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
The proposed law is currently in the state House and, if it passes there, would still need to be approved by the Senate, according to a Fox News report.
The proposal comes on the heels of two Ohio cities — Cleveland and Toledo — rewriting local ordinances to require restrictions be imposed on troublesome dogs based on behavior, instead of breed.
Under Ohio’s current, breed-specific state law, pit bull owners are required to have $100,000 worth of insurance, and a specific containment area for their pet.
“You could have the sweetest pit bull in the world and you would have those restrictions I could have the meanest chihuahua in the world and there would be no restrictions,” said John Dinon of the Toledo Area Humane Society.
Toledo changed its dog rule last year, and Cleveland recently followed suit.
Dinon believes labeling a dog based on its behavior will help keep more citizens in Ohio safe: “It protects people a lot better because right now if you have a dangerous dog that isn’t a pit bull likely nothing’s going to happen.”
The changes in Cleveland were sparked by a pit bull owning councilman, according to the Toledo Blade.
“It just seemed fundamentally wrong to say that a certain breed is bad. That’s like me saying that all people that come from northwest Ohio aren’t good people,” said Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone, who introduced the legislation. “In today’s day and age to really determine and know what a breed is [is] virtually impossible with all of the cross-breeding that goes on.”
Under the changes in Cleveland, authorities can classify any type of dog as a “Level 1” threat to public safety if it attempts to cause harm to a person or domestic animal, and as a “Level 2” threat if it bites or otherwise injures a person or animal.
Owners of these dogs must abide by strict regulations that include keeping the animal in a secure enclosure, muzzling the dog while out in public, and obtaining a minimum of $100,000 in liability insurance. Those who violate the rules can be fined up to $1,000.
The rules are similar to those laid out in Toledo’s vicious dogs ordinance, and, as with Toledo’s, they don’t set forth restrictions based on breed alone.
“I was really proud as a policy maker and as a dog owner to see the foresight and vision on the [Toledo City] council’s part to examine this based on fact, not fear,” Zone said. “Too often you get council people who will try to make policies based on fear or peer pressure that they’re hearing from the community.”
Despite the local changes, “pit bull” owners continue to face requirements for additional restraint, muzzling, and liability insurance under state law.
The Ohio General Assembly is expected to vote before the end of this month on whether to remove the pit bull-specific language from the law.
Cleveland council member Zone said he rescued a pit bull puppy hit by a truck outside his office three years ago. When an animal control officer told him the dog would be automatically destroyed because it was a pit bull, Zone took it home. Since then, Gordon has become a much-loved member of his family.
“It just goes to show that when you show love and care to an animal they give it back tenfold,” he said.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, behavior, bill, breed, breed specific legislation, bsl, city council, cleveland, council, dangerous, dogs, gordon, house, insurance, john dinon, labeling, labels, law, laws, matt zone, ohio, ordinances, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, proposal, rescue, restrictions, senate, shelter, toledo, toledo area humane society, vicious
It took a DNA test to prove it, but Angie Cartwright — who lives in a town that bans pit bulls — has certified that her dog Lucey is only 12 percent bully breeds, and now she has her back.
Lucey had never bitten anyone; nor had she ever acted aggressively, according to the Salina Journal in Kansas. But she was scooped up by animal control officers.
The officers explained that they were taking Lucey to a veterinarian for a breed check — a professional opinion (meaning veterinarian’s guess) to determine Lucey’s breed.
Since 2005, Salina has had a ban on owning unregistered pit bulls and mixed breeds that are predominantly pit bull.
Cartwright got approval to have her vet conduct DNA breed analysis test, ther results of which led to the return of her dog.
The blood test found that a minor amount of Lucey’s DNA came from Staffordshire bull terrier genes — just over 12 percent.
“Maybe this can save someone’s animal, hopefully,” Cartwright said. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek September 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: angie cartwright, animal control, breed, breed ban, breed specific legislation, bsl, bully breeds, dna, dog, dogs, genes, genetic, kansas, lucey, mars veterinary, mixed breed, news, pit bull, recovered, recovers, register, salina, seized, shelter, taken, test, wisdom panel
Posted by jwoestendiek July 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, apbt, breed, breed-specific, bsl, dog, dogs, humane, image, john shipe, misunderstood, musician, pit bull blues, pit bulls, singer, song, songwriter, video
“Virginia may be for lovers, but Loudoun County isn’t the place for dog lovers.”
That’s the conclusion of an animal welfare legislative analyst in light of a Loudoun County judge’s ruling that the county can ban pit bull adoptions — despite a Virginia law to that ensures the right to own a pit bull.
“This is a dark day for shelter dogs in our nation,” said Ledy VanKavage, of Best Friends Animal Society. “Throughout the land, cities and states are rejecting breed discriminatory laws and this decision embraces profiling.”
The judge’s May 21 ruling ended the nearly two-year battle over the county’s no-adopt policy on pit bulls.
In a 13-page opinion, Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Burke F. McCahill sided with the county, ruling that banning the adoption of pit bulls does not break state or local laws, the Loudoun Times reports. The ruling came after a two-day trial May 5 and 6.
The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by Loudoun resident Ronald Litz in 2007 after he tried to adopt a pit bull from the county animal shelter. He was told the shelter did not allow pit bull adoptions.
Of the judge’s May 21 decision, Litz said, “If the judge doesn’t want to enforce Virginia law, there’s nothing I can do about it.” Litz had argued that the county was denying him the right of ownership of a pit bull, which is against Virginia law.
McCahill disagreed, saying that while state law may give county residents the right to own pit bulls, there is no right to adopt one.
Effectively, the sentence is a death penalty for any pit bulls who end up in Loudoun’s animal shelter and go unclaimed by owners.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 26th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal rescue of tidewater, ban, best friends, bias, breed, breed-specific, bsl, burke f. mccahill, circuit court, decision, discrimination, ed fritz, euthanasia, euthanized, judge, law, lawsuit, ledy vankavage, loudoun county, lynne rhode, news, no-adopt, ohmidog!, opinion, ownership, pit bull, pit bulls, rights, ronald litz, ruling, state, virginia
A Texas lawmaker has asked the state attorney general to issue an opinion on whether local officials have the authority to pass laws banning or regulating specific breeds of dogs.
In a letter to Attorney General Greg Abbott, Republican state Rep. Tony Goolsby requested an opinion to clarify a state law that cities and counties have interpreted as preventing them from targeting breeds.
He wrote that confusion caused by “varying interpretations” of the law has stopped local governments wanting to pursue such measures, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 24th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attorney general, ban, bans, breed specific legislation, breeds, bsl, dog, dogs, lawmaker, laws, legislature, municipalities, news, opinion, ordinances, pets, pit bull, states, texas
Here’s the conclusion the Watsonville City Council reached Tuesday, when they pooh-pooed the idea of enacting regulations against specific breeds of dogs:
Dogs aren’t the problem. People are.
Instead, