Midwest City Family Fights to Keep Dogs
Carol and Jerry Stuckey are fighting to keep their two dogs, Harley and Diesel. Harley and Diesel and bull terriers, a breed targeted by Midwest City under their 1987 ordinance which bans ‘pit bulls’ and is aimed at 4 specific breeds; Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier and American Staffordshire terrier.
“To our city council, it’s a matter of public safety,” said Katherine Bolles, city attorney for this suburb just east of Oklahoma City. “There’s anecdotal evidence again and again that pit bulls and bull terriers are just a different breed of dog.
“While other dogs may bite more frequently, they don’t bite as viciously. Pit bulls and bull terriers will target prey they can kill, and they bite with the intention of killing their prey.”
Now, Oklahoma itself bans any breed specific ordinances but Midwest City is what is called a “home-rule charter city,” which allows it to pass ordinances that may not be in accordance with state law.
“If it is a matter of purely local concern, then a home-rule charter city can enact laws that are different than state law,” Bolles said.
But in an opinion issued by the attorney general’s office in September, the state’s top attorney ruled that Oklahoma law “permits local authorities to regulate potentially dangerous or dangerous dogs, provided the regulations are not breed specific.”
Bolles said the city will take the Stuckey’s dogs if they’re spotted in public but is not authorized to go into the couple’s home or fenced back yard to seize them. Ideally, Bolles said she would like to see the couple give the dogs away to someone who lives outside the city limits.
“We will do everything in our power not to destroy the dogs … they just can’t be in Midwest City,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Stuckeys have hired an Oklahoma City attorney, Scott Adams, who is seeking an injunction that would prohibit the city from seizing the animals and rule the city ordinance unconstitutional.
“They don’t have the right to ban a specific breed, but they’re actually doing more than that. They’re banning any dog with the name ‘bull’ in it,” Adams said. “The bull terrier has never been shown to be a vicious dog. You might as well ban poodles.”
A small, muscular animal, the bull terrier is described on the American Kennel Club Web site as “full of fire but of sweet disposition and amenable to discipline.”
The dog is used as a mascot by retail giant Target and perhaps the most famous bull terrier was Spuds MacKenzie, who was featured in advertisements for Bud Light beer in the 1980s.
“They’re not a pit bull — they never have been and they never will be,” Jerry Stuckey said. “Target didn’t pick their mascot because it kills kids.”
Carol Stuckey added: “A baby kitten will do a lot more damage.”
For Taylor, the couple’s daughter, she said she just doesn’t want to a lose a family pet that enjoys snuggling with her on the couch and jumping on the trampoline in the family’s back yard.
“They’re not taking my dogs,” she said. (KOCO)
Just more BS BSL!! Why can’t they look at dogs on an individual basis and target dogs that have actually proven themselves to be dangerous? All over the country, thousands and thousands of pit bull breed dogs are targeted and banned and killed.
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