all pit bulls, most bulldogs or any mixed breed that is predominantly pit bull.

Banned dogs already in the city will be allowed to stay if the owner can show proof that the animal was licensed before the new ordinance going into effect, has proof of rabies vaccination and the owner is at least 21—and then has the dog spayed or neutered, registered and has a licensed veterinarian implant a computer chip into the animal for identification and to help track the pit bull.

Also, the only time a pit bull or bulldog may be brought into the city is for the purpose of veterinary care, special-event dog shows sanctioned by the city or for use by law enforcement or military personnel as part of their duties, according to the ordinance.

The cost to neuter or spay and microchip a pit bull runs about $300, according to local veterinarians who have been swamped with pit bull owners trying to comply with the new ordinance. Dr. Craig Boyd, of Boyd Veterinary Clinic, has seen more pit bulls recently than he usually sees in a year.

Cassandra Kenney, with Dr. Tom Eubanks’ practice, said they have been seeing about four pit bulls a day since the ordinance became law and that number has increased lately. “Most of the owners are understanding about the new ordinance. The ones most upset are the owners who have just moved here,” Kenney said.

An employee at Dr. Lee Misak’s Jacksonville Animal Hospital said they have been swamped with pit bull appointments and that most owners were complying, but not happy about the requirements.

Cheryl Wood, with the Animal Control Department, said if an unregistered pit bull is picked up, the owner will have to pay a $100 fine, have the dog spayed or neutered, micro-chipped and still move it out of town.

If a registered pit bull is caught running loose or involved in an attack, the owner will have to pay a $100 fine and move the dog out of the city.

If the owner does not claim the pit bull or the owner refuses to comply with the requirements, the dog will be euthanized.

Animal control officers have already seen an increase of loose pit bulls and had five in the shelter Tuesday.

“We fear some owners are just letting them loose so they don’t have to deal with the new ordinance,” Wood said.

For details about the ban or questions about registering a pit bull, call animal control at 982-2916. (Arkansas Leader)

Well here it is, the ban has barely begun and already the problems are starting and they’re going to culminate in death, the death of more and more innocent dogs! BSL is NOT the answer!

Breed specific ordinances are quick fixes and not a sufficient long term solution for the following reasons:

1. Dog problems are generally problems with owner responsibility and are not limited to breeds. When breeds are singled out as dangerous or vicious, responsibility is removed from the dog owner which is where it belongs. Irresponsible people are also less likely to follow the law – and as a result, everyone has to suffer.

2. By limiting the ability of citizens to own certain breeds, responsible law abiding citizens will shy away from those breeds. These are the types of owners that communities need to encourage, not drive away.

3. Communities that have instituted such bans often find that the irresponsible owners and the criminals who use dogs for illegal purposes simply switch to another breed.

4. Breeds and mixes are hard to identify and often dogs are mislabeled and destroyed based on paranoia and prejudice and also punishes those that are good canine citizens. Many breeds function as assistance dogs for handicapped owners, search and rescue dogs, drug-sniffing dogs, police dogs, etc. and drives them out of the community.

The American Veterinary Medical Association and several state veterinary medical associations oppose breed-specific legislation for just this reason.

5. The dog most restricted is the “pit bull.” A pit bull is a type of dog, not a recognized breed. See the breed information page for more detail.

6. Passage of laws that are only enforced through complaints cause two problems: 1) they create disrespect for the law if authorities require compliance only upon complaint, and 2) they provide ammunition for neighborhood feuds. (From PBRC)

This is something that people need to realize; Dog attacks are usually the fault of an irresponsible owner, not a specific breed. Therefore, banning an entire breed will solve nothing. The irresponsible owners will just most likely move on to another breed, and continue making bad choices regarding their dogs. BSL targets the breed, not the owner where the responsibility belongs.

More Facts

BSL is Unconstitutional as found by US Courts:

  • The United States Supreme Court – Nicchia v. People of the State of New York 254 U.S. 228 (1920) : gave police the power to regulate and control dangerous dogs with drastic measures, as long as it does not infringe on the dog owner’s right to liberty with due process.
  • The Alabama Supreme Court – WAF/Sheila Tack v. Huntsville Alabama (2002): upheld a decision that pit bulls were no more inherently dangerous than any other breed. This case was very costly to the city of Huntsville.
  • The Toledo Municipal Court– Tellings v. City of Toledo CRB-02-15267 (ACF 2005): ruled American Pit Bull Terriers are not dangerous and granted dog owner’s due process rights.
  • The Ohio Supreme Court – State v. Cowan (103 Ohio St. 3d 144, 2004-Ohio-4777) (2004) struck down ORC955:11 which declared the “Pit Bull” vicious, because it violates our rights to be heard (due process).
  • Westbury, NY (Spring 2003) court ruled that the city’s BSL was unconstitutional and repealed the law.

Organizations against Breed Specific Legislation:

  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
  • The American Kennel Club (AKC)
  • The United Kennel Club (UKC)
  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
  • Dog Legislation Council of Canada (DLCC)
  • American Temperament Testing Society (ATTS)
  • National Animal Control Association (NACA)
  • Maryland Veterinary Medicine Association
  • Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
  • American Canine Foundation (ACF)

Now if all of these highly reputable organizations are against BSL, doesn’t that make people realize they maybe they should have second thoughts about imposing BSL, aside from the fact that it has been found to be unconstitutional in many US courts of law?

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