The Virginia city of Suffolk has approved a ban on dog-tethering, effective the first of September.
After months of wrangling over details and considering compromises, the city council voted 6-2 to enact an outright ban on dog-tethering, the Virginian-Pilot reported.
Suffolk joins a growing number of Virginia cities that have taken steps to ban or limit tethering dogs outside. Hampton forbids it, and Portsmouth, Norfolk and Virginia Beach limit tethering to a maximum of three hours a day.
Suffolk City Councilman Mike Duman, who had proposed a 10-hour a day limit, said he was pleased with the outcome.
Police Chief Thomas Bennett told the council an outright ban would be easier to enforce than restricting tethering to a certain number of hours a day.
The ordinance makes tethering a Class Four misdemeanor punishable by a $250 fine.
(Photo: A tethered dog photographed in the Pleasant Hill area of Suffolk; by Jason Hirschfeld / The Virginian-Pilot)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, banned, bans, city council, dog, dogs, fine, hampton, law, misdemeanor, norfolk, outside, pets, portsmouth, restrictions, suffolk, tethering, tying, virginia, virginia beach
To hear Fox 2 in St. Louis tell it, a massive round up of pit bulls was underway last week in the small town of Sikeston, Missouri.
According to the Fox report (above), animal control officers were seizing pit bulls from homes around town — so many that the Sikeston shelter had to send 20 dogs to St. Louis to make room for all the pit bulls they were rounding up.
Other TV news operations, and the Standard Democrat in Sikeston, were quick to report that the Fox News account was a little off the mark.
Sikeston, which does have pit bull restrictions, picked up three dogs it said were not in compliance with the rules — but no roundup took place.
Wednesday’s Fox News report by Chris Hayes that Sikeston held a “pit bull round up day” led to dozens of calls to the newspaper, and a flurry of online alerts and notifications.
Hayes reported that he “found out about the program after learning about a sudden influx of dogs coming to the St. Louis area” and that it was “to make room for seized pit bulls.”
Sikeston City Manager Doug Friend said allegations that the city held a “pit bull round up day” weren’t true.
There are 32 pit bulls registered in Sikeston, according to Friend, and the city audits those on an annual basis.
“It’s not a big process,” he said. “We just basically drive by, verify that somebody that had a registered pit bull still lives at a registered address. Our plan was to just do our annual look.”
During that recent audit, three pit bulls were taken into custody for non-compliance with the city code. It requires that the owners of pit bulls and some other breeds register those pets with the city, carry liability insurance, and keep their dogs in a fully enclosed pen if they are outside.
KFVS also reported that the Fox report was misleading.
According to KFVS, about 30 dogs were shipped from the Sikeston shelter to no-kill shelters across the country, including one near St. Louis.
Friend told KFVS that the transfers, the seizures, and the TV report added up to fear quickly spreading among pit bull advocates, in Sikeston and around the country.
“To suggest and sensationalize the way that the news reporter did is … I’m at a loss for words” Friend said. “I mean, we’re a rural town of 18,000. We try to serve the public to the best of our ability. Everything we do is tailored to the health and safety of our citizens after extensive public comment.”
Of course, none of that is to suggest pit bull bans and restrictions make sense. They don’t.
But for a news organization to suggest, based on a couple of unconnected facts, that a round-up of all pit bulls is underway is a similar sort of fear-mongering — and one that’s neither fair nor balanced.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animals, bans, breed, breed-specific, dogs, fox 2, fox news, laws, media, missouri, news, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, restrictions, sikeston, st. louis, towns
Lennox the alleged pit bull is scheduled to be euthanized in Belfast this week, despite continuing international efforts to save him.
A protest Saturday in Belfast included demonstrators who flew in from the U.S., England and Dublin, according to UTV in Belfast, and demonstrations are scheduled at the British and Irish consulates in New York today, organized by No Kill New York.
