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We citizens of the United States of America are still engaged in a civil rights struggle. This struggle knows no racial boundaries, it knows no social status, it knows no financial status. It affects every person, from the poorest, to the most affluent, from the city dweller, to the largest land owner. It goes to our most ancient and traditional property, and to our ownership, and use rights in animals.  Dog/animal ownership is as varied, as is the human tapestry that bonds our great nation. Breed specific dog laws appear on the surface to be about dogs, but upon closer examination we discover that BSL is all about we human owners of dogs. It's about government invading the sanctity of our homes, and our property without a warrant and removing animals that we consider to be a part of our family. It is about government criminalizing the ownership of dogs by breed. It is about the taking from we, the people, all of the numerous breeds, and mixed breeds of dogs that are now named in breed specific prohibitions, or restrictions in venues across the United States at this very time.  

Prohibitions on the ownership of dogs can overlap to become prohibitions on all animals. There are no stop-gaps built into breed specific legislation to prevent an overlap. Laws must give us the right to due process of law.  BSL in Denver, Kennewick, and many places across the United States remove animals for no reason other than breed, from responsible owners, with no charges of negligence, and no opportunity to have a case, or to have the case heard in the Courts. BSL allows warrantless searches, and seizures of private property for no reason other than the breed of dog involved. BSL violates the Constitutional right to recompense for property taken by government for public use, i.e. public safety. 

New Jersey is proposing legislation to have special licensing to own dog breeds. A license is a temporary revocable permit that allows the licensee to have something, or to do something that would be illegal to have, or to do without the license. It makes dog ownership illegal. It turns over all ownership, and use rights to the licensing agency which can at any time, inspect, confiscate, suspend, revoke, or halt issuance of the license. Licensure is a taking by government without compensation. Those who own the target breeds are set apart,  are vilified, and made to look like criminals, so that the rest of society will not be troubled by the government's taking of the dogs.  The owners of these targeted breeds are victims of hate crimes, initiated by government.  Communities will actually endorse the taking of  dogs, not realizing that other breeds of dogs are going to be added to the growing list of restricted, or prohibited dogs. 

The targeted dogs are purportedly endowed with mythical powers that no other breed of canine can match. The surrounding myth would make these dogs so omnipotent that no mere mortal could possibly outsmart, control, train, contain, or  have a normal owner relationship with them. These are exactly the self same tactics that have been historically used against any of the victims of hate crimes. Neither should we allow prohibitions on the responsible ownership of any dog by breed.  It violates the XIV Amendment, equal treatment, equal protection. The taking of dogs by breed is only the beginning of the eventual removal of all animals from our ownership, and use. Animals are among the most ancient of our traditional property, when government decides to remove our ownership rights, it will be piecemeal, not whole hog. Think for a moment what would happen if your city, or county government stipulated that all dogs must be forfeit.  People would stand up, and put an immediate stop to that.  It would immediately be recognized as an assault on our civil rights, whereas the taking of dogs by breed doesn't engender the same recognition.   When we site the adage, "Punish the Deed, not the Breed", we are actually encouraging legislatures to hold animals responsible for their actions. Dangerous dog laws remove the human factor, and concentrate solely upon the dog, not taking into consideration that the dog is the responsibility of it's owner. Lawmakers go to great lengths to describe, and to define animal behaviors, and to then punish said behaviors. It is far more reasonable to write laws that are directed at the dog owner, rather than the dog. Our laws must be written for we human beings. Laws must be reasonable. Animals must not be criminalized under laws that are intended to protect human rights, and to control human behaviors. It is unreasonable to write animal behavior into laws that no animal has the capacity to understand, answer to, or to function under. It is unreasonable to mete out criminal labels to animals, i.e. dangerous, or potentially dangerous.  It is unreasonable to proscribe punishments to animals under our laws.  We must bring this writing of animal behaviors into our laws to a  halt, and demand that humans be held accountable, not animals. We must stop thinking that it is a better trade off than prohibitions on dog ownership. We are wrong.  Neither is a good choice.  

No dog is capable of understanding, or answering to any law that has ever been written.    Dangerous dog laws that hold a dog to a set of written regulations that it will never respond is a perfect set up to promote animal rights, where an animal is given a legal position under the law to conform, or to behave in a proscribed manner.  Laws are not in the realm of the understanding of even the most intelligent dog.  To set forth behavioral acceptability, and punishments for animals is to elevate them to a human level under law.  This is just exactly what the animal rights movement wants.  When we accept dangerous dog laws, we are hugging the serpent.  Our laws must only be written to proscribe human behavior.  We must see dangerous dog laws that hold animals to accountability under the law for what they are. As the law elevates animals, it devalues human beings. The animal rights movement expects us to fight breed specific legislation, and to promote dangerous dog laws, and we have done just that, undermining our own civil rights. 

Realistically all domestic animal breeds were developed by human beings. When we come to the realization that it is us that these laws are truly aimed at,  then we can shed the blinders, and get down to the real business of protecting our civil rights. When we stand up for ourselves as citizens, when we refuse to have our rights, and our property stripped from us, then we will be invincible. We must demand due process of law. We must not give over our civil rights, and our property, or our property rights.  Dogs are valuable property. We humans have tens, of thousands of years of tradition in owning dogs. Dogs serve us in most every capacity from the gentle companion to service dogs, to guide dogs, to police dogs, to search, and rescue dogs, military dogs, drug sniffing dogs, hunting dogs, field dogs, herding dogs, guard dogs, show dogs, obedience dogs, dancing dogs, agility dogs, fly ball racers, the list is endless, and endlessly varied.

The United States of America, home of the brave, land of the free?  This country was founded upon the ideal of free people taking responsibility for their actions, participating actively in the political process, being citizen statesmen, and women, and being self governing.  The following statement exerpted from the Constitution of Washington State expresses exactly what the framers  envisioned for we the people; "All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights." 

The U.S. Constitution guarantees that we would be able to protect ourselves, and our property with the following words; "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."  Every household in the United States of America should openly display, and study the Constitution before we have acquiesced all of our rights and liberties away.

A license is a temporary, revocable permit issued by a governmental agency to have something, or to do something that is otherwise illegal.  If you live in a city, town, municipality, county, or state that requires dog licensing, then the act of dog ownership has been made illegal without permission of government. 

Some licenses are reasonable.  To drive upon public streets, roads, and highways your drivers license is proof of proficiency.  Drivers licenses are regularly revoked, or suspended for failure to show competency.  It's reasonable to license for the practice medicine, or law.   Licensing has been carried to the extreme in the USA.  We supposedly live in a free enterprise system, yet every business must be licensed. We must have a license to marry, to fish, to hunt, to own firearms, which is how our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms was undermined to the point of illegality. 

When we agree to license our dogs we agree to give over our ownership right to the licensing agency, which can at any time revoke our use rights.  We grant them absolute control over our animals.  They can come onto our real property, and remove our transitory property (dogs) without due process of law.  Ostensibly cities, counties, or states which require licensing could refuse to issue further licenses, and revoke the privilege of dog ownership. Mandatory dog licensing was the initial step in removing dogs from our ownership.

The secondary step was the introduction of breed specific dog laws that limit, or prohibit the ownership of dogs based solely upon their breed.  To the inexperienced, or uneducated citizen BSL appears to be a way to control dogs.  Far from that simplistic view, it is government exerting control over the rights of human beings to have the full use and enjoyment of his/her property as is granted under the US Constitution.  Breed specific dog ordinances set up the owners of the named breeds for exceptional treatment under law.  In the limited , or restricted permission to own a "dangerous breed",  another license was brought to bear upon the dog owner, plus the added burden of having to post an exorbitant surety bond, or liability insurance that was unavailable. 

As citizens we are guaranteed equal treatment, and equal protection.  As owners of these breeds we are treated as  though we have committed a crime, again without due process of law.  We are labeled as being less responsible, less capable, of having less rights than our fellow dog owners whose breeds have temporarily escaped the restrictions, or prohibitions.  Are we not tax payers? Are we not property owners?  Do we not participate in our political processes? Are we secondary citizens?   If we do not stand up for ourselves we will all become slaves to an out of control government.

 All law is based upon supporting, and upholding the rights granted to us under the Constitution. Laws must be able to stand up to the Constitutional challenge.  Local, state, and federal agencies have circumvented law by initiating "regulations, ordinances, codes," etc., which we citizens blindly agree to abide by, thus making these regulations, codes, and ordinances enforceable.  Once we comply, we must ever comply.  Compliance is agreement.  If you have ever paid for and received a license to own a dog in your local, and you refuse to re-license at the end of the period that the license was issued you can be cited, and taken to Court.  The Court can sentence you for not continuing to abide by the agreement that you entered into with the licensing agency.

Obviously the third and final step in removing our property rights in animals is the complete ban on ownership. A retirement community in Florida has already made the proposal. It was soundly trounced.  The USA is not yet ready for an all out ban.  But the chipping away process is in full speed ahead.  Breed specific ownership ordinances have been with us for over thirty years.  It takes time for radical ideas to begin to sound reasonable.  They must be bolstered with heavy doses of propaganda. They must be propped up with legal precedent.  Most importantly they must be acquiesced to by the people.

Far more people are killed by any number of other things than by dogs.  Venomous snake bites kill an average of fifteen to twenty Americans per year. Bees kill one hundred, to three hundred persons a year on average. In 1989 fire-ant stings killed thirty two people in Texas. Lightening strikes one in every six hundred thousand persons killing one hundred, to three hundred persons annually.According to the U.S. Department of Labor there were five thousand, five hundred, and seventy-five work related fatalities in 2003. There were thirty eight thousand (38,000) fatal automobile crashes in 2003 across the U.S.  Sadly, an average of fifteen hundred (1,500) children are killed each year in the United States by a parent, or guardian. The leading cause of death among pregnant women in the U.S. is murder at the hand of the father of her unborn child.   

Given these figures, the restrictions on ownership of dogs by breed, makes no sense.  California's SB 861 analysis quotes figures that there have been forty-seven human deaths in California that were attributable to dogs from the years 1965 through 2001. That averages to one death a year out of a population of some thirty-five million, eighty-four thousand, four hundred and fifty-three people (35,084,453). Subtract one from the figure 35,484,453 and you will see how many people did not die from dog bites in California each year...  San Francisco averages three hundred and sixty two reported dog bites per year, approximately one bite per day from a population of seven hundred fifty-one thousand,six hundred and eighty-two (751,682) people. In any given year in San Francisco 751,320 people are not bitten by dogs. Public Safety, cannot, and must not be used as an excuse to remove our civil rights. Sound, responsible dog owner legislation that is strictly enforced, is a reasonable alternative that reinforces our civil rights.

Every year approximately four million people across the United States are bitten by dogs. That number makes up less than 1% of our population.    Out of that figure, the vast majority of dog bite victims are unattended children who are bitten by their family dog at home.  The rest are unattended children who are off of their family property that are bitten by a dog that is at large.  The number of fatalities resulting from dog attacks across the United States average from twelve, to twenty four in any given year. Dogs are certainly not the threat to public health, and safety that the news media would lead us all to believe.  Shocking, and horrifying as these dog related fatalities are, there are many, and far  more serious threats to human life here in the United States. 

There are a whole lot of dogs, in the United States, tens of millions. Of the 400,000,000 of us human beings ,about sixty-five percent, give or take, own dogs. If the vast majority of dog owners were not  responsible, there would be at least as many deaths attributable to dogs, as there are to automobile crashes. Dog related fatalities are very few in comparison to any other cause. Out of a population of some 400,000,000 to lose 12, to 24 people in a year to dog attacks is a strong case for, and speaks volumes to the overall safety record of dog owners



October 17, 2007

Legislative Report 10-17-07

Authored by: Ken Sondej & Linda D. Witouski


Ken Sondej –

American Kennel Club Legislative Liaison – Silver State Kennel Club

Legislative Liaison – National Pet Press

Legislative Liaison – Nevada Dog Fanciers Assc.

Director Government Affairs and Legislative Advisor – Adopt A Rescue Pet

Advisor – Indiana Aiimal Owners Alliance

Advisor to Clubs and groups in Southern Nevada, Arizona, California

RDOWS Nevada Director


Linda Witouski –

American Kennel Club Judge

American Kennel Club Delegate – Myrtle Beach Kennel Club – SC

American Kennel Club Legislative Liaison – South Carolina & Pennsylvania

Legislative Liaison/Staff Writer – National Pet Press/TDP

Legislative Chair/BOD – Myrtle Beach Kennel Club

Legislative Chair – Yankee Miniature Pinscher Club







STATES – in alphabetical order




Anniston – City Council is looking at revisions (to their current animal control law) .after two high-profile pit bull attacks on Anniston residents over the summer…is considering several possible revisions. City Attorney Polly Russell has made several recommendations, including: Giving Anniston police officers more power to seize vicious dogs, Setting up a court review process to evaluate whether dogs are vicious. Establishing new rules on how to deal with vicious dogs. No mention was made regarding any ban of any breed.

Geneva – City Council may consider a Pit Bull Ordinance and will look at placing a tight leash on the owners of dangerous dogs. Council is looking for input from the public.


Anchorage – City leaders are considering a stinky issue: whether to ban dogs, and the surprises they can leave behind, from fenced ball fields. Two different proposals one that would keep dogs out of all city ball fields, and a more narrow measure that would apply only to fenced fields. The narrower proposal would allow groups to conduct events such as dog shows on the baseball diamonds as long as they receive permission from the city.


