January 17, 2008

RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS OF THE WESTERN STATESP.O. Box 1406  Newport, WA 99156Web Site http://www.povn.com/rdows   E-mail  rdows@povn.comBlog https://rdows.wordpress.com  E-mail List http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rdows 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.comMary Schaeffer, Finance Director, finedogs@hotmail.comCalifornia 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 aadrlegislation@yahoo.comTennessee Director, Gina Cotton ginacotton@msn.comTexas Director, Alvin Crow crobx@austin.rr.com OPPOSITION STATEMENT TO TENNESSEE SB 2738 

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 stands in opposition to Tennessee Senate Bill 2738, sponsored by Senator Tommy Kilby, D – Wartburg District 12 – Campbell, Fentress, Morgan, Rhea, Roane and Scott counties.


SB2738 if enacted would set a legal precedent that would allow the Legislature of the state of Tennessee to ban all dog breeds, or even all domestic animals from the ownership of the resident citizens of Tennessee.


Under the guise of banning “pit bulls”, a non-breed,  SB 2738 names four separate breeds of dogs that would be prohibited from ownership, The American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier, and the American Bulldog. There is no factual evidence that a dog from any of these four breeds have caused any problem in Tennessee.


Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States has been tracking dog bite incidences since 1989.  There has never been a report in the United States of any provably pure-bred Staffordshire Bull Terrier ever having been the perpetrator of an attack. In the entire United States there have been only three bite incidences involving provably pure-bred American Staffordshire Terriers since 1936 when the breed was recognized, and registered by the American Kennel Club. There has only been one fatality attributable to a provably pure-bred registered American Pit Bull Terrier which involved a nursing mother with her litter, and an unattended child that happened in the mid-1980’s. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States has been unable to find any bite, or attack attributable to a pure-bred, registered American Bulldog.

SB 2738 creates a whole new criminal class, the dog owner. SB 2738 assumes that all owners of the named breeds of dogs are negligent, careless, criminals who are incapable of owning any of these four breeds of dogs competently.


Dogs are as divergent within their breed as are we humans within our ethnicity. Dogs are among the most ancient of human property. Human beings ownership of dogs can be traced archaeologically back more than thirty thousand years. This tradition gives dog owners legal standing to claim the right of dog ownership.


Urban myths must not be the underlying factor in writing legislation. Our laws must be equitable. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States supports reasonable legislation that treats all dog owners equally while protecting the public from all dogs.  Reasonable laws contain four basic elements; Owners Rights, Owners Responsibilities including standards of care, Owners liability, Criminal actions.


Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States calls upon the Tennessee Legislature to Kill SB 2738



  1. casey hyatt said

    how do we help ??
    I live in Johnson City , TN

  2. rdows said

    Write to your legislators. Encourage them to vote no on this Bill. Go to the Tennessee Legislature’s website. It is very easy to manouver through. If you send me a personal e-mail, I’ll send you all of the Tennessee Senator’s e-mail addresses.
    Thank you for asking,

  3. Linda said

    Thank you rdows. Can you link me to the website please, just so I know I’m going to the right one.

  4. Chris said

    When does this bill take effect if passed? Is it to late for me to write to my senators? I have just heard of this bill and live in Montgomery County, TN.

  5. rdows said

    Chris, if you go to the Tennessee Senate site and punch in the bill number, you can see the status of the bill:


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