Victoria Stilwell, host of “It’s Me or the Dog” on the Animal Planet network, offered to find Lennox a new home in the U.S., and cover all expenses, but on Sunday she told msnbc.com she has received no response.
The 7-year-old dog was seized in 2010 after pit bulls were banned under the UK’s Dangerous Dog act.
The dog’s owners say he is an American bulldog-Labrador mix, but dog wardens, after taking measurements, declared him a “possible pitbull type” and claimed that — though he has bitten no one and been the subject of no complaints — he had a personality disorder.
Protesters say they are trying to raise awareness not only about Lennox but also to show that breed specific legislation is unfair.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, bans, belfast, breed, breed bans, breeds, dangerous, demonstrations, dogs, euthanasia, execution, facebook, ireland, laws, lennox, news, offer, pets, pit bull, pitbull, protests, save lennox, twitter, uk, victoria stilwell
Lennox, locked up as he has been, hasn’t been running for two years now, but his story has, around the world.
Now it appears, despite a massive online campaign to save him, his time has run out.
After three court hearings, orders to execute him — because of his resemblance to a pit bull — have come down from the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. (Now there’s a scary title.)
The seven-year-old dog was seized in May 2010 from his owner, Caroline Barnes, after amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act were extended to Northern Ireland in 2011.
Two lower courts have already ruled that he should be put down because he poses a risk to the public under that legislation, which declares all pit bull types dangerous.
During his year on death row, lawyers presented evidence that Lennox has never bitten anyone and has behaved well since being impounded, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
In the latest, and final, court decision, judges said dog wardens who tried to examine Lennox in May 2010 were told by a man that the dog would “rip their head off.”
An expert dog handler retained by the City Council concluded that the dog had a severe personality defect.
Experts presented in Lennox’s defense, meanwhile, described him as well-handled and a wonderful family dog, who served to comfort the Barnes special needs children before the city took him away.
“Lennox will essentially be killed for looking like a pit bull not actually acting like one,” Patrick Roberts opined in Irish Central.
“It is like saying every Catholic in Northern Ireland should be jailed because some in the past were violent.”
While a date hasn’t been specified, officials say his euthanization is imminent.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bans, belfast, breed specific legislation, campaign, caroline barnes, dangerous, dangerous dogs act, dogs, euthanasia, euthanize, execute, execution, internet, ireland, lennox, lord chief justice, online, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbulls, put down, save, save lennox
Ohio Gov. John Kasich yesterday signed a bill that repeals the 25-year-old state law that automatically declared pit bulls vicious.
Once the new law takes effect, in 90 days, shelters will be able to allow them to be adopted, owners will no longer be required to buy additional liability insurance and pit bulls will be free of the restrictions imposed when the state declared them, based on their looks, a public enemy.
House Bill 14 was overwhelmingly approved 67-30 by the state House on Feb. 8.
In addition to dropping any reference to specific breeds, the new law redefines what makes a dog “vicious.”
The old law defined a vicious dog as one that, without provocation, has seriously injured a person, killed another dog, or belongs to the general breed of pit bull.
Dogs so labeled required additional liability insurance, restraints and were subject to other restrictions.
The new law revises the definitions for vicious, as well as the categories of “dangerous” or “nuisance” dogs. It also requires a dog warden to provide proof of why a dog deserves such a classification, and creates a process for dog owners to appeal law enforcement’s labeling of their dogs.
“A well-meaning but poorly conceived law is no more, and it represents a victory for Ohio dogs and their people,” said Gregory Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society, a Utah-based organization that opposes laws that discriminate against certain breeds of dog.
“It ends the practice of causing undue hardship to thousands of responsible owners of entirely friendly, properly supervised, well-socialized pets,” he added.
Best Friends said it hopes that the Florida’s legislature follows suit, and votes to change a similarly archaic law in Miami-Dade County, the only county in Florida where pit bulls are banned.