Little Rock – HB1489 – new state law provides for the filing of criminal charges, under certain circumstances, against the owner of a dog. The law creates the crime of “unlawful dog attack” and allows the charge to be filed against the owner if he or she “knows or has reason to know” that the dog has a “propensity to attack, cause injury or endanger the safety of others without provocation” and when the owner “negligently” allows the dog to attack another person and the attack causes death or serious injury. Conviction of a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. The law bill also permits a judge or jury in the case to award restitution to the victim for any medical costs incurred. Passed 09/20/07 text available upon request.

Arkadelphia – Board of Directors will hear from Sheriff David Turner, Arkadelphia Police Chief Al Harris and Patrolman Jody Evans regarding pit bull dog attacks in the county as they consider on second reading an ordinance to place restrictions on owners of the dogs in the city. The proposed ordinance lists things pit bull owners must do to keep their dogs. That includes paying $125 to register the dog, having an I.D. chip inserted, having the dog spayed or neutered. The owner must also buy public liability insurance in the amount of at least $100,000.


Huntington Beach � CORRECTION: The ordinance was not passed, an approval to draft an ordinance did pass.

West Hollywood – West Hollywood’s Groundbreaking Ban on the Declawing of Animals Upheld: News Conference to be Held on Monday, October 15, 2007.  California Supreme Court announced that it is refusing to review a decision by the California Court of Appeal upholding West Hollywood’s ban on non-therapeutic declawing of animals. The City of West Hollywood will hold a news conference to address this issue and to announce its enforcement of the ban on the declawing of animals at 10 a.m.on Monday, October 15, 2007 at West Hollywood City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard. The lower appellate court decision had concluded that the City’s ground-breaking ordinance is a proper exercise of the City’s police power and not in conflict with State law. West Hollywood’s declawing ordinance is the first of its kind in California and sets a precedent for local government across the state. “We are elated by the California Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the appeal filed by the California Veterinary Medical Association (CWMA),” said West Hollywood Mayor John Duran. “From the time I introduced this ordinance,I was confident that protecting animals from mutilation was the right thing to do no matter who opposed it. Declawing amounts to amputation and we should call it what it is. Animals deserve the right to exist the same way they were born and not be “adapted” to meet people’s needs,” he continued. News conference participants will include Orly Degani, the lawyer who assisted West Hollywood in defending the ordinance in court; West Hollywood Mayor John Duran, who sponsored the declawing ordinance; and Dr. Jennifer
Conrad, DVM of The Paw Project, who provided medical input regarding animal declawing to support the ordinance. The California Veterinary Medical Association, a veterinarian trade group, challenged the West Hollywood declawing ordinance in court, claiming the ordinance was preempted by State law, and that West Hollywood has no authority to regulate the medical practices of veterinarians. West Hollywood disagreed with that position and defended the ordinance. A Los Angeles judge overturned the ordinance in 2003, ruling that cities lack power to limit the practice of state-licensed professionals. The court of appeal reversed the lower court decision, allowing West Hollywood’s ban on animal declawing within its City limits to be enforced. The California Supreme Court has now denied CVMA’s petition for review of the decision by the appellate court.
For more information, regarding the City of West Hollywood’s Declawing
Ordinance, please contact Hernan Molina, Deputy to West Hollywood Mayor John
Duran, at 323-848-6460 or Tamara White, Public Information Officer, at


Fairfield – A law giving more power to local animal control officers and strengthening penalties against dog owners whose animals attack other animals went into effect on Monday. Under the new law animal control can order any restraining or disposal on the second instance a dog owner would get a summons to appear in court to defend a misdemeanor nuisance charge. Effective 10/01/07


Tallahassee – HB101 (2008) – An ACT relating to dangerous dogs; amending 767.14, F.S.; eliminating the prohibition of breed-specific local government regulation of dangerous dogs, providing an effective date. text available upon request.

Alachua County – Commission unanimously voted to ban the chaining or tethering of dogs for more than three hours in a 24-hour period. Dogs on a running or trolley-system of being chained are still allowed because the dogs can move more freely. The ordinance requires that the length of the chain be at least three times the length of the animal, from head to back, excluding the tail. The Commission recommended that the county staff work to educate the public about the new law concerning the chaining of dogs and why it is important. Also, the chain must weigh less than one-eighth the weight of the dog. Passed 09/18/07 (Note: Adam Goldfarb, issues specialist for the Humane Society of the United States is touting this as a HBSUS victory.)

City of Hollywood – soliciting to amend prohibition of BSL state-wide

City of Pembroke Pines – soliciting to amend prohibition of BSL state-wide

Miami-Dade – Thanks to the hard work of fanciers in Miami-Dade, the Chapter 5 Re-write of the Animal Control Ordinance and the Zoning Ordinance concerning dog limits was DEFERRED for further work.



Athens – anti-tethering ordinance will be presented for discussion at the Oct 18 agenda-setting meeting of the Athens-Clarke county Commissioners. Public comment will be allowed. If accepted for the agenda, it will be voted on November 6. ACC Animal Control is in favor of the ordinance. The ;proposed ordinance contains the following: It shall be unlawful for any owner of a domesticated animal to chain, tie, fasten or otherwise tether the animal to dog houses, trees, fences, vehicles or other stationary objects as a means of confinement except that the animal may be temporarily confined by a tether while attended by its owner. Any tether used to temporarily confine an animal while attended by its owner must be attached to a collar or harness and shall not be wrapped directly around the animal’s neck. Such tethers shall not be excessively heavy or weighted so as to inhibit the animal’s movement. All domestic animals shall be provided with a safe and sanitary confinement area constructed to protect the animal from injury and of a size to allow the animal sufficient space to allow each animal to stand, turn around, and lay down and make all other normal body movements in a normal and comfortable position appropriate to the age, size and health of the animal. The area shall have a means to rapidly eliminate excess water and minimize mud.

Forsyth – County Commission may revamp its animal control ordinance to outlaw the chaining of dogs. A draft change in the law, presented to commissioners at a work session Tuesday afternoon, also would dictate that each dog have a minimum of 150 feet of enclosed space for exercising. Commissioners, who have been pressured by animal rights activists to outlaw chaining or tethering, expressed reservations about details of the proposed changes. The community should be given a minimum of 90 days to prepare for a ban on tethering, and a first violation should carry a warning, not fines. Proposed changes would prevent owners from keeping their dogs on chains, ropes or leashes just as a means to restrain the dogs’ movement outdoors.


Springfield – SB1279 – Amends the Illinois Insurance Code. Provides that an insurer issuing a policy or contract insuring against liability for injury to any person or against liability for injury to or destruction of property, arising out of ownership or lease of residential one, 2, 3, or 4 dwelling real property, may cancel, charge, or impose an increased premium or rate for or refuse to issue or renew that kind of policy or contract based in whole or in part upon the harboring of a dog found to be vicious under the Animal Control Act upon the insured property. text available upon request.

Johnston City – vicious dog ordinance, which was passed at the Johnston City Council will ban the introduction of new pit bulls and other dogs defined as “vicious” into the city with existing dogs being registered. The State of Illinois has laws on the state books stating it is illegal to pass breed selective legislation.

Knoxville – In August and September, the Knoxville City Council discussed whether to reform an ordinance that specifically bans pit bulls to include all vicious dogs. The ban, which had not been enforced since it was passed in 1990. City Council discussed whether to amend its ordinance to include all dangerous dogs and after some research and discovered that an Illinois law passed several years ago specifically prohibits local governments from banning dogs by breed. City Council using outdated information from The Centers for Disease Control study regarding fatal dog attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998. Of the more than 300 fatal attacks, breed information was available for 238. About 66 could be traced to pit bulls and 39 to rottweilers, the top two breeds by far. Despite these findings, the CDC has urged the statistics not be used to make policy.

McClure – Mayor Cheryle Dillon wrote the animal control ordinance that will be introduced at the village board’s meeting Tuesday night (10/09/07). As director of the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri, she had some background on the issues. The proposed ordinance would enable the village to pick up dogs and cats allowed to run loose. A microchip identification would be injected into the animal, and the owner would be required to pay a $25 return fee and $10 a day in boarding costs. The second time the animal is picked up it would be altered if it was not already spayed or neutered. The owner would be billed for the procedure in addition to paying the other fees. All the procedures would be conducted at the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau. The board is investigating whether it can require owners of pit bulls, Doberman pinschers, Rottweilers and German shepherds to maintain extra liability insurance. The ordinance being used as a basis is from a city in Missouri � not Illinois. Illinois state llaw prohibits breed specific legislation.

Oswego – proposal of a limit of four canines or felines by enacting a pet limit. Currently the limit is eight. There is no “grandfather clause”.


Ft Wayne – Certain dog breeds (pitbulls) could be banned in Fort Wayne as a City Council-led group examines whether the city’s dog-bite laws need to be strengthened. Two main focuses. The first is whether any types of breed-specific laws are needed in the city. Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson called for a ban on pit bulls earlier this year, which Lewis said made it all the more appropriate to discuss it locally. The second focus is whether the city needs a way to classify dogs as potentially dangerous if they have escaped and bitten a human or other dog. The city can fine owners of dogs, but can only label a dog as dangerous, which requires it to be killed.

Terre Haute – Terre Haute City Council members approved a law change outlining the ways an animal can be tethered. Under the new proposal, people could tether, or restrain, an animal by a leash or similar device only for a reasonable period of time to perform a task; collars must be made of “non-abrasive material;” and the leash or tether must be at least five times the length of the animal. The animals must have access to food, water and shelter at all times, and they “shall be monitored periodically. Passed 10/12/07


MARSHALLTOWN – Two controversial topics are being resurrected by the Marshalltown City Council at its discussion meeting Monday: pit bulls and North Third Avenue.Plans for the city council to talk about restricting pit bulls within Marshalltown have been weeks in the making, but the actual discussion will arrive Monday, days after a pit bull attack downtown. The council in February discussed and passed an ordinance lifting a previous law that automatically declared some breeds, including pit bulls, as vicious.
Current policy requires any dog to first bite or show aggressive behavior before being declared vicious. A second bite or show of aggression would then lead to euthanization.


Baldwin – Council Member Tony Brown, who chairs the safety committee, also told the council that they are looking into ordinances regarding pit bulls and vicious dogs. Looking at two ordinances. One is pit bull banning and the other is vicious dog. text available upon request

McFarland Proposing an ordinance pertaining to the keeping of dangerous dogs within the Corporate Limits of the City of McFarland. A dangerous dog is defined to mean:

The Staffordshire bull terrier breed of dog, The American pit bull terrier breed of dog, The American Staffordshire terrier breed of dog, Argentine Dogo, Bull Terrier, Cane Corso, Dogue de Bordeaux, Dogo Cubano, Godo Sardesco, Fila Brasileiro, Perro de Presa Canario, Wolf hyprids, Rottweilers OR Any dog which has the apperance and characteristics of being predominantly of the above breeds or a combination of any of these breeds.

Wichita City – Council chose not to single out pit bulls in an amended ordinance targeting aggressive dogs. In the end, the council made one significant change to city laws. To be considered dangerous, a dog no longer has to bite someone – it can be considered dangerous by aggressive behavior. The city can force all dogs labeled “dangerous” to be sterilized and microchipped. Any dog that is caught running loose can be labeled dangerous.


Falmouth – passed breed selective legislation with no “grandfather clause”. All “pit bulls” must be out of the city be December 31, 2007 Passed 09/20/07


Abbeville – City leaders are looking to tighten up their laws outlining what is and what isn’t a dangerous dog. Currently, a dog is considered dangerous after two unprovoked attacks in 36 months. The council will consider changing that to just one un-provoked attack. They also want to require owners of dogs that are deemed dangerous to have $100,000 in insurance to cover the dog should they attack again. The council will also consider adding a $500 fine to anyone who doesn’t comply with these laws. When a dog is deemed dangerous the current ordinance requires the dog to be brought to an enclosed structure with a concrete base that’s four by ten feet. The council is considering adding a height requirement to those cages to make them six feet tall.

New Llano – Council officials are discussing an ordinance that would allow the town of New Llano to regulate and control the keeping of animals of vicious breeds within the corporate limits of New Llano, requirements for keeping animals of vicious breeds and penalties for violation of the proposed ordinance. The town defines breeds of dogs as vicious: “Pit Bulls”, any form of “pit Bull” mix, Doberman Pinscher of Doberman mix and Chow or Chow mix. If the ordinance passes, residents owning any of these dogs will have until Jan. 1, 2008 to comply with the new regulations. Any dog deemed a Vicious dog by New Llano must be in a fenced yard at least six feet in height at all times, to prevent a nuisance of danger to the public.


Livermore – proposed law that looks to protect residents from dangerous dogs.Proposed ordinance defines a dangerous dog and outlines prohibited transfers, special restraint, the insurance provision, and enforcement and penalties. If adopted, it would be more stringent than the state’s by requiring: � $300,000 insurance liability to have a courtt-declared dangerous dog, � secure enclosures and stipulated locations,  � and prohibits transfers of the dog.


Baltimore County – considering a proposal to impose significant restrictions on pit bull owners under a proposal that requires the dogs to be kept in a locked cage or muzzled. The proposal includes any animal deemed menacing by the county’s animal control office and requires pit bull owners to post warning signs. The Baltimore County Department of Health is not in favor of breed-specific legislation as it may only serve to unfairly label certain breeds as ‘dangerous’.

