Citywide pit bull bans are often knee jerk reactions — maybe even more so when a county sheriff”s knees are involved.
One week after Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale was approached in his yard by four dogs “acting aggressive and looking like pit bull breeds” — and fired a shotgun at them, grazing one — the Alabama city of Clay passed a “vicious dog” ordinance banning pit bulls and pit bull mixes.
The sheriff, according to a spokesman, fired a warning shot into the ground, then another round of ”bird shot” in the direction of the dogs, leading them to turn away. Animal control arrived to round up the dogs, and their owner was charged with letting them run at large. The dog hit by Hale’s shot survived, AL.com reported.
That incident prompted the city council in Clay, with a speed seldom seen in government affairs, to pass an ordinance banning pit bulls and other “vicious” or “dangerous” dogs.
The ordinance bans new pit bulls and mixes that include pit bull. Such dogs already kept in the city limits are grandfathered in but must be registered with the city in the next 60 days. The ordinance requires they be kept indoors and mandates owners post a prominently displayed ”beware of dog” sign. Owners are also required to have $50,000 in liability insurance. Violations can be punished with a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail.
Having sought little public input before passing the law on June 3, the city council has gotten some since, AL.com reports.
A standing room only crowd filled Monday night’s meeting of the Clay City Council, with most citizens arguing the breed is not “inherently dangerous” and criticizing the law for unfairly penalizing responsible owners. Many, including a representative from the Birmingham Humane Society, urged the council to consider a non-breed specific dangerous dog law instead.
One speaker continued to voice his concerns after his turn to speak was over. When told he was interrupting, he continued his comments, leading Mayor Charles Webster — perhaps deeming him to be inherently dangerous — to ban him from the room.
“You are turning us all into criminals,” the man, identified as Mark Lawson, said as a deputy led him outside.
City Attorney Alan Summers said he would try to have a new or modified ordinance for the council to consider at its next meeting on July 1.
(Top photo by Jeremy Gray / AL.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, ban, banned, breed-specific, breeds, charles webster, citizens, city council, clay, county, criticism, fines, insurance, jefferson, knee jerk, laws, legislation, mayor, meeting, mike hale, mixed, ordinance, pit bull, pit bull bans, pit bulls, pit mixes, pitbull, pitbulls, reactions, restrictions, review, sheriff, shooting, shot, signs
Diamond is a documented hero — credited with saving the lives of her California family and named one of the nation’s top ten “Valor Dogs” — but landlords only see her as trouble.
Her owner says that despite being named one of the nation’s top ten “Valor Dogs” by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), dozens of landlords are turning away “Diamond” because she’s a pit bull, WBIR-TV reports.
Darryl Steen, Diamond’s owner, says she woke him up when his apartment caught fire last October. He was able to get one of his daughters to safety by dropping her out of a window, but couldn’t reach the second child.
When firefighters finally got to her, Diamond was laying on top of the girl in an effort to protect her from the flames.
The dog suffered severe burns, but has recovered.
Steen says that several landlords have told them that pets are welcome, only to renege when they learn that Diamond is a pit bull.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, banned, california, darryl steen, diamond, discrimination, dogs, family, fire, hayward, hero, humane society, landlords, pets, pit bull, pitbull, rentals, saved, valor
The owner of a western wear shop in North Carolina has apologized for kicking a 5-year-old girl’s service dog out of his store — but not until after threats of a boycott and lawsuit surfaced.
“I had no intentions to offend anyone, but if I have I apologize for it,” said Robert Bryant who owns the Western Shop in New Hanover County, N.C. He said he wasn’t famliar with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Bryant’s raspy “apology” — you can see more of it here — was in stark contrast to what he reportedly barked at the girl and her mother: “Get that (expletive) dog out of my store.”
Bryant said the dog smelled bad and he didn’t want dog hair on his merchandise, sounding much like the Colorado attorney who was hit with $50,000 in fines this week for banning a woman and her service dog from his law office, for fear it might soil his new carpet.
Ellie, a golden retriever, belongs to 5-year-old Amanda Ivancevich, who has cerebral palsy and is missing the left side of her brain. She relies on the dog to get her through the day and alert her family to pending seizures. Her mother, Susan Ivancevich, said it was Amanda’s first trip outside in a year.
“I’m a law abiding citizen, yes,” said Bryant. “I had no intentions of offending this child. I love children.” He also pointed out repeatedly that he runs a “Christian business.”
Since learning more about what the law says about service dogs, Bryant says he would act differently if Ellie walked into his store again.
After Susan Ivancevich posted a comment about the incident on Facebook, dozens have come to her support, and some have vowed to stop patronizing Bryant’s shop.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 5-year-old, amanda ivancevich, american with disabilities act, animals, apologizes, apology, banned, bans, cerebral palsy, kicked out, n.c., new hanover county, news, north carolina, ohmidog!, pets, robert bryant, service dog, store, susan ivancevich, western shop
Electric shock collars have been banned in Wales.
Under the ban — the first in the UK – owners who zap their dogs for misbehaving face a fine of up to £20,000 or six months in prison.