“The change in Ohio law truly signals a new day for dogs that for years have been discriminated against just because of their looks — the same type of discrimination that’s been going on in Miami-Dade County for years,” said Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative attorney for Best Friends.
Legislation that would repeal the Miami pit bull ban is under consideration in Florida, and recently passed through two more committees.
Florida outlawed canine profiling in 1990, but Miami-Dade County’s 1989 pit bull ban was grandfathered in. Hundreds of dogs and puppies are seized and killed in Miami-Dade every year because of their appearance, Best Friends says.
Ohio was the only state in the country to declare a type of dog vicious, based solely on appearance with no consideration of behavior.
(Photo: A smiling pit bull, from the website Three Little Pitties)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, automatic, bans, best friends, breed, breed based, breed-specific, breeds, dade county, dangerous, definition, discrimination, dog, dogs, governor, inherent, insurance, john kasich, law, legislation, liability, miami, nuisance, ohio, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, profiling, redefine, repeal, restraints, restrictions, signed, vicious
A vigil is being held in New York Saturday in honor of Nick Santino, the soap opera actor who took his own life after putting his dog down.
Santino, according to friends and family, was distraught and feeling guilty after having his pit bull Rocco euthanized — a step acquaintances say he took after his condo board instituted rules against pit bulls and other restrictions against dogs.
“Rocco trusted me and I failed him,” Santino wrote in a suicide note. “He didn’t deserve this.”
Santino was allowed to keep his dog under a grandfather clause, but according to friends, he was being harassed about his dog by the board and fellow residents.
In response to the incident, the Animal Farm Foundation, in conjunction with the National Canine Research Council, had scheduled a press conference on on the social, financial, and legal challenges and discrimination facing pet owners in New York City, but canceled it in the wake of a police officer’s death in the city.
Instead, it’s coordinating a vigil that starts at 4 p.m. Saturday, outside of One Lincoln Plaza, 20 West 64th St.
“The recent death of Nick Santino and his dog Rocco highlight the important role pets play in American lives, but it also illustrates the social, financial, and legal challenges facing pet owners, especially in urban areas like New York City,” the foundation said in a press release.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal farm foundation, animals, bans, breed, breed-specific, city, condo, discrimination, dogs, euthanized, manhattan, national canine research council, new york, nick santino, pets, pit bull, pitbull, restrictions, rocco, rules, suicide, vigil
Less forgiving is the town of Carl Junction, where their displaced family moved afterwards — only to find out that pit bulls and Rottweilers are illegal.
Carl Junction is one of many cities and towns around the country that have legislation prohibiting pit bulls and other breeds within the city limits, according to The Joplin Globe, which reported on the family’s situation this week.
And city officials are unwilling to make an exception to the rule, meaning Dave DeWolfe and his family — who followed the sounds of the whimpers and rescued their dogs after the tornado — will now be required to give them up, at least if they want to stay in Carl Junction.
After the tornado, DeWolfe’s daughter, Janelle Mawhinney, provided temporary shelter for family members at her apartment, but she couldn’t take the dogs. They were placed in a temporary shelter set up by the ASPCA.
Every day, DeWolfe says, they’d stop in to visit. In July, they found a new home in nearby Carl Junction, reclaimed their dogs and moved in.
“We thought it was too good to be true: a decent neighborhood, a good price, everything came through with the bank, and we were so happy about it,” he said.
Not long after settling in, they were reading a “welcome” packet from the city when they saw that Carl Junction’s hospitality didn’t extend to pit bulls and Rottweilers. Neither are permitted with the city limits.
Then, this month, DeWolfe was informed by the city’s animal control officer that he was violating the city ordinance. He went to the city council, saying he would do ”whatever it takes” to keep the dogs, even if it meant crating or muzzling them.
“It’s my fault,” he said. “I should have checked the laws.”
City council members said they didn’t want to set a precedent by allowing the family to keep the dogs.
Carl Junction’s ban on the two breeds was put in place in 1995. It carries fines of $200 to $500. The only exception to the law is for dog owners who registered with the city prior to the ordinance going into effect.