UPDATE: Pit bull owners packed council chambers Tuesday to condemn the proposal, which also requires owners to purchase insurance and post warning signs. More than 30 people testified against the bill, which applies not only to pit bulls but any animal deemed “menacing” by the county’s animal control bureau. Councilman Vince Gardina, the Perry Hall Democrat who introduced the proposal, said he is willing to amend the bill to eliminate insurance and muzzling mandates. He said he still plans to push for required kennels.”The purpose of this bill is not to prevent ownership of any particular breed,” Gardina said. Four council members – Pikesville’s Kevin Kamenetz, Catonsville’s Sam Moxley, Dundalk’s John Olszewski Sr. and north county’s Bryan McIntire -expressed concern with the bill. Several said the county’s animal control bureau is already underfunded and lacks resources to enforce the measure. Kamenetz suggested Gardina withdraw the proposal. “Most of the correspondence we received said punish the owner and not the breed,” Kamenetz said. “I can’t help coming back to that.”

Takoma – City Council member, Colleen Clay, has asked the city attorney to research the legality of a town-wide ban and notified her colleagues to expect the issue on the fall agenda.


Boston – legislation under consideration – Massachusetts drivers will have to put a harness on Fido or secure Fluffy in a pet carrier every time they take their pet for a spin or face a fine of up to $50


Lansing � citizens of New Boston trying to get legislation passed that would, among other things, require mandatory spaying and neutering of dogs unless the owner is a licensed breeder; limit three dogs at a location and only one of a “high-risk breed;” and create felony charges and mandatory prison time for any owner of a dog that maims or kills a person. Note: “No other information available at this time”

Farmington Hills – City Council is to continue debating whether to enact a vicious dog ordinance. The debate centered on whether to strengthen the city’s leash law to mandate all dogs must be on a leash or to pass an ordinance regulating vicious dogs in the city. Now, dog owners in the city must walk their pooches on a leash or have their pet under the owner’s voice control.

North Muskegon – City Council wants to sink some teeth into the city’s animal ordinance. Council members could not agree on banning certain breeds such as pit bulls, and whether owners walking their pets should have a specific length of leash. Council trying to decide how to define what a vicious animal is. Proposals and options will be discussed at the next meeting October 15th.


Apple Valley – Police Chief Scott Johnson is helping draft a ordinance that will prevent dog attacks by banning dangerous dogs from the municipal boundaries. Currently the law reads: potentially dangerous dogs must have a microchip implanted in them for identification and be registered with police, must meet those requirements – and more. The dogs must be fenced when outside in a locked kennel with a roof and floor, be attended and muzzled while leashed, wear a “dangerous dog” collar tag and be covered by insurance of at least $50,000. The owner of a dangerous dog must post warning signs on the building or enclosure where it lives and must notify police if the dog moves or dies. Minnesota law currently forbids regulating dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs based solely on certain breeds. Note: HSUS driven

Cottage Grove – wants to draft a ordinance that will prevent dog attacks by banning dangerous dogs from the municipal boundaries. Potentially dangerous dogs must have a microchip implanted in them for identification and be registered with police, must meet those requirements – and more. The dogs must be fenced when outside in a locked kennel with a roof and floor, be attended and muzzled while leashed, wear a “dangerous dog” collar tag and be covered by insurance of at least $50,000. The owner of a dangerous dog must post warning signs on the building or enclosure where it lives and must notify police if the dog moves or dies. Minnesota law currently forbids regulating dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs based solely on certain breeds


Jackson County – under the new ordinances: . Once a dog is deemed vicious, his owners will have 30 days to build a pen for the animal, post signs and secure $100,000 in liability insurance. . At least one of the animal control officers will be deputized in order to carry out functions. No specific breed of dog is banned or singled out, all are considered equally. There is an emphasis on prevention. Once a dog is declared vicious or a danger to people or other animals, the designation can be appealed to the Board of Supervisors. A level of stiffer fines for judges to consider when animal laws are broken will be offered. Passed 09/19/07

Pascagoula – new ordinance designed to control vicious animals goes into effect 10/30/07. According to the ordinance passed by the Jackson County Board of Supervisors, a vicious animal is one that constitutes a threat to human beings or other animals and also defines a vicious dog as one that attacks a human without provocation, or kills or injures a domestic animal or livestock, when not on the dog owner’s property. The law would also target a dog that is raised for dog fighting, or a dog that shows a tendency or disposition to attack a human being.


Lee’s Summit – Council passed an ordinance that would amend Chapter 5 of the city’s code of ordinances regarding animals, specifically regarding dangerous dogs. The amended animal ordinance requires dogs to be spayed or neutered at six months of age unless the owner has an unaltered dog license. For owners to qualify for an unaltered dog license, a dog must either be a competition dog, a dog used for law enforcement purposes, an assistance dog or a dog used specifically for breeding purposes. An unaltered dog owner must apply for an unaltered dog license annually.Passed 09/20/07

Rockview – Rockview City officials are discussing APBT restrictions and/or bans. No details as of yet.

Scott City – Council will review the city’s restrictions against vicious dogs following an incident last week in which a pit bull in the Cloverdale subdivision attacked and killed another animal. City has no law defining certain breeds as “vicious,” but city code allows animals that pose a threat to humans or animals to be deemed “vicious” by a “licensing authority” — the city. However the code doesn’t specify where that authority lies. Vicious dogs are required to be secured in an enclosure they can’t escape from, inside a home or tied up to a leash no longer than 6 feet under the current code.


Lincoln – Legislature’s Judiciary Committee is studying whether tougher laws aimed at dangerous dogs and their owners are needed. Sen. Vickie McDonald of St. Paul believes that something more needs to be done is based on anecdotal evidence and her assertion that the state law, on it’s face, is too weak. She wants to make it easier to label dogs as dangerous, which can force them to be confined and even euthanized if they continue to attack.

South Sioux City – City leaders want to tighten up their pet ordinance, researching city and state laws regarding viscous animals including a proposal to ban all pit bulls from the city


Concord – working on ‘unchain the dog’ type legislation. No details available yet.


-AlbuquerqueIN THE NEWS !

Tue Oct 9, 2007
Today Mayor Chavez announced his run for the US Senate seat that will be vacated by Senator Domenici. Mayor Chavez’s support of the Animal Rights agenda needs to be made an issue during his Senate run. Chavez supported HEART and acts in concert with Animal Rights groups – his position has consistently been harmful to animal welfare and adversely affects our property rights. Unfortunately, Senator Bingaman also votes in favor of extreme Animal Rights issues, whereas Senator Domenici has opposed those measures. Good luck folks in Abq with voting for congress. Darren White has thrown his hat in for the House seat. He’s a SOLID AR candidate, was honored by animal protection voters this year… to be “independent.” ! And we have Mayor Marty, and didn’t Heinrich vote for HEART? What a field of candidates so far !!!

Bernalillo County – proposed changes in animal ordnance. Changes cover permits for unsterilized animals, hobby breeder permit, cropping, docking and declawing by certified Veterinarian. Definition guidelines for seizing an animal, animal cruelty, dog fighting, etc. Animal Control Ordinance. text available upon request.


Haverstraw – passed ordinace making it illegal to have more than four dogs in your house if you live in the town of Haverstraw. The town board has not decided on how much time they will give pet owners to comply with the law – before getting tickets. Passed 09/24/07


Buncombe County – County commissioners will consider new animal control rules that include mandatory microchipping, tightening noise rules on barking dogs and increasing the frequency during which owners must give pets or other animals clean water.

Duplin County – plans to revise their animal control ordinance. Dog/cat registration and Hunting Kennel License to be established. License and registration fees will be collected by veterinarians at the same time rabies vaccinations are administered. Revision will define he definition for abandonment which states dogs left on any currently unoccupied property are considered to be abandoned. This poorly written definition could include property leased for kenneling hunting dogs, or even dogs being attended by someone else while the owner is away. The ordinance also contains a ban on exotic animals; makes it illegal for a dog to bark longer than 10 minutes; leashes longer than 10-feet would be illegal.

Duplin County – a animal control ordinance has turned into a war of words with Duplin County hunters. The County Commissioners want to hold more meeting but county manager Mike Aldridge disagrees. Aldridge says enough with the meetings. Duplin County Humane Society game plan, generally benign at the beginning – they come in to help puppies and kittens, but what they want is to establish an income stream and to establish more animal control – their end goal. Ken Rau, president of the Duplin County Humane Society, drafted the proposal, is on the animal advisory board. Note: The ordinance is promoted by the HSUS.

Fuquay-Varina – proposing pretty severe “kennel” legislation – Four or more dogs (or cats) will constitute a “kennel” under the ordinance. And operating a kennel – even for a hobby breeder – will be very expensive indeed. The purpose of the legislation appears to be to stop almost all dog and cat breeding in the town. text available upon request

Henderson County – regarding proposed ordinance: *The nonsense about registering ALL cats and dogs has been dumped, *All animals adopted from rescue, shelters, etc. must be sterilized, *No parking lot, roadside, or flea market sales / giveaway of animals. If an intact dog gets picked up by AC, it’s going to cost you more to get it back. (It’s already in the ordinance that no bitch in estrus shall be allowed to roam free.) The first time your dog gets picked up, you have the option of chipping with fees waived, for example. The Interim Director of Animal Services kept emphasizing the leash law. Another draft will be submitted after the weekend. Next step is to make sure the word “mandatory” isn’t included. Thank heaven County staff seems to have some sense!

Jackson County – County has drafted an animal control ordinance to control dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs and potentially dangerous breeds with include but not limited to; Rottweilers and Pit Bulls. Any potentially dangerous dog within the county unless it is confined within a fully enclosed pen (wireless fencing is not considered acceptable for a fully enclosed pen), or is securely under restraint by means of a leash or chain and firmly under control at all times. The premises on which any animal under this section is confine shall be clearly marked with a warning sign. County will hold a workshop for discussion on a revision to the ordinance naming Rottweilers and Pit Bulls as potentially dangerous – cruelty is failure to provide proper food and water daily, shelter from the weather, and adequate inoculation against disease; however what *proper* and *adequate* are is never defined – the local Humane Society has *requested* the inclusion of mandatory spay/neuter for all pets in the county; this is a request and not currently part of the draft ordinance. text available upon request

Kinston – animal control has put a three or two dog limit ordinance forward to the commissioners. Under the proposed ordinance all households with more than the limit will be subjected to paid licensure- approval by commissioners and an inspection. Council and that they sent it back to public safety for work – etc. There is no limit law now.


Columbus – HB223 still under consideration. Establishing licensing requirement and standards of care for certain dog breeding kennels and dog intermediaries, establishing definitions of a dog kennel (8 or less) and regulated dog breeding kennel, (8 & above), animal shelter, animal rescue

Columbus – bill is on its way to the State Senate that could impact animal shelters across the state when it comes to housing pit bulls during dog fighting investigations. Proposed bill passes, it will put a timeline on just how long the dogs can stay at the shelter. Bill that would turn animals back over to the owners if there is not sufficient evidence or make dependants pay for the animal stays.

Canton – City ordinance on pets heading back to council to possible change the pet limit laws. The number of pets residents may own would not be limited, but a multiple-pet license would be required to own four or more adult pets per household. Other proposed amendments to the existing ordinance involve definitions of what constitutes a nuisance regarding pets. Multiple-pet licenses would be required to harbor four or more animals over the age of six months, except for persons active in the business of dog training. For others, a license must be obtained within 30 days of obtaining ownership of a fourth pet (dog, cat or rabbit). The initial fee would be $25, followed by annual renewal fees of $10. An animal would be considered a nuisance when it causes inconvenience or disturbance to other persons due to noise, odor or when the animal: damages real or personal property other than the owner’s; causes unsanitary, dangerous or unreasonably offensive conditions; chases, molests, attacks, bites, interferes with or physically intimidates anyone while on or off the premises of the owner; chases, molests, attacks, bites or interferes with other animals while off the owner’s premises; chases vehicles; or causes a disturbance by excessive barking, caterwauling or other noisemaking.

Garfield Heights – new ordinance bans Pitbulls. The ban applies to any dogs whose blood line is that of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull or any dog “whose appearance or characteristics render it identifiable as partially of one or more such breeds. Effective 10/24/07

Greenhills – city council passed the ordinance banning pit bulls. A “pit bull” as used in the ordinance shall mean any breed commonly associated with the term, including American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier OR any dog with the appearance or characteristics or PARTIAL characteristics of said breeds. There is NO grandfather clause. Passed 10/02/07.. Effective in 30 days

Hocking County – Logan – New pit bull policy. Pit bulls must be confined at home, muzzled on streets. Pit bulls must be confined in a fully enclosed pen (with padlock and roof) when on their owner’s property, and they must be muzzled when taken off their owner’s property. Franklin and Hocking counties are enforcing the policy on the following breeds “commonly known as pit bulls”: American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog and $100,000 of insurance coverage required of pit bull owners

Painesville – new ordinance now states that, if off the premises of the dog owner, any pit bull, pit bull mixed breed or other vicious dog, as defined by the Ohio Revised Code, must be kept on a leash and muzzled until the dog’s return to the premises of ownership.

Sandusky – City leaders and the police department are working to bring back an animal control officer and amend city ordinances to specifically target pit bulls.


Chickasha – a modification to the city’s animal ordinance is supposed to give officers the latitude they need to protect residents from dangerous animals. The new provisions provide for a definition of a “potentially dangerous” and “potentially vicious” animal. The provisions give animal control officers and police officers the ability to declare an animal potentially vicious if it displays aggressive behavior. The declaration can be appealed to municipal court, where a judge will make the final determination on whether the animal is potentially vicious. If marked as potentially vicious, the provisions include a new set of guidelines the pet owners must follow. Within 30 days of being declared potentially vicious or dangerous, the owner must provide a kennel for the animal with 150 square feet of space for each animal within the pen. The kennel must be located within a yard confined by a sight-proof fence, measuring at least six foot high. Any time the animal is removed from the confines, it must be on a leash and muzzled. Animal control must be provided with two color photos of the animal and the animal will be required to have an electronic identification tag and to register the animal with the city on an annual basis, at a cost of $100 per year. The owners will also have to provide the city notification if the animal dies or is moved out of city limits. As breeding of potentially dangerous animals is against city ordinance, the animal will have to be sterilized once it has been deemed potentially vicious. If the animal is already pregnant, the offspring must be removed from city limits once they are of weaning age. Owners will also be required to have insurance on their animal. The ordinance requires a minimum of $100,000 for bodily injury or death.