Around 500,000 electric collars are in use in the UK, including some 20,000 in Wales, the Daily Mail reported.
Pet welfare groups, including the RSPCA and the Kennel Club, say the electronic devices cause unnecessary pain and suffering, and that they’d like to see the ban extended across Britain.
Proponents of the collars say they can improve the behavior of dogs that would otherwise be put down, train excitable pets to stop running into traffic and stop them from worrying sheep or inflicting other damage. Banning the collars, they say, could lead to shelters being inundated with unmanageable pets.
The RSPCA counters that, rather than using pain and punishment to train dogs, pet owners should use rewards such as treats and balls. It called The Welsh Assembly’s decision “a historic day for animal welfare.”
“‘Wales has proven it is truly leading the way,” Kennel Club Secretary Caroline Kisko said, “and we hope the rest of the UK will follow by example to outlaw these cruel and unnecessary devices.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ban, banned, behavior, cats, collars, correcting, dogs, electric, electric collar, electric shock collar, electronic, fines, illegal, kennel club, news, ohmidog!, pain, pets, prison, punishment, rspca, shelters, shock, suffering, training, uk, wales, welsh, zap
After decades of delays, New York City and state officials opened part of Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Monday, making available a portion of what may one day be a self-sustaining, multi-use, 1.7-mile-long green space.
But the newly opened area has no space for dogs.
The Pier 1 greenspace won’t be wholly usable until mid-April, when the new lawn — which accounts for almost half of the six-acre pier — is strong enough to open to the public. According to the New York Post, picnics and Frisbee will be allowed on the grass next month, but dogs — even those on leashes — will be banned permanently from the section of park.
Despite city zoning rules that allow leashed dogs at all parks before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m., the new city-state park has established special rules to bar canines from the sitting area at all times.
“There will be no dogs, no chairs and no big soccer games on the lawn,” said Jeff Sandgrund, director of operations for the park. “It’s a passive lawn — people can use it within reason.”
“Passive lawn?” Poop on that, some dog lovers say.
“Leashed dogs only allowed on the concrete? How about giving us 10 feet of grass along the border where we can picnic with our dogs, or watch the boats sail by?”complained Bob Ipcar, president of FIDO, a Prospect Park-based dog advocacy group.
Mayor Bloomberg allocated $55 million in city money, on top of the city’s $139-million share of the $350-million cost to build along all six of the waterfront piers. But who will bear the cost of maintenance — estimated at a whopping $16 million per year — is is still being figured out, the Post reported.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: banned, barred, bob ipcar, brooklyn, brooklyn bridge park, city, dogs, fido, green space, jeff sandgrund, new york, new york city, news, no dogs, not allowed, opening, opens, parks, passive lawn, pier 1, recreation, state
Nearly 35 years after it banned dogs from downtown, Santa Cruz is considering allowing them to return.
The coastal California city, plagued by strays that were being picked up at a clip of 200 a month in the 1970s, banned dogs in its central business district in 1976, at the urging of merchants.
More than three decades, merchants are again urging change — but this time it’s to allow dogs back into the business district, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Today, the Downtown Association, which represents business owners, will discuss recommending the council overturn the ordinance while strengthening leash laws and other safeguards.
An association poll shows a majority of merchants believe they are missing out on business from tourists and locals who would bring their dogs downtown for a stroll or dining at outside tables, much as they do in well-known dog-friendly towns like Carmel and Los Gatos.
In Santa Cruz, dogs are also banned from some local beaches and the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf.
“Forty years later, the council has the right to reconsider something,” said Mayor Mike Rotkin, who has served a total of 26 years on the council since 1979. “It’s a very different council and times are different.”
Former Councilwoman Carole De Palma, who voted for the 1976 ban, said the city should reconsider reversing the law because dog owners tend to be more responsible these days. De Palma, who owns a 7-year-old dachshund-Chihuahua mix named Pearl, said increasing safeguards could reduce problems that led to the ban.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ban, banned, business, california, central business district, city council, dining, district, dog friendly, dogs, downtown, ending, law, lifting, merchants, news, ordinance, pets, proposal, restrictions, return, reversal, santa cruz, shops, tourism, tourists
Paul Railton was fined and barred from driving for six months after taking his dog for a walk while sitting behind the wheel of his car.
Prosecutors said he was spotted by a cyclist driving slowly along a country lane in December, holding his dog’s leash through the car window as the animal trotted alongside.
Railton pleaded guilty Monday to not being in proper control of a vehicle, but told the court that “a lot of people exercise their dogs in that manner,” MSNBC reports.
His lawyer said Railton, 23, acknowledged “it was a silly thing to do and there was an element of laziness.”
Railton was ordered by magistrates in Consett, northeast England, to pay a fine of about $100. He also received three penalty points on his driver’s license, leading to him being barred from driving for six months.
Several British newspapers reported that Railton was involved in an attempted murder case last year (drive-by shooting?), but that the case was dismissed because of police misconduct.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alongside, banned, barred, car, dog, dog walking, dogs, driver, driving, england, fine, laziness, lazy, lazy brit, leash, news, paul railton, road, street, walk, walking
What do some Westminster show dogs have in common with some drug dealers’ attack dogs?