DeWolfe and his wife have turned to Craigslist in an attempt to find the two dogs a permanent home.
“We try to work with our residents whenever we can,” Carl Junction Police Chief Delmar Haase said. “But approving one would set a precedent. We’ve had this ordinance for quite some time, and all the dogs grandfathered in under it are now gone. We’ve had quite a few requests and if you open it up to one, you’ve just defeated your ordinance.”
Defeating, if you ask me, is just what the ordinance needs.
(Photo: By T. Rob Brown / Joplin Globe)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, banned, bans, breed bans, breed-specific, breeds, bsl, carl junction, dave dewolfe, displaced, dogs, home, joplin, kain, kita, law, missouri, new, ordinance, pets, pit bulls, rottweilers, survivors, tornado
(An update to this story can be found here.)
Apparently gunning down stray dogs on the streets wasn’t enough for the dog unfriendly officials of Cumberland County, North Carolina.
Now they want to slay, within 72 hours, every dog that comes into the shelter who is, or appears to be a mix of:
American Staffordshire terrier, Rottweiller, Akita, chow chow, Doberman pinscher, German shepherd, Great Dane, Presa Canario, Siberian husky or mastiff. There’s a convenient catch-all pit bull category as well.
They’re not doing it yet, despite what you may be reading on the misinformation highway.
But they’re talking about it.
The county’s Animal Control Board is recommending that authorities limit the adoption of the above dog breeds, or, as one county official referred to them, ”attack animals.” (Clearly, they haven’t met many Great Danes.)
The idea is only in the discussion stages, but many websites are reporting –erroneously — that the new policy goes into effect today.
“I’ve probably had 1,500 emails,” said John Lauby, director of Cumberland County Animal Control. (Here’s hoping he gets about 150,000 more.)
Lauby told a Fayetteville Observer columnist that misinformation on the Internet led people to believe the county will ban adoption of pit bulls and other breeds starting Monday, and immediately euthanize any members of those breeds in the shelter.
In reality, the county hasn’t taken that medieval step, it’s just considering it.
“We’re looking at a list of animals used as attack animals,” County Commissioner Charles Evans said. “It has been suggested that something needs to be done about those.”
The recommendation would have to make its way through a committe and then require approval by the county commissioners before going into effect. But it’s scheduled to be introduced at a meeting tonight. (6 p.m., at Cumberland County Animal Services, 4704 Corporation Drive, Fayetteville).
Lauby said animal control constantly receives calls from residents complaining about dogs behaving aggressively or running loose, preventing people from getting into their cars.
“We have an inordinate number of pit bulls in the county that are chasing people, chasing dogs, they’re on school grounds and generally bother people,” he said. “The reality is that about 80 percent of our calls are related to that particular breed.”
Complaints from the public also led Cumberland County to hire an outside contractor to capture stray dogs in and around Fayetteville — a massive roundup that started in August and, at last report, led to more dogs being gunned down than caught alive.
Fayetteville doesn’t have its own animal control department, instead relying on the county office to handle dog-related issues.
As I’ve implied before, that might be part of the problem — the problem, in my view, being not just too many uncontrolled dogs, but too many unenlightened public servants, who see dogs as foes and death as a solution.
Maybe it’s the army base influence. In any event, someone needs to usher Cumberland County into modern times.
In a way, the proposed policy — while it it lists some new ”public enemy” breeds, like the husky, and some returning ones, like the shepherd — would only formalize what’s already common practice in the county.
Since April, Cumberland County Animal Control has taken in nearly 1,300 pit bulls, but only 124 have been adopted. The shelter has taken in 180 Rottweilers since then, only 26 of whom were adopted. Of 96 chow chows received at the shelter since April, 15 have been adopted, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
The rest are euthanized.