TULSA – Statewide: “Oklahoma Pet Quality Assurance and Protection Act.” Section 698.51 (This will impact those who travel into/out of the state and all breeders. This will affect everyone who travels to or through Oklahoma, as well as the breeder.) According to reports from the last meeting, the vet running this said they plan to sit at the Tulsa airport and catch people shipping puppies out as one method of enforcement. They have already been there watching the airport to get ideas of how to work the plan. The funds will be distributed to the AR’s as “royalties”


Harrisburg – HB1065 – voted out of the Judiciary Committee by an overwhelming majority, is among a growing number of anti-tethering bills approved or under consideration in 19 states. Bill would forbid chaining between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Out of Committee 09/25/07 text available upon request

Harrisburg – Citing the concerns of hunters and dog hobbyists, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has altered an early draft of regulations for large-scale commercial dog breeders, a department spokeswoman said. The regulations are being revised at the behest of Gov. Ed Rendell to address concerns about dog breeding companies where hundreds of puppies are bred for sale. An early draft of the proposed revisions outraged kennel club members, dog show organizers and hunters who raise sporting dogs. They feared the new regulations would require them to spend tens of thousands of dollars on kennel upgrades, and subject them to licensing fees and steep fines for violations.

Harrisburg – SB1101 – Amending the act of December 7, 1982 (P.L.784, No.225), entitled, as amended, “An act relating to dogs, regulating the keeping of dogs; providing for the licensing of dogs and kennels; providing for the protection of dogs and the detention and destruction of dogs in certain cases; regulating the sale and transportation of dogs; declaring dogs to be personal property and the subject of theft; providing for the abandonment of animals; providing for the assessment of damages done to animals; providing for payment of damages by the Commonwealth in certain cases and the liability of the owner or keeper of dogs for such damages; imposing powers and duties on certain State and local officers and employees; providing penalties; and creating a Dog Law Restricted Account,” further providing for spaying or neutering as condition for release of certain animals; and repealing certain provisions relating to sterilization of dogs and cats text available upon request


Columbia – S833 – A bill to amend the code of laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section 47-1-45 so as to prohibit the tethering, fastening, chaining, tying. or restraining a dog to a stationary object for more than three hours a day or for more than six hours a day on a trolley system, to provide Class 1 Misdemeanor criminal penalties, and to authorize local government by ordinance to vary these regulations. text available upon request

BeaufortThe Beaufort County Council board is reviewing a plan to make it illegal to tether dogs to stationary objects. Nonprofit Chain Free Beaufort collected more than 3,300 signatures against the practice and has 250 feet of chain-link fence available to help owners set up fences or dog runs as alternatives to tethering. County Sheriff P.J. Tanner, who is responsible for the county’s animal control officers, agreed with the information Bonturi (Chain Free Beaufort) presented. Tanner said tethering could mirror animal cruelty penalties, which can result in a fine of up to $200 or 30 days in prison under county ordinances. The committee will take up the issue at its next meeting Nov. 14, when committee chairman Bill McBride said input from animal control officers is expected. Meanwhile, Bonturi will begin selling the plan to the county’s municipal councils. This ordinance would be likely to mirror the state’s S833. text available upon request

Lee County – a proposal to have the Sheriff’s Department take over animal control was approved (09/21/07)

Sumter County – County Council approved the second reading for a proposed ordinance that would require people to register dangerous animals. What exactly categorizes an animal as dangerous? State law defines it as being a member of the dog or cat family that will attack another animal or human unprovoked. The dangerous animal proposal needs to pass one more reading to become law.


Nashville – State Senator Doug Jack is sponsoring a bill that would require the names of persons convicted of felony animal cruelty in Tennessee be put on an animal abuse registry. His plan would have the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which maintains the sex offender registry, also maintain the animal abuse registry. The abuser’s name would remain on the registry for 10 years, after which, if there were no other related convictions, they could petition the court to have their name removed. The abuser would pay a fee which would offset the cost of maintaining the registry

Dyer – Dyer – Mayor and Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance in late September banning the ownership of pit bulls and other vicious dogs within the city’s limits. Those who already own such breeds can keep them but they must comply with certain requirements for possessing them in the ordinance and buy annual permits, according to a copy of the ordinance at the city’s Web site. Those who already own the dogs must buy an annual permit for $30 to continue to keep them in the city, owners must appear in person at the Dyer City Recorder’s office when making an application for a permit. 2nd Ordinance capping the number of dogs and cats residents can own.passed. The numbers of cats and dogs at a single-family residence to six over the age of 6 months old, the ordinance says. Those at multiple-family residences can’t have more than two dogs or cats over the age of 6 months. The ordinance does make exceptions such as for single-family residences located on lots which are five acres or larger. City officials have determined that “the keeping of large numbers of dogs and cats on residential property has an adverse impact on the value of neighboring properties. text available available upon request

Gallatin – city council is looking to establish a law targeting individuals who set up in parking lots of businesses to sell animals. The general discussion was to target breeders selling less than 25 animals annually. Breeders selling more than 25 animals are “highly regulated” by the state. Proposal regulates sales of pets in any location not covered by a business license…which would include most home/hobby breeders

Halls – Residents of Halls who own dogs that may be considered vicious will have a new set of rules to follow if members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen complete the second reading of the town’s new vicious dog ordinance. The ordinance, which passed its first reading at last week’s regular board meeting, defines ‘vicious’ as any dog that attacks or bites without provocation, has the tendency to attack unprovoked or is capable of inflicting serious physical harm or death due to its size or physical nature. The ordinance also applies to any pit bull terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Doberman Pinscher or Rottweiler, or any mixed breed which contains these breeds in an identifying measure. The ordinance also names dogs owned, harbored or trained in any way for dog fighting. Upon the passing of the ordinance, Halls residents who already own dogs that fall into the ‘vicious dog’ category will have 30 days to obtain a permit from the City Recorder and must follow strict guidelines for confinement, transport and insurance for the animal. The ordinance also requires:

— Dogs to be confined in a securely enclosed and locked pen upon the owner’s premises that has a secured top, sides and bottom or sides embedded into the ground to at least a depth of one foot. The pen must be adequately lit and kept in clean and sanitary condition.

— Exceptions to confinement will be allowed by the ordinance only to transport the animal to or from a state-licensed veterinary office, a state-licensed kennel or to the location of a purchaser of the dog. During transport, the dog must be muzzled and restrained by a chain or leash and under the physical restraint of an adult person whose weight is equal to or greater than the dog. The dog will not be allowed on city-owned property, except for the roads when being transported to the three approved locations listed above.

— Owners to display signs on the premises in a prominent place indicating a vicious animal resides on the premises. A similar sign must be posted on the pen or kennel of the animal.

— When applying for the permit, the owner of the animal must show proof of public liability insurance in the minimum amount of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per occurrence for any personal injuries inflicted by the vicious dog.

At the meeting, aldermen debated the penalties in the current ordinance and amended them when alderman James Tyus announced that the existing penalty “did not have enough ‘bite’ to it.” The ordinance, which allowed a fine of not more than $50 and not less than $2 per day that the owner is in violation, was amended to read “not less than $50.” PASSED

Somerville – Board of Mayor and Aldermen has unanimously passed an ordinance on final reading that prohibits ownership of pit bull dogs within the city. Ordinance states that the breeds of dogs known as “pit bulls” include any American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier or any dog that predominantly has the appearance and characteristics of one or more of those breeds. The new ordinance states that other cities consider pit bulls so dangerous to humans and other animals that special legislation restricting or prohibiting their ownership has been enacted. It notes that current methods of control by pit bull owners in Somerville have proved to be “insufficient in protecting the public.” Individuals owning pit bull dogs at the time the ordinance was adopted are allowed to keep them, if they comply with the following provisions within 30 days of the ordinance’s effective date:

(a) Register the dog with the city administrator.

(b) Do not allow the dog to go outside its kennel, pen or other proper enclosure unless secured with a leash no longer than 4 feet.

(c) A 2-inch leather collar must be used when the dog is on a leash and must buckle, not snap, onto the dog.

(d) Do not keep the dog on a chain, rope or other type of leash outside its kennel or pen, unless a person of suitable age and discretion is in physical control of the leash. The dog cannot be leashed to inanimate objects, such as trees, posts, buildings or structures.

(e) When it is necessary for the dog to receive veterinary care, it must wear a properly fitted muzzle sufficient to prevent it from biting humans or other animals. The muzzle cannot interfere with the dog’s breathing or vision. At the request of Fayette County Animal Control Officer Thomas Petrowski, the board added a requirement that, while transported to any facility with veterinarians, the dog be enclosed in a portable kennel with a lock. Noting that the dogs are frequently transported in pickup trucks, Petrowski said they are not “tied in” or in cages and can easily come out of the trucks.

(f) Except when leashed and muzzled, the dog must be securely confined indoors or in a locked pen, kennel or other secure enclosure suitable to prevent the entry of children and designed to prevent the dog from escaping. The kennel must have a concrete floor, with its post set in concrete, be locked with a key or combination lock when the dog is inside, comply with the city’s zoning and building ordinances and other regulations, include shelter and protection from the elements, adequate exercise room, lighting, ventilation and kept in a clean and sanitary condition.

(g) The dog cannot be kept on a porch, patio or in any part of a house or structure that would allow it to exit the building on its own volition, when the windows are open or when screen windows or doors are the only obstacles preventing it from exiting the structure.

Owners must:

(a) display on the kennel or pen and in a prominent place on their property a sign easily readable by the public containing the words, “Beware of Dog.”

(b) provide the city administrator proof of public liability insurance in a single-incident amount of $100,000 for bodily injury to or death of any person or for damage to property owned by any person that may result from owning the dog.

(c) provide the city administrator two color photographs of the dog that clearly show its color and approximate size.

(d) report to the city administrator within 10 days after the removal from the city or death of the dog, the birth of offspring or the new address of the owner within the city limits.No person can sell, barter or in any other way transfer possession of the dog to any person within the city who does not permanently reside in the same household and on the same premises. All offspring born of the dog within the city must be removed from the corporate limits within six weeks of the birth. Failure to comply with the provisions of the ordinance will result in immediate seizure and impoundment of the dog. Violators will be subject to a fine prescribed in the general penalty clause of the Somerville Municipal Code. Passed 10/01/07 Effective within 30 days text available upon request


Amarillo � city council found out they can not ban pit bulls. We looked into it and spoke to City Attorney Marcus Norris. He tells us that the city is not allowed. State law prohibits breed specific ordinances. What the city does do is mimic Lillian’s Law which would file felony criminal charges against a pet owner whose dog causes unprovoked bodily injury if the dog is not on their own property.

Austin – city leaders are looking at revising an existing dog ordinance. New regulations on how dogs are declared dangerous. Some members raised concerns about the new guidelines, saying it gives Animal Control too much authority. It’s a hard issue because people react differently to animals. Big dogs scare some people, and the last thing in the world we want is good dogs being subjected to a dangerous dog or vicious dog designation because that impacts families

Austin – City – Starting Oct. 1, chaining or tethering unattended dogs including the use of fixed-point and trolley or pulley restraints will be a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500.

Harris County – commissioners passed new ordinance making sales of animals on the roadside illegal. Passed 09/25/07

Houston – BREEDER PERMITS: Anybody who sells in the city dogs or cats that have not been spayed or neutered. $100 annual fee. First-time offenders will get a warniing with 30 days to comply. Citation can carry a fine of $50 and $2,000. Effective 07/01/07

SAN ANTONIO – UPDATE – The San Antonio Chapter 5 Animal Ordinance is on the move. San Antonio’s Animal Rights Brigade will hold a rally at City Hall on October 16th supporting the animal ordinance which requires spay/neuter of all outdoor cats and ALL DOGS unless dog owners purchase an Intact Dog Permit and Litter/Breeder Permits.  San Antonio City Council begins considering the ordinance at a B Session (work session) the next day. No date has been set for the official vote. This ordinance is an Animal Rights Manifesto and is California’s AB1634 & more.


Norfolk – September 25, 2007, Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell declared the following Norfolk ordinance regulating pet surgical procedures unlawful: Sec. 6.1-78.1. Cosmetic alterations to companion animals prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to cosmetically alter any companion animal. The only exception to this shall be for procedures performed under proper anesthesia, by a veterinarian licensed in the commonwealth. For purposes of this section, “tail docking”, “ear cropping”, “debarking” and “declawing” shall be considered cosmetic alterations. “Microchipping”, “tattooing”; and “ear tipping” shall not be considered cosmetic alterations. (Ord. No. 42,466, § 9, 11-21-06; Ord. No. 42,541, § 1, 1-30-07)


Enumclaw – City passed breed selective legislation against pitbulls, etc. text available upon request.

Olympia – Thurston County – city of Olympia maybe be considering breed selective legislation. Proposal was made by animal control representative on the Council.