They’ve been debarked.
The surgical procedure, which critics label outdated and inhumane, has been around for decades, but continues to fall out of favor, especially among younger veterinarians and animal-rights advocates, the New York Times reported this week.
There are no reliable figures on how many dogs have had their vocal cords cut, but veterinarians and other animal experts say that dogs with no bark can be found in private homes, on the show-dog circuit, and even on the turf of drug dealers, who are said to prefer their attack dogs silent.
David Frei, the longtime co-host of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, acknowledged that some show dogs have the operation. “There is no question we have some debarked dogs among our entries,” he said.
Many veterinarians refuse to do the surgery on ethical grounds, and some states have banned it, except for therapeutic reasons, including New Jersey. Similar legislation is pending in Massachusetts.
In the surgery, vets anesthetize the dog before cutting its vocal cords, either through the mouth or through an incision in the larynx. Dogs generally recover quickly, veterinarians say, and while they usually can still make sounds, their barks become muffled and raspy.
But Dr. Gary W. Ellison, of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida, said the procedure can lead to complications, such as excess scar tissue building up in the throat of dogs, making it difficult to breathe.
Ellison said the procedure is no longer taught at the University of Florida’s veterinary school.
Banfield, the Pet Hospital, with more than 750 veterinary practices across the country, formally banned the surgery last summer.
“Debarking is not a medically necessary procedure,” said Jeffrey S. Klausner, the hospital’s senior vice president and chief medical officer. “We think it’s not humane to the dogs to put them through the surgery and the pain. We just do not think that it should be performed.”
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that the surgery only be done “after behavioral modification efforts to correct excessive vocalization have failed.”
Posted by John Woestendiek February 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american veterinary medical association, avma, banfield, banned, bark, barking, cut, debarked, debarking, dogs, inhumane, jeffrey s. klausner, massachusetts, new jersey, new york times, outdated, problems, proposal, scar tissue, show dogs, surgery, surgical procedure, university of florida, veterinarian, veterinary, veterinary school, vocal cords, westminster
Here’s an ad by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that won’t be airing during today’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
PETA had sought to have the ad aired during the parade at NBC affilliates in Raleigh, N.C., Columbia, S.C., Savannah, Ga., and Little Rock, Ark. But they all rejected it, according to PETA spokesman Michael Lyubinsky.
The commercial depicts a young girl saying grace at Thanksgiving, giving thanks for “the turkey farms where they pack them into dark, tiny little sheds for their whole lives.” It encourages viewers to “go vegan.”
Brad Moses, general manager of Raleigh’s WNCN, said he decided to ban the ad in Raleigh and Savannah because it’s not appropriate for the spirit of the parade, the Associated Press reported.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 26th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ad, advertisement, banned, columbia, conditions, dinner, farms, little rock, macy's, parade, people for the ethical treatment of animals, peta, raleigh, rejected, savannah, television, thanksgiving, turkey, vegan, vegetarian
A disabled veteran is suing McDonald’s for $10 million, claiming he was harassed, beaten, and told that he couldn’t take his service dog inside.
Former Army captain Luis Carlos Montalvan, who inspired Sen. Al Franken’s first legislative victory — a service dog program for disabled veterans — claims in the lawsuit that he was confronted by restaurant workers on two separate visits, and beaten with garbage can lids when he returned with a camera.
Franken, in an e-mail message to Montalvan last week, called it an “awful, bizarre story,” according to the Star-Tribune.
A spokeswoman for McDonald’s USA said the matter is under investigation.
Montalvan, 36, of Brooklyn, filed the lawsuit in October, a week after Congress approved Franken’s provision establishing a pilot program to pair 200 wounded veterans with service dogs from nonprofit agencies.
Franken said Montalvan and his service dog, a golden retriever named Tuesday — both of whom he had met at a presidential inaugural ball — inspired his proposal.
“Captain Montalvan made great sacrifices fighting for our country in Iraq,” Franken said. “I’m not entirely familiar with the facts of this case, but what I do know underscores both the need to help our returning veterans and to raise awareness and increase access for service dogs.”
Montalvan suffered spinal cord damage and traumatic brain injuries during two tours of duty in Iraq that also left him with post-traumatic stress disorder. Tuesday, his service dog, helps him with balance, mobility and emotional support.
Montalvan’s lawsuit recounts a series of events that began last December, several weeks after he completed service dog training. Visiting a McDonald’s in Brooklyn, Montalvan was told by employees that pets were not allowed. He complained and a supervisor later apologized in writing and assured Montalvan that his dog was welcome.
Montalvan’s dog was barred from the restaurant again in January. Two days later, when Montalvan returned with a camera, the restaurant had been closed due to health code violations, but two McDonald’s workers confronted him and beat him with plastic garbage can lids, he says.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: access, al franken, army, banned, barred, brooklyn, captain, disabilities, disability, disabled, dogs, handicapped, lawsuit, luis carlos montalvan, mcdonald's, new york, senator, service dogs, veteran, veterans