Now, some want to make it official, banning the adoption of any of those breeds and guaranteeing a death sentence for all of them, or any mixes thereof — all based on what will likely be, judging from the wisdom they’ve shown so far, an uneducated guess.
In addition to complaints, worries about liability issues are also behind the proposal. The county fears it might be held responsible for any damage done by dogs adopted from its shelter. Most shelters handle that with a simple waiver.
If you’d like to give Cumberland County officials a piece of your mind — and it appears they could use it — continue reading for contact information.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptions, aggressive, akita, american staffordshire terrier, animal control, attack animals, automatically, banned, bans, breed, breeds, bully breeds, captured, chow, contact, cumberland county, death, doberman, erroneous, euthanasia, euthanized, fayetteville, german shepherd, great dane, internet, john lauby, kill, killed, liability, mastiff, north carolina, petitions, pit bulls, pitbulls, presa canario, proposal, purge, reports, rottweiler, shelter, shot, siberian husky, strays, three days
Baillieu outlined his tough new proposals at the Lost Dogs’ Home in North Melbourne last month, calling them “some of the strongest laws ever introduced to protect animals from abuse and neglect.”
They were submitted to the Victorian parliament the next week, and passed last week, according to a press release sent to ohmidog! from his office.
(If only American government entities could move so fast.)
“We are not going to tolerate cruelty to animals,” Baillieu said in October, according to an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald. “As a dog owner, I am appalled by images I have seen of abused and helpless animals.”
The new legislation creates far heavier fines for illegally operating puppy farms — up to $20,000, $30,000 in some cases — and it allows the government to seize the assets of puppy mill operators. Money raised from the sale of confiscated assets would go towards an Animal Welfare Fund.
The law establishes a $1.6 million Animal Welfare Fund that will be used to care for animals, assist animal shelters and educate the community on responsible pet ownership.
Under the new legislation, 10-year bans on pet ownership can be imposed on anyone found guilty of animal cruelty.
The new law — proposed in response to grisly scenes discovered in some Victorian puppy farms where dogs were kept in cages and carcasses left to rot — also make it mandatory for dogs and cats sold in the state to be fitted with a microchip.
“The community has rallied for these changes to the law which will protect animals from abuse and neglect, while ensuring operators of illegal puppy farms are held accountable for the treatment and welfare of animals in their care.”
(Photo: Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu with puppies from the Lost Dogs’ Home. Courtesy of Baillieu’s office.)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animal welfare fund, animals, assets, bans, breeders, cats, crack down, dogs, fines, illegal, law, legislation, mandatory, microchips, ownership, parliament, pets, premier, protection, puppy farms, puppy mills, rspca, seize, ted baillieu, victorian
The airline Monday banned the brachycephalic breeds from air travel because of the risks of breathing problems and overheating.
The ban covers pugs, bulldogs and boxers, and several breeds of cats, including Himalayan, Persian and exotic short-hair cats, CNN’s Business 360 blog reports.
Cathay Pacific’s ban follows similar moves by Singapore Airlines and several American carriers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation released figures last year showing about half of all in flight deaths in the previous five years were short-snouted breeds, with English bulldogs accounting for nearly a quarter of those deaths.
“The ban is to bring Cathay Pacific into line with industry practice because it has been found that there is quite a bit of danger,” said Thomas Lau, Cathay Pacific’s assistant manager of public affairs.
Hong Kong’s Society for the Protection of Animals (SPCA) believes that the ban is an over-reaction.
“… There are cases when air travel is unavoidable, especially when owners need to emigrate,” said Rebecca Ngan, communications manager of SPCA Hong Kong. “If owners cannot send them in the cabin they may have to abandon them or put them to sleep.”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, air travel, airlines, american airlines, bans, brachycephalic, breathing, breeds, cathay pacific, cats, dogs, english bulldogs, flat-faced, himalayan, hong kong, overheating, persian, pets, restrictions, short, singapore airlines, snouts, spca, travel, traveling with dogs, traveling with pets