Washington D.C. – City – B17-89 – consultation with the Department of Health, the Mayor may establish a list of potentially dangerous dogs breeds. Such list shall be revised periodically and shall be based upon information including breed characteristics and evidence of adverse incidents in the District. text available upon request


Madison – SB162 – An Act relating to extending domestic abuse restraining orders and injunctions to include abuse to animals and threats of abuse to animals. text available upon request

Madison – proposed bill that would cover large-scale dog breeders would need to get a state license, provide humane care and reimburse buyers for veterinary bills under a bipartisan bill state lawmakers. The measure marks another attempt by the Legislature to clamp down on inhumane treatment at puppy mills and give recourse to people who unknowingly buy sick dogs from them. Wisconsin has no regulations governing dog breeding. A bill introduced in 2003 that called for licenses was never scheduled for a vote on the Assembly floor. Under the latest version of the bill, DATCP (Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection) would set standards for humane care. Breeders who either sell 60 dogs annually or have at least eight breeding females would have to get a state license. Fees would range from $75 to $125, depending on how many dogs are sold.

Madison – LRB2829/3 – A act to amend 20.115 (2) and 93.20 (1) and to create 173.35 and 137.37 of the statues relating to: sale of dogs, regulation of certain dog breeders, grant rule — making authority, making an appropriation, and providing a penalty. text available upon request

Read an article about Illinois State Senator Martin Sandoval’s push for a ban on “pit bulls” in Berwyn, Illinois in an attempt to divert attention away from illegal immigration and the gang violence that goes with it. Read my response to Sen. Sandoval which follows:

Sen. Sandoval:

It was with great dismay that I read today that you have given your support for a breed-specific ban on “pit bulls” in Berwyn, especially when you have misinformed the Chicago Suburban News and consequently the public that breed bans are “permissible” in the state of Illinois. Breed-specific ordinances or legislation of any kind are unlawful in the state of Illinois:

(510 ILCS 5/24) (from Ch. 8, par. 374) Sec. 24. Nothing in this Act shall be held to limit in any manner the power of any municipality or other political subdivision to prohibit animals from running at large, nor shall anything in this Act be construed to, in any manner, limit the power of any municipality or other political subdivision to further control and regulate dogs, cats or other animals in such municipality or other political subdivision provided that no regulation or ordinance is specific to breed. (Source: P.A. 93 548, eff. 8 19 03.)

Also, the constitutionality of declaring home rule status is in question as is breed-specific legislation itself. I wonder at your not having mentioned that to the Berwyn City Council.

Additionally, I think it is unconscionable that you would urge Berwyn to pass a breed ban when everyone in Illinois knows full well what the real problem is: gangs. Many municipalities in Illinois don’t want to admit that there is a gang problem in their cities because if they acknowledge the gang problems then they must also acknowledge the illegal immigrant problem, and of course it is a well-known fact that Illinois corporations love their cheap, illegal immigrant labor.

I have had policemen lie to my face in my own home town and tell me that gangs weren’t a problem as they were scrubbing gang graffiti off my front walk and taking a gang member off to jail for a drive-by in front of my house. I’ve had police officers on a ladder trying to extract bullet fragments out of my gutters, so perhaps it’s time politicians fess up and admit that “pit bulls” aren’t the problem. People, and more precisely, gangs and illegal immigrants, are the problem. We in Chicago and suburban Chicago have dangerous gangs on our streets and still you maintain that “pit bulls” are the greatest threat to the public??? What price has corporate cronyism cost Illinois in the loss of human life due to gang-related violence???

According to the CDC, between 1979 and 1998 there were 66 fatalities as a result of “pit bulls.” This statistic is actually false, but I’ll get to that in a minute. According to the Chicago Tribune and the Violence Prevention Institute, in 2001, there were 665 homicides in Chicago, 53% of them were gang-related. In one year alone there were over 300 deaths as a result of gang violence. Compare that to 66 fatalities from so-called “pit bulls” over an entire decade across the entire nation! And, since “pit bull” is not a breed recognized by any breed registry (like the AKC or UKC) and since there are as many as 35 breeds that have been called by the slang term “pit bull,” the usual suspects parsed out of the slang term “pit bull” — the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the
Staffordshire Bull Terrier — for banning are seldom if ever the actual breeds responsible for the fatalities. So Sen. Sandoval, one must really wonder why you are pushing for a “pit bull” ban when gang violence is a much more deadly threat to the safety of the public, particularly children.

I have been reticent until now to blame gangs and illegal immigration for the rash of unconstitutional “pit bull” bans that have swept this nation, particularly since I live in a so-called “blue” state. But 90% of this “blue” state wants some form of immigration reform. What does that tell you Mr. Sandoval? American citizens are sick and tired of paying $20 for a pill in the emergency room because illegal immigrants are the first recipients of universal healthcare (i.e. socialized medicine). We’re tired of having our taxes increased because illegal immigrants don’t pay even close to their fair share. But most of all Americans are tired of losing our freedoms, the latest of which Mr. Sandoval, is the right to our property, which our dogs most certainly are, and the right to due process and equal protection, to liberty, all of which breed bans negate. These are our 14th amendment civil rights Mr. Sandoval. To put them in jeopardy, particularly out of an interest in protecting illegal immigrants/gangs, is nothing short of treason.


Elizabeth Pensgard
Illinois Director, Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States

Read more about Sen. Sandoval’s activities here.

1/20/2006 Letter, and info packet to Congress concerning NAIS

1/20/2006 Letter, and info packet to Fresno, CA City Council concerning proposed changes in their dog laws

1/23/2006 Letter, and info packet to Louisville, KY Metro Council concerning their proposed breed specific ordinance, cc’d to Courier-Journal

1/29/2006 Letter, and info packet to the Oklahoma Legislature Concerning Rep. Paul wesselhoft’s proposed state level BSL

1/29/2006 Letter to Daily Progress Newspaper concerning BSL

2/10/2006 Letter, and info packet to Federal Way, WA concerning proposed BSL

3/22/2006 Letter, and info packet to Lisbon Village, Ohio concerning proposed BSL

3/23/2006 Letter,  and info packet to Leavenworth, Kansas concerning proposed BSL

3/23/2006 Letter, and info packet to Bedford County, TN. concerning proposed BSL

3/23/2006 Letter, and info packet to Elgin, IL. concerning proposed BSL

3/25/2006 Letter, and info packet to Trenton, NC concerning proposed BSL

3/28/2006 Letter and info packet to Benton, IL. concerning proposed BSL

3/28/2006 Letter and info packet to Trenton, MO concerning proposed BSL

5/1/2006 Letter and info packet to Anderson, IN. concerning proposed BSL

5/3/2006 Letter and info packet to Pine Bluff, AR concerning proposed BSL

5/4/2006 Letter to Pine Bluff Commercial newspaper concerning Pine Bluff’s proposed BSL

5/12/2006 Letter to Natchez Democrat Concerning Natchez, MS proposed BSL

5/16/2006 Letter, and info packet to Whiting, IN concerning proposed BSL

5/17/2006 Letter, and info packet to Richland, MS concerning proposed BSL

5/17/2006 Letter to Star-Herald concerning Natchez MS. proposed BSL

5/19/2006 Letter to News 36 WTVQ concerning Natchez, MS proposed BSL

5/19/2006 Letter and info packet to Spokane, WA City Council concerning proposed BSL

5/22/2006 Letter and info packet to Cox, Ohio

5/22/2006 Letter to John Gunn at Natchez Ms Democrat concerning Natchez proposed BSL

5/22/2006 Letter, and info packet to Jackson, MS City Council concerning proposed BSL

5/25/2006 Letter, and info packet with Pennsylvania law prohibiting BSL to Hazleton, PA concerning passage of BSL against the law of the State of Pennsylvania. Hazleton revoked their BSL and replaced it with a modified version of RDOWS Model Dog Owner Regulations.

5/26/2006 Letter to F. Spielman at The Sun-Times newspaper

5/26/2006 Letter to R. Agnew at the Clarion-Ledger

5/26/2006 Letter and info packet to Westfield, MA concerning proposed BSL

5/27/2006 Letter to N. Garcia at Visalia Gannett newspaper

5/28/2006 Letter, and info packet to the Mayor of Albuquerque concerning proposed mandatory spay/neuter law.

5/30/2006 Letter to L. Sweet at the Boston Herald concerning Boston’s proposed BSL

5/30/2006 Letter to Representative Ron Paul U.S. Congress concerning protecting the rights of dog owners

6/1/2006 Letter, and info packet to Mayor and City Council of Independence, MO concerning proposed BSL

6/1/2006 Letter, and more info to Louisville, KY Metro Council

6/1/2006 Letter, and info packet to Indianapolis/Marion County Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

6/1/2006 Letter and info packet to Riverside County Board of Supervisors concerning proposed mandatory spay/neuter

6/2/2006 Letter and info packet to Brockton, MA concerning proposed BSL

6/2/2006 Letter and info packet to Waukegan Township, IL concerning proposed BSL (Illinois has a law prohibiting BSL)

6/2/2006 Letter and info packet to San Antonio, TX concerning proposed animal rights legislation

6/5/2006 Letter and info packet to West Bloomfield, MI concerning proposed BSL


6/13/2006 Letter and info packet to Chillicothe, MO concerning proposed BSL

6/14/2006 Letter, and info packet to Village of Lincolnwood, IL proposed BSL

6/15/2006 Letter and info packet to Lee’s Summit, MO concerning BSL/MS/N


6/19/2006 Letter, and info packet to Raytown, MO concerning proposed BSL

6/19/2006 Letter to C. Mason at the Press Democrat

6/22/2006 Letter to Mayor and Council of Gladstone, MO concerning proposed BSL

6/22/2006 Letter to Parker, Co City Councilman Jack Hilbert concerning Parkers proposed BSL

6/27/2006 Letter and info packet to Mayor and Council of Blue Springs, MO concerning proposed BSL

7/5/2006 Letter to Jenny Filmer at ay the Springfield News-Leader concerning Springfield MO proposed BSL

7/8/2006 Letter, and yet more info to Louisville, KY Metro Council

7/12/2006 Letter and info packet to Fall River, MA concerning proposed BSL

7/13/2006 Letter and info packet to Cleveland, Ohio Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

7/13/2006 Letter and info packet to Evansville, IN concerning their overly convoluted proposed new animal regulations

7/13/2006  Letter to Mooresville, IN Mayor and council concerning proposed over convoluted animal regulations

7/13/2006 Letter and Sixth Appellate Court Decision finding BSL unconstitutional asking them to overturn their BSL

7/13/2006 Letter, and info packet to North Liberty, Iowa concerning proposed BSL

7/15/2006 Letter and info packet to Wichita, KS concerning proposed BSL


7/22/2006 Letter and packet to Mayor and Council Madison, WI concerning proposed BSL

7/31/2007 Letter and info packet to Montgomery, AL Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

8/2/2006 Letter and info packet to Ocala, FL concerning proposed BSL (Florida pre-empts BSL at state level)

8/3/2006 Letter, and info packet to Gloucester, MA concerning proposed BSL

8/3/2006 Letter to  L. Minor at Texarkana Gazette concerning a proposed BSL

8/7/2006 Letter and info packer to Warren County, KY concerning proposed BSL

8/8/2006 Letter and info packet to Gonzales, Louisiana Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

8/8/2006 Letter to Oak Grove, MO Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

8/13/2006 Letter, and info packet to Cullman, AL concerning proposed BSL

8/17/2006 Letter and info packet to Mayor and Council of Ripon, CA concerning proposed BSL

8/17/2006 Letter to City Attorney Montgomery, AL concerning proposed BSL

8/25/2006 Letter, and info packet to Mayor and Council of Vienna, VA concerning proposed BSL

8/27/2006 Letter, and info packet to Mayor and Council Eden, NC concerning proposed BSL

8/29/2006 Letter, and info packet to Rome, GA Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

8/31/2006 Letter to Washington State Representative Bob Sump attempting to get legislation to protect dog ownership rights at state level

9/16/2006 RDOWS Colorado Director Nick Van Duren’s letter to the La Junta, CO Newspaper was published;

9/20/2006 Letter and information packet to Erie, PA Mayor and Council concerning proposed legislation

9/21/2006 Letter and info packet to Tupelo, MS Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

9/27/2006 TRUTHS FROM RDOWS BLOG created;

10/3/2006 Letter, and info packet to Durham, NC Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

10/4/2006 Letter, and info packet to Decatur, GA Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

10/5/2006 Letter, and info packet to Horicon, WI concerning proposed BSL

10/9/2006 Letter, and more info to Waukegan Village, IL concerning proposed BSL

10/10/2006 Letter and info packet to St. Joseph, IN Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

10/10/2006 Letter and info packet to Olathe, KS concerning proposed BSL

10/10/2006 Letter and info packet to South Bend, IN Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

10/12/2006 Letter and info packet to Wilkes Barre, PA Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

10/12/2006 Letter, and info packet to Englewood, NJ Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

10/12/2006 Letter and info packet to Representative Louis Kafka of MA concerning the protection of dog ownership rights

10/18/2006 Sent a copy of the Constitution of the State of Missouri to the Lee’s Summit Mayor and Council, as they have forgotten that their constituents have rights.

10/19/2006 More info sent to Olathe, KS

10/19/2006 Letter and info packet sent to League City, TX concerning proposed BSL (Texas prohibits BSL by state law)

10/24/2006 letter, and info packet to Waukesha, WI Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

10/25/2006 Letter, and info packet sent to Oxford Township, Ohio concerning proposed BSL

11/18/2006 Letter and info packet sent to Shelbyville, TN Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

11/22/2006 Letter, and info packet to Mayor and Council Richland, WA concerning proposed BSL

12/3/2006 Received positive response from Tacoma, WA Councilman Jake Fey

12/9/2006 Letter to B. Trout of PA Weekly requesting validation of his report on pure-bred dogs involved in bite incidents- No response

12/9/2006 Letter, and info packet to Nampa, ID Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

12/11/2006 Response from Nampa, ID Mayor Tom Dale assuring RDOWS that there is no BSL in the agenda of the Napa Council.

12/13/2006 RDOWS makes the case proving that stupidity reigns in the Louky-Metro Council.

12/14/2006 Editorial sent to Idaho Statesman newspaper

12/27/2006 Letter, and info packet sent to Hilo Hawaii Council concerning proposed changes in their dog laws.

12/28/2006 Letter to Peter Vallone, Jr. Councilman NYC, NY concerning his proposed BSL.


4/12/2007 Letter and info packet to Coeur D’ Alene, ID Mayor concerning proposed BSL

4/14/2007 Letter and info packet and NY State law to Upper Brookville, NY concerning proposed BSL.

4/14/2007 Letter and info packet to Springfield, MO Mayor and Council concerning proposed revocation of BSL

4/15/2007 Letter and info packet to Lexington, NE Mayor and council concerning proposed BSL.

4/15/2007 Letter and info packet to Poulsbo, WA Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

4/16/2007 Letter, info packet and Texas State law prohibiting BSL to DeSoto, TX  Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

4/16/2007 Letter to Editor Daily Iberian newspaper concerning the ramifications of dangerous dog laws

4/16/2007 Response of thanks for letter and info packet from Councilwoman Sue Frank of Raytown, MO

4/16/2007 Letter and info packet to Wichita, KS Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

4/17/2007 Response from Coeur D’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem thanking RDOWS for letter, and info packet.

4/20/2007 Letter to Payette County, Idaho seeking confirmation of public notice of countywide BSL prior to its enactment

4/20/2007 Letter, and info packet to Payette County, ID County Commissioners concerning their enactment of  BSL.

4/22/2007 Letter and info packet to Manhattan, KS Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

4/22/2007 Letter to Commissioner Larry Church, Payette County, ID demanding an apology for his statement on KTVB News. -No Response-

4/25/2007 Letter and info packet to St. Paul, MN Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

4/25/2007 Response from St. Paul thanking RDOWS for info packet and Model Dog Owner Regulations.

4/26/2007 Response from St. Paul, MN Mayor’s office thanking RDOWS for info packet and Model Dog Owner Regulations.

4/26/2007 Letter and info packet to Franklin County, Maine concerning proposed changes in their dog laws.

4/26/2007 Letter and info packet to Bluefield, WV Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

4/26/2007 Letter to Editor Town Crier Manila, AR concerning Manila’s proposed BSL

4/27/2007 Another letter to Manhattan, KS Mayor, and Council concerning proposed BSL

4/27/2007 Letter to Manila AR Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

4/27/2007 Received letter of thanks from Councilman Bob Strawn of Manhattan, KS.

4/27/2007 Letter and info packet to Centerville, IA Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

4/28/2007 Letter of opposition, and info packet  to Dorchester County, SC concerning PeTA’s request to the County Government to pass BSL.

4/28/2007 Created and distributed a flier to oppose CA AB1634

4/30/2007 Received letter of thanks from Manhattan, KS Councilman Jim Sherow.

4/30/2007 Letter, and info packet to Canton, MA Town Clerk, and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/2/2007 Letter and info packet to Somerville, MA Mayor and Board of Aldermen concerning proposed BSL.

5/2/2007 Received letter of thanks from Dorchester County, SC Councilman Richard H. Rosebrock.

5/2/2007 Letter and info packet to Massachusetts Legislature Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government concerning proposed BSL.

5/2/2007 Letter and info packet to Baltimore County, MD Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/2/2007 Letter, and info packet to Springdale, AR Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

5/3/2007 Received letter of thanks from Marcie Goodman, Legislative Aide to Baltimore County Councilman T. Bryan McIntire.

5/3/2007 Letter and info packet to State of Massachusetts Legislature Committee concerning changes in the state’s dog laws.

5/3/2007 Letter, and info packet to Lonoke, AR Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/3/2007 Letter to Renee Lee at Houston Chronicle concerning Texas Senator Rodney Ellis proposed BSL for Houston.

5/4/2007 Letter and info packet to Tennessee Legislature concerning proposed changes in the state’s dog laws.

5/4/2007 Letter and info packet to Ashland City, TN Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/4/2007 Letter and info packet to Tuttle, OK Mayor, and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/4/2007 Letter and info packet to Shelby, MS City attorney Jeffrey Livingston concerning proposed BSL.

5/4/2007 Letter and info packet to Bella Vista, AR concerning proposed changes in their dog laws.

5/5/2007 Letters and info packets to the entire Alabama Legislature concerning protecting dog ownership rights.

5/6/2007 Letters and info packets to the Leaders of the Massachusetts State Senate concerning proposed BSL.

5/6/2007 Letter to the editor Cleveland Plain Dealer concerning proposed BSL

5/7/2007 Created and distributed RDOWS Position Statement on CA AB1634

5/8/2007 Letter and info packet to Albert Lea, MN Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/9/2007 Letter and info packet to Jackson County MS Board of Supervisors concerning proposed changes in county dog laws.

5/9/2007 Letter and info packet to Batesville, AR Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/9/2007 Letter and info packet to Quitman County, GA Commissioners concerning proposed BSL.

5/10/2007 Letter and info packet to Batesville, MS concerning proposed BSL.

5/10/2007 Letter to reporter V. Roley at Mississippi Press concerning Batesville, MS proposed BSL.

5/10/2007 Letter of opposition to the North Carolina General Assembly concerning SB92.

5/11/2007 Letter and info packet to Jackson County, MS Board of Supervisors concerning proposed BSL.

5/12/2007 Letter to reporter George Knapp KLAS-TV Las Vegas concerning his two part report on Black Market Dog Breeders.

5/14/2007 Letter and info packet to Benton, KY Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/14/2007 Letter and info packet to Marion County, WV County Commissioners concerning proposed BSL.

5/16/2007 Letter and info packet to Jacksonville, AR Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/16/2007 Letter and info packet to Hutchinson, KS Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/16/2007 Letter and info packet to Gainesville, GA Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/16/2007 Response of thanks from Jill Young, City Managers office Gainesville GA.

5/16/2007 Letter and info packet to Lorain, OH Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/17/2007 Letter and info packet to Long Beach, MS Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL

5/17/2007 Four word response from Alderman Robert Stroud of Jacksonville, AR.

5/18/2007 Letter and info packet to Marion County, WV Commissioners concerning proposed changes in county dog laws.

5/18/2007 Letter from Linda Dulaney City Clerk’s Office Jacksonville, AR stating that she didn’t have Jacksonville’s newly enacted BSL in her computer, and couldn’t e-mail it to RDOWS.

5/19/2007 Letter and info packet to Hesperia, CA Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/19/2007 Letter and info packet to Ansonia, CT Mayor James T. Della Volpe concerning proposed BSL.

5/20/2007 Letter and info packet to Mayor and Metro Council East Baton Rouge Parish, LA concerning proposed BSL

5/20/2007 Letter to Merritt Clifton asking for a definition of “pit bull”.

5/20/2007 Response from Merritt Clifton

“People like to split hairs over breed definitions.I’m not interested in that kind of game-playing.  I have kept separate logs for the different breeds people claim dogs are,  but broad categorizations are much more meaningful”

5/20/2007 Response from Councilman Pat Culbertson East Baton Rouge Parish.

5/21/2007 Letter and info packet to Fairfield. OH Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/21/2007 Letter to Daviess County, KY Fiscal Court concerning proposed BSL.

5/21/2007 Letter opposing CA AB1634 to most California newspapers.

5/22/2007 Dog Politics posted RDOWS List of banned/restricted breeds

5/22.2007 Sent RDOWS Position Statement on CA AB 1634 to the entire California General Assembly

5/23/2007 Letter and info packet to Spaulding County, GA Commissioners concerning proposed BSL.

5/23/2007 Letter and info packet to Lawrence County TN Commissioners concerning proposed BSL.

5/23/2007 The Conservative Voice published “The Animal Rights Myth of Pet Overpopulation” by Cherie Graves

5/23/2007 Letter to News Editor at KSBI-TV concerning errors in its reporting.

5/23/2007 Letter and info packet to Kern County, CA Commissioners concerning proposed M S/N.

5/29/2007 Letter and info packet to Cabot, AR Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/29/2007 Letter, and info packet to Portage, WI Common Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/29/2007 Yet another letter to the Indianapolis, IN Metro-Council concerning proposed BSL.

5/31/2007 Letter, info packet, and copy of New York State Law pre-empting BSL to Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

6/1/2007 Letter to Cliff Albert, radio personality who supported passage of CA AB1634 on air.

6/2/2007 Letter and info packet to League City, TX Mayor and Council concerning proposed changes in their dog laws.

6/4/2007 Received letter of thanks from League City, TX Councilwoman Phyllis Sanborn.

6/5/2007 Letter and info packet to Marshfield, MA Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

6/6/2007 RDOWS Secretary and Media Liaison wrote to CA Representative Lloyd Levine opposing CA AB 1634.

6/7/2007 Letter and info packet to the Town of Rolla, MO Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

6/7/2007 Letter and info packet to Little Rock, AR Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

6/13/2007 Letter, info packet, Model Dog Owner Regulations and Illinois state law prohibiting BSL to the Village of Crossville, IL Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

6/14/2007 Story concerning Crossville’s illegal BSL in Carmi-Times;

6/14/2007 Letter, and Texas state law prohibiting to El Paso, TX Mayor and Council concerning news report of proposed BSL.

6/14/2007 Letter to Minnesota Representative John Lesch concerning his proposed Bill to ban five, or more breeds of dogs in Minnesota.

6/15/2007 Received response from Karla Parra Legislative Aide to El Paso, TX Councilwoman Melina Castro saying the news report of proposed BSL in El Paso was in error.

6/15/2007 Letter and info packet to the Town of Hampton Falls, NH Mayor and Board of Selectmen concerning proposed BSL.

6/15/2007 Sent copy of Minnesota Constitution Article 1. Bill of Rights to Representative John Lesch of Minnesota.

6/15/2007 Letter to reporter Furst at the Post-Bulletin concerning Re. John Lesch’s proposed BSL.

6/16/2007 Letter and info packet to town of Beebe, AR Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

6/16/2007 Sent copy of Arkansas Bill of Rights to Mayor and Council Beebe, AR.

6/16/2007 Letter and info packet to the city of Cabot, AR. Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

6/18/2007 Letter and info packet to the town of Phillipsburg, NJ concerning proposed BSL.

6/19/2007 Letter and info packet to Warden, WA Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

6/19/2007 Dexter, MO Board of Aldermen Table BSL;

6/19/2007 Letter to Dexter, MO thanking Board of Aldermen for tabling BSL, and seeking alternative legislation.

 6/19/2007 Letter and info packet to New Florence, MO Mayor and Board of Aldermen concerning proposed BSL.

6/20/2007 Second letter, and copy of Pennsylvania’s BSL pre-emption by state law to Phillipsburg, PA Mayor, and Council concerning their attempt to enact BSL.

6/21/2007 Letter to California Senator Jenny Oropeza thanking her for opposing CA AB1634.

6/21/2007 Second letter to Phillipsburg, NJ with copy of New Jersey state law pre-empting BSL concerning their attempted enactment of BSL.

6/21/2007 Letter and info packet to Paris, AR Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

6/23/2007 Letter to Editor St. Cloud Times (MN)

6/28/2007 Letter to East Baton Rouge Parish requesting a copy of their BSL ordinance. NO RESPONSE

6/28/2007 Letter to North Adams, MA Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

6/28/2007 Letter, and copy of Illinois state law pre-empting BSL to the Village of Plainfield, IL concerning their proposed BSL.

6/29/2007 Received letter of thanks from North Adams, MA Councilman Chris Tremblay.

6/30/2007 Letter to Village of Westville, IL Mayor and Board of Trustees with Illinois state law to show that BSL violates Illinois state law.

7/1/2007 Letter and info packet to Dover, DE Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

7/4/2007 Indianapolis Mayor Backs off Breed Ban;

7/4/2007 Letter and info packet to Pascagoula, MS Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

7/4/2007 Letter and info packet to Sulphur, LA Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

7/4/2007 Manhattan, KS: No BSL For Now;

7/4/2007 Letter from Sulphur, LA Councilwoman Nancy Tower thanking RDOWS for info, and requesting that the packet be sent to Coty Attorney Skipper Drost. We did.

7/5/2007 Crossville, IL Rescinds Pit Bull Ban:

7/7/2007 Letter and info packet to Rolla, MO Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

7/10/2007 Letter and info packet to Canton, OH Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

7/10/2007 Letter, info packet, and Pennsylvania state law pre-empting BSL to Reading, PA concerning proposed BSL.

7/10/2007 Letter and info packet to Selma, AL Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

7/11/2007  Received letter from Selma, AL Councilwoman Dr. Geraldine Allen thanking RDOWS for the info packet.

7/11/2007 Faxed letter to California Senators Tom McClintock and Cox concerning RDOWS opposition to CA AB1634.

7/13/2007 Letter and info packet to Sumter County, SC Administrator and Council concerning proposed changes in county’s dog laws.

7/13/2007 Letter to Jon Provost thanking him for testifying in opposition to CA AB1634.

7/14/2007 RDOWS in Greg Sellnow’s Column;

7/16/2007 Letter to LA Times concerning CA AB1634.

7/18/2007 Letter to Washington state Representative Tom Campbell thanking him for re-introducing the non-discrimination insurance Bill HB1105 into Washington’s legislative session.

7/19/2007 Letter to Frostburg, MD Mayor and Commissioners concerning proposed BSL.

7/19/2007 Letter and info packet to Greenville, MS Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

7/21/2007 Letter to Montclair, NJ Mayor and Council concerning proposed anti-tethering law.

7/22/2007 Letter to Atlanta Journal Constitution to set the record straight on Fallacy filled article.

7/25/2007 RDOWS Arkansas Director, and Chairman of Responsible Owners of Arkansas Dogs (ROADs) Inc. did a television interview with FOX affiliate in Little Rock that was broadcast at 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM, and 9:00 PM concerning the breed specific dog laws in Arkansas, and the upcoming legal challenge.

7/25/2007 Letter of thanks to Sandra Kirk of FOX 16 Little Rock for Roger Schnyer’s interview.

7/25/2007 Letter to the Oklahoma State Legislature opposing Representative Paul Wesselhoft’s proposed Felony Dog Bite Bill.

7/26/2007 Letter to the Ohio State Legislature opposing HB 189 Ohio’s Proposed Dangerous Dog Bill.

7/27/2007 Letter, info packet and PA State Law pre-empting BSL to Exeter Township, PA Chairman, and Board of Supervisors concerning proposed BSL.

7/29/2007 Letter of thanks from Oklahoma Representative Earl Sears.

7/30/2007 Letter, and info packet to Laurel, MS Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

7/30/2007 Letter and info packet to Corinth, MS Mayor and Board of Aldermen concerning proposed BSL.

7/30/2007 Letter, and info packet to Clinton, MS Mayor and Board of Aldermen concerning proposed BSL.

7/30/2007 Letter and info packet to Richland MS. Mayor and Board of Aldermen concerning proposed BSL.

7/30/2007 Letter and info packet mailed to Spencer, SD Mayor and Council concerning the passage of BSL. NO RESPONSE

7/30/2007 Letter to Jackson, MS Mayor and Board of Aldermen concerning proposed BSL.

7/30/2007 Letter, and info packet to Marion SD Mayor and Council concerning the enactment of BSL.

7/31/2007 Letter and info packet to Beebe AR Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

8/2/2007 Letter to Ohio Supreme Court concerning Tellings decision.

8/7/2007 Letter and info packet to Hartford City, IN Mayor and Common Council concerning proposed BSL.

8/8/2007 Letter and info packet to McFarland, KS City Attorney Norbert Marek concerning proposed BSL.

8/8/2007 Letter and info packet to Sweetwater, TN Mayor and Commission concerning proposed BSL.

8/9/2007 Letter and info packet to Monterey, TN Mayor and Board of Aldermen concerning proposed BSL.

8/11/2007 Letter and info packet to Wichita, KS Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

8/12/2007 Received letter of thanks from Wichita, KS Councilman Jim Skelton.

8/12/2007 Letter and info packet to Rogers, AR Mayor and Board of Aldermen concerning proposed BSL.

8/12/2007 Second letter, and info packet to Dover DE concerning proposed BSL.

8/13/2007 Roger Schnyer attended Ward, AR City Council meeting. The Ward Council voted to not enact BSL.

8/14/2007 Received letter from Wichita, KS Councilwoman Sharon Fearey thanking RDOWS for info packet.



8/20/2007 RDOWS corresponds with reporter Ruben Rosario of the St. Paul MN Pioneer Press concerning Representative John Lesch’s proposed breed ban in Minnesota.

9/4/2007 Received letter from Ohio Supreme Court acknowledging receipt of RDOWS letter.

9/6/2007 Letter and info packet to Arkadelphia, AR Mayor and Board of Directors concerning proposed BSL.

9/7/2007 Letter and info packet to Youngstown, Ohio Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

9/7/2007 Letter and info packet to Cincinnati, Ohio Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

9/8/2007 Letter to Florida Representative Perry E, Thurston concerning RDOWS opposition to HB 101 a Bill to overturn Florida’s state level BSL pre-emption.

9/8/2007 Letter to New Jersey Senator James “Sonny” McCullough concerning BSL.

9/11/2007 Received letter from Cincinnati, OH Councilwoman Y. Laketa Cole, president Pro-tem thanking RDOWS for info packet.

9/12/2007 Received letter from Cincinnati Councilman Leslie Ghiz thanking RDOWS for info packet.

9/13/2007 RDOWS sends letter of thanks to American Dog Breeders Association, Inc. for all of their help and support.

9/13/2007 Letter of request to Beebe AR for a copy of their BSL ordinance. NO RESPONSE

9/17/2007 Letter and info packet to Takoma Park. MD Mayor and Board of Aldermen concerning proposed BSL.

9/19/2007 Letter and info packet to Mr. Phil Eldridge, Esq. City Attorney for Geneva County, Alabama concerning proposed BSL.

9/21/2007 Letter and info packet to Canfield, Ohio Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

9/22/2007 Letter and info packet to Youngstown, Ohio Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

9/23/2007 Letter and info packet to Sandusky, Ohio Mayor and Board of Commissioners concerning proposed BSL.

9/24/2007 Received a letter of thanks to RDOWS from Sandusky, OH Commissioner Dan Kaman.

9/24/2007 Letter to Baltimore County, MD Executive, and County Council concerning proposed BSL.

9/24/2007 Letter to Halls, TN Mayor Trent McManus concerning proposed BSL.

9/25/2007 Request to reprint TOOLS FOR THE ENDANGERED DOG OWNER from Denise Groenwald, President GSDC of North Georgia -Permission granted

9/25/2007 Letter and info packet to Jackson County NC Chairman and Board of Commissioners concerning proposed BSL.

9/26/2007 Letter to Abbeville, LA Mayor and Council concerning a newspaper report of possible BSL.


10/1/2007 Letter, Illinois State Law and info packet to Johnston City, IL Mayor and Council concerning proposed BSL.

10/2/2007 Letter, and info packet to Nebraska senator Vickie McDonald who proposed changes in Nebraska’s dog laws.

10/2/2007 Received letter from Nebraska Senator Vickie McDonald’s Senior Legislative Aide Mikki McCann assuring RDOWS that Senator McDonald is not interested in introducing BSL, and that the Senator understands the need to hold dog owners responsible for the care, training and control of their animals.

10/8/2007 Letter and info packet to Mayor Robert “Bob” Morris of Somerville, TN concerning their BSL.

10/8/2007 Letter and info packet to Dyer, TN Mayor and Council concerning enacted BSL.

10/9/2007 Letter, and info packet to Councilman Tim Pape of Fort Wayne, IN concerning proposed changes to their dog laws.



Many people accept without question, or proof that there is a pet-overpopulation crises in the United States. They cite the numbers of animals that are killed in shelters as their proof. That “proof” will increase dramatically in shelters across the county that took in animals that were “rescued” from the areas hit by the Hurricanes Katrina, and Rita. These animals will considerably add to the shelter’s kill numbers, and will lead to legislation to quell the crisis. In order to “prove” pet overpopulation, animal rights groups, and shelters are importing animals from China, Haiti, Romania, Taiwan, South America, and from countries around the world, and shuttling them across this nation. With those animals go their diseases that are not endemic to the United States of America. Shelters all over this country were shut down in the past year to get control of disease epidemics. Animal transports are at an unprecedented level. These transported animals are being used to inflate local shelter’s intake and euthanasia rates. If there were truly a pet overpopulation in the United States of America, wouldn’t it  make a whole lot of sense not to import animals from elsewhere?

Over-population is caused by an environmental situation that affects the whole population, such as drought, or crop failure, or even war. It means that there are no life sustaining resources to keep the populace alive. Over-population affects every living thing within the confines of the afflicted area. It would mean that there is no food, no potable water, no shelter, no medical supplies, no clothing, nothing to keep the entire population alive, and thriving. If we truly had a pet-overpopulation here in the USA, we wouldn’t just be talking about the sterile killing of animals for disposal in so-called shelters. We would be eating those animals to save ourselves from starvation.  If there was truly an overpopulation, there would be empty super-market shelves. No medical supplies, or services. Lines for potable water. We would all look like the people who have honestly suffered from the real situation of no sustaining resources available. We wouldn’t be a diet conscious nation, we would be in serious nutritional trouble. Over-population doesn’t play favorites. It affects the entire population of living beings.

Animal rights groups basically built the shelters, and told people that they didn’t have to be responsible for their animals anymore. Just dump them at the shelter. It’s become big business, and the shelters are not only thriving, but they are getting bigger, and better multi-million dollar facilities. Interestingly the Humane Society of the United States, one of the foremost purveyors of the pet overpopulation myth,  operates no shelters at all, and uses a large portion of it’s donations to make even more money. They recently have come under investigation by the Louisiana Attorney General for misuse of funds obtained after Hurricane Katrina, some $30,000.000.00. PeTA with all of it’s millions in revenue operates one shelter where it kills 83% of all the animals that it brings in.

We need to question what we are being told by these animal rights groups, and not be so quick to accept what they tell us as truths. Look at their real agenda. They post it on their websites. That agenda is to liberate all animals from our ownership, use, and care. No more pets. If we can’t own pets, there can’t be an “over-population”.  No more domesticated animals of any kind. 

Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States position on pet overpopulation is that it is a lie that is perpetrated by the animal rights movement, and fueled by the minority of pet owning society, the irresponsible, careless, negligent owner.

I think I speak for a good deal of reasonable people out here on planet earth who have been fighting bad animal legislation (and the animal rights groups/lobbyists who push for it) for some time who can finally breathe a vindicated sigh of relief and say to Nathan Winograd, “It’s about time somebody came out and said it.” If you’ve ever worked, volunteered, or otherwise been involved with a shelter, you will probably not be surprised at Winograd’s claim that pet overpopulation is mythology, a yarn if you will, spun by those with an agenda. But Winograd in his book Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America did the footwork, wrote the book, and proved it.

I won’t go into how Winograd proves that pet overpopulation is a myth since you should check the book out for yourself, if only as armament against the next ignorant, self-proclaimed “do-gooder” who tells you that ‘No Kill’ as a rule is a fallacy or that the killing of animals in the millions is a necessary evil thanks to an irresponsible pet-owning public. What I will say is that this book is a must-read if you profess to be current on the issues of shelter intake numbers, spay/neuter, animal adoption/kill rates, and animal legislation.

That said, I would like to propose an addendum to Winograd’s book. In chapter four (pp. 53-63) Winograd conjectures about the reasons why more shelters, animal controls, and even national organizations (like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the National Animal Control Association) did not push the ‘No Kill’ philosophy after the demonstrated success of Richard Avanzino’s ‘No Kill’ program at the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: 1) Fear of being held to account for shelters’ high kill rates; 2) Guilt for having killed so many animals when there had been a better solution — ‘No Kill’ — all along; 3) Ignorance for not knowing there was another solution besides kill rates of 50-80%; 4) Shelter directors not caring enough about animals to change their policies, or to put that another way, the status quo was easier than a mass overhaul of the system. (Winograd calls this attitude the very definition of bureaucracy, which, he notes, often sacrifices its founding principles in the greater interest of self-preservation.)

These are all plausible theories, but I would add one more, which Winograd only briefly addresses in the chapter on feral cats: nativism. As Winograd notes, nativism is the “belief that the value of an individual animal comes from lineage and that worth as a species stems from being at a particular location first” (79). Winograd is fearless to point out, since most animal rights activists won’t, that nativism, as well as environmentalism and animal rights as concepts, had their roots in Nazi Germany. What Winograd can’t or won’t say, or is afraid to admit, is that some shelters and animal rights organizations (or so-called “humane” organizations which have been infiltrated with animal rights activists or by the animal rights mentality) are adherents of nativism and may not have an interest in saving pets’ lives, but may in fact be wilfully seeking to exterminate them. To many animal rights activists and environmentalists who subscribe to nativism, domesticated pets represent a violation of “Mother Nature,” or the living Gaia, which to them is the natural order of things.

The essay “The Ethic of Care and the Problem of Wild Animals” sums this view up tidily:

“Without addressing the difficult issue of the rationality of nonhuman animals, the autonomy and independence of at least wild animals can be and has been defended. In fact, environmental ethicists have long emphasized the difference between wild and domestic animals along these lines: Aldo Leopold wrote that the essence of environmental ethics was “reappraising things unnatural, tame, and confined in terms of things natural, wild, and free” (Callicott 1992, 67). According to environmental ethicist J. Baird Callicott, wild animals are autonomous and independent, while domestic animals are human creations which are metaphysically unfree. By this Callicott means that domestic animals are nothing but what we have selectively bred them to be, such that it is as meaningless to speak of setting free domestic animals as it would be to speak of setting free a chair.”

So in the minds of many environmentalists and animal rights activists, since you can’t set domestic animals free (after all, they are, according to them, unnatural human creations), you must necessarily “humanely” euthanize them. In other words, in order to return to the “natural order” of things, indigenous species should take precedent over human encroachment, which includes human domestication of animals, because wild (i.e. natural, indigenous), animals were there first.

Domesticated animals are not indigenous, they are, as Wayne Pacelle, head of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has said, “…creations of human selective breeding” (Animal People, May, 1993). In other words, to many environmentalists and animal rights activists, domesticated animals, like humans themselves, are a bane to the “natural order” of things, meaning wild animals, the environment, and “Mother Earth.” I wonder if the majority of those donating to the HSUS know that, as Pacelle stated, the HSUS has “…no problem with the extinction of domestic animals” (Animal People, May, 1993). I wonder if the majority of those donating to PETA know that Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of PETA, thinks “…it would be lovely if we stopped this whole notion of pets altogether” (Newsday, 2/21/88). I bet not.

I think it safe to say that most if not all animal rights groups have the shared goal of ending domestic pet ownership (and animal agriculture) one way or the other whether like PETA, it’s by encouraging municipalities to ban specific breeds, or like the HSUS, it’s by pushing breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter, just as a few examples. Many animal rights groups have formidable lobbies pushing legislation behind the scenes. What these groups push for or how they push for it many in the public, including even those of us who are laser-beam focused on such issues, are seldom privy.

I don’t know why Winograd did not find the same damning quotes from the animal rights groups — like PETA or the HSUS — in doing the research for his book. Maybe he did and was afraid to admit that the killing is done on purpose since he himself has been labeled an animal rights activist, though to my recollection I do not believe he ever refers to himself as an animal rights activist anywhere in the book. (And even though he has been labeled an animal rights activist by the press, I’m going to try to give Winograd the benefit of the doubt in this case and hope that the AR label is something of a misnomer and what he should really be called is an animal welfare advocate since, unlike many animal rights activists, he doesn’t want to see domesticated animals die en masse.) Either way, I cannot speculate. But a more in-depth look into the nativism theory, which is perhaps the most plausible theory for why many so-called “humane” organizations, animal controls, and shelters are more interested in killing than saving animals, is certainly warranted given the heads of these groups’ own damning words. Perhaps in Winograd’s follow-up book he can take a closer look at these animal rights groups and get to the bottom of their true agenda: the end of domestic pet ownership (and animal agriculture) as we know it.

Elizabeth Pensgard
Illinois Director, Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States

Baltimore County Councilman Vince Gardina who was elected to serve the 5th district is using his position to attempt to target certain dog owners. Unfortunately he isn’t targeting the negligent, or irresponsible dog owners he is targeting owners of specific breeds of dogs, and owners of dogs having a certain physical appearance. Yes!! You guessed it Vince Gardina is targeting the mythological monster “pit bull”. 

Since “pit bull” isn’t a breed of record, Councilman Gardina has decided to target low density, low population breeds, that to the best of our research and knowledge,  finds that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as a breed  has not been involved in one bite incident in North America since their recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1972. The American Staffordshire Terrier  has three bites to its record since its recognition by the AKC in 1936, and no fatalities, and the American Pit Bull Terrier has only one record of a pure-bred registered dog being involved in a fatal bite incident it was in the 1980’s, and involved an unsupervised toddler.    These breeds and their owners are being singled out for extraordinary treatment under the law for incidences done by undocumented dogs of questionable background.  All provably pure-bred dogs have documented proof of registration, and of pedigree. Any dog that has no documentation is not provably pure-bred.

Councilman Gardina is quick to spout urban myth as truth, and to embroider upon it by comparing living, breathing flesh and blood animals to inanimate firearms. Mr. Gardina apparently believes that there is such a thing as a supernatural dog. A dog that is more cunning than the drooling idiot, genetic genius breeders are capable of out-thinking, controlling, or containing.  

And who could blame him when newspapers, and media reports are full of the stuff of which myths are created? The dogs that appear out of nowhere, that can disappear that can “lock their jaws”, that can escape like Harry Houdini, that are larger than life, and evil incarnate. It is interesting that media reports concerning “pit bulls” take on a sinister quality that surrounds no other breeds of dogs even when they are involved in a human fatality. “Pit bull” articles always play up the “dangerousness” of the dogs even when it is supposedly a positive article.

Councilman Gardina take a tip from Mark Twain, it is as true today as when it was written;  “It has become a sarcastic proverb that a thing must be true if you saw it in a newspaper. That is the opinion intelligent people have of that lying vehicle in a nutshell. But the trouble is that the stupid people–who constitute the grand overwhelming majority of this and all other nations–do believe and are moulded and convinced by what they get out of a newspaper, and there is where the harm lies.”
– “License of the Press” speech

Councilman Gardina prefers the myth to the truth. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States among other national organizations has sent reams of factual, useful, and sound information to Councilman Gardina’s office. Councilman Gardina is blissfully wed to his Pit Bull Bill. Although he knows that there wont be enough vote to pass it. Councilman Gardina will take his Bill to a vote October 15. It is really a stunning shame that Councilman Gardina doesn’t want to apply equal treatment for all dog owners, and equal protection from all dogs to his Bill. He would rather discriminate, and pass arbitrary legislation that is based simply upon his personal bias, and has nothing to do with reality, or legality.

Cherie Graves, chairwoman
Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States

In researching to discover who, or what entity is behind the recent crop of breed specific dog laws in Tennessee the trail led to the Municipal Technical Advisory Service at the University of Tennessee. Further inquiries led to the name Sidney D. Hemsley who appears to be the driving force behind providing Tennessee cities with breed specific language for their ordinances. I contacted Mr. Hemsley (865-974-0411) to ask where the language  in the ordinances originated. He became immediately defensive, and started to raise his voice, and stammer. He cited a case in Kansas. But that was not the answer to my question.

When I attempted to get him to just cite the author, he started yelling about “…damned pit bulls.. chewing people up, … sick of it…”. I Asked him if he was biased, and he said that he was, he said  “I hate pit bulls”.

I spoke to the City Attorney for Halls, Tennessee Mr. William Lewis Jenkins (731-286-2401) to ask where the language for their BSL originated. Mr. Jenkins was advised by the city of Halls not to divulge that information. I laughingly asked Mr. Jenkins,  “Is it a secret?” He said that it was not a secret, but he was under advisement not to tell me. 

The Tennessee dog fancy really needs to come together and file a suit against MTAS, the UT, and Mr. Hemsley. They are conspiring to deprive the citizenry of Tennessee of their civil, and constitutional rights.

Cherie Graves, chairwoman
Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States



P.O. Box 1406  Newport, WA 99156Web Site E-mail US rdows@povn.comBlog  E-mail List Cherie Graves, Chairwoman, WA, (509) 447-2821Judy Schreiber-Dwornick, Assistant to the Chair, Director at Large, rdowsdirectoratlarge@gmail.comHermine Stover, Secretary, Press Liaison, CA, hermine@endangeredspecies.comArkansas Director, Roger Schnyer  cajun9@sbcglobal.netCalifornia Director, Jan Dykema bestuvall@sbcglobal.netIllinois Director, Elizabeth Pensgard bpensgard@yahoo.comIndiana Director, Charles Coffman candkcoffman@comcast.netIowa Director, Leisa Boysen rdows_iowa@yahoo.comMississippi Director, Dan Crutchfield farmer1@telepak.netNevada Director, Ken Sondej 4winds@viawest.netOhio Director, Tiffany Skotnicky ohdirrdows@yahoo.comOklahoma Director, Jade Harris

Tennessee Director, Gina Cotton

Texas Director, Alvin Crow


Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States was formed October 15, 1989 to protect the rights, and interests of dog owners. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States opposes breed specific legislation (BSL) on legal, and moral grounds, and upon the Rules of Reason that all laws must meet. Our position is that every dog owner is responsible for protecting the public from his/her dog.

Our research shows that in the majority of severe or fatal dog attacks there had been numerous, previous reports made to Animal Control that were not acted upon. Our research further shows that as shocking, and traumatic as severe or fatal dog attacks are, they are relatively uncommon occurrences in comparison to other causes of severe injury, or fatalities in the United States, given that the vast majority of Americans are dog owners.  The likelihood of any pure-bred, registered dog being involved in a fatal attack upon a human being is infinitesimal.

MORALITY·       BSL is based upon the urban myth of the “pit bull”, which is not a recognized breed of dog. Under the guise of banning “pit bulls” any breed may be thus identified. There are at least seventy-five actual breeds, plus any mixed breed now either banned from ownership, or restricted in ownership in the United States. That is about 1/5 of all recognized breeds.·        BSL is inflammatory, and is based upon unproven beliefs, not facts.·        BSL is under inclusive in that it only recognizes a threat to society from certain  breeds, or mixed breeds of dogs. ·        BSL is over inclusive, as dogs are as varied within their breed, as are human beings within our ethnicity.·        BSL by stipulating, and naming specific breeds as being dangerous indemnifies all of the unnamed breeds as being safe by exclusion. ·        BSL creates a false sense of public safety.·        BSL does not address the irresponsible dog owner.·        BSL punishes the law abiding dog owner.·        BSL orders the death of dogs based solely upon their physical appearance.·        BSL assumes that human beings are inferior to, and incapable of properly maintaining dogs of specific breeds, or appearance. 

LEGALITY·        BSL has been ruled unconstitutional in Court venues across the United States on grounds ranging from vagueness, to an infringement of property rights, to equal treatment, equal protection.·        Dogs have been the domesticated traditional property of human beings for well over thirty-five thousand years. This tradition gives legal standing to dog owners based upon the IX Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States of America.·        BSL violates the rights granted under the IV Amendment to the Bill of Rights.·        BSL violates the rights granted under the V Amendment of the Bill of Rights.·        BSL violates the rights granted under VI Amendment to the Bill of Rights.·        BSL violates the rights granted under VIII  Amendment to the Bill of Rights.·        BSL violates the rights granted under XIV Amendment to the Bill of Rights.

·        BSL creates a whole new criminal class, the dog owner

·        BSL sets a legal precedent that unchallenged empowers the enacting body to add any, or all other dog breeds, or even domestic species of animals to the prohibition on ownership.

         Zuniga v. San Mateo Dept. of Health Services (1990) 218 Cal. App. 3d 1521, 267 Cal. Rptr. 2d 755. The court found there was not sufficient evidence to prove Pit Bulls have an inherent nature of being dangerous.Carter v. Metro North Assocs. (1998) 255 A.D. 2d 251; 680 N.Y.S.2d 299 A New York appellate court determined that the alleged propensities of Pit Bull Terriers to behave more viciously than other breeds had not been authoritatively established.American Canine Foundation litigated the city of Huntsville Alabama in 2002 in a case that was heard by the Alabama Supreme Court. Huntsville v. Four Pit Bull Puppies
(Ala. 08-30-02), No.1010459, unreported.  The court affirmed a trial court decision that American Pit Bull Terriers were not dangerous.  
        On July 16th 2003 ACF brought forth a constitutional challenge against Ohio’s state law O.R.C. 955:11 that declares the Pit Bull vicious. The case was heard in the Toledo Municipal Court. The court found the American Pit Bull Terrier was not dangerous, and granted Pit Bull owners due process.  Tellings v State of Ohio CRB02-15267In August 2004 a case American Canine Foundation assisted in was heard by the Ohio Supreme Court. State v. Cowan 103 Ohio St. 3d 144 , 2004 – Ohio – 4777  The court found ORC 955:22 violative of the right to be heard as applied to ORC955:11 which declared a specific breed of dog vicious in Ohio. The decision struck down Ohio’s breed specific legislation at the state level. Ohio was the only state to have this type of legislation at the state level.


§ 1983. Civil action for deprivation of rights

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia


§ 1982. Property rights of citizens

All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State and Territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.


  • Laws must be reasonable.
  • It is not reasonable to write animal behaviors, legal punishments, and criminal labels for animals into statutes that are enacted to structure human society.
  • Animals must not be criminalized under laws that are intended to protect human rights, and to control human behaviors.
  • It is unreasonable to write animal behavior into laws that no animal has the capacity to understand, answer to, or to function under.
  • It is unreasonable to mete out criminal labels to animals, i.e. dangerous, or potentially dangerous.  It is unreasonable to prescribe punishments to animals under our laws. 
  • It is unreasonable to remove the human owner from blame, or culpability for the actions of his/her animal(s). 
  • It is unreasonable to assume that every dog of a given breed, or physical appearance will behave in exactly the same manner.
  •  It is unreasonable to assume that every owner of every dog of a given breed, or physical appearance is irresponsible, negligent, or careless with his/her animal(s).
  • Human error, carelessness, or negligence is the underlying factor behind every dog attack.
  • Given the actual figures of severe dog attacks, or fatalities related to dog attacks per capita in the United States of America, dogs are not the threat to human life that the sensationalistic media, and urban myth would portray.

Enumclaw, Washington is one of  eighteen cities in Washington to have breed bans. Enumclaw specifically bans, and prohibits possession of Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers,  American Pit Bull Terriers, and any mixed breed of dog that contains as an element of its breeding any of the aforementioned breeds of dogs within their city limits. The city of Enumclaw abuts the King County Fairgrounds where several major dog shows are held. Persons attending the dog shows with the prohibited breeds are denied the use of services in the city of Enumclaw. One may not stay in a motel, buy gasoline, eat in a restaurant, or make purchases from a convenience store when they are in possession of any of the prohibited breeds of dogs.


Glen Bui, of the American Canine Foundation, and Cherie Graves, chairwoman of Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States are filing a lawsuit in the Western District Federal Court against the city of Enumclaw for violating their constitutional rights of travel, and commerce, and for discrimination. Neither are representing their respective organizations in this suit.


Glen Bui, and Cherie Graves spoke with attorney Peter Kram, of Tacoma who advised them that the case will cost approximately $50,000.00. Peter Kram is a judge-pro-tem, and is familiar with breed specific dog ordinances, and the harm that they do to innocent, responsible dog owners.


No other dog owners of the prohibited breeds were willing to join in the lawsuit. Both the American Canine Foundation, and Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States have offered help in funding the lawsuit, but neither organization has nearly enough funds to finance the entire cost of the suit.  RDOWS has less than $1,000.00 in its treasury after helping to get Responsible Owners of Arkansas Dogs, Inc., up and running.  We need help from the dog fancy. No donation is too small to help stamp out BSL.


To donate to the American Canine Foundation use PayPal

Or make your check payable to American Canine foundation, and mail to ACF, 23969 N.E. SR3 Suite G101, Belfair, WA 98528


To donate to Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States use PayPal or make your check payable to RDOWS, P.O. Box 1406, Newport, WA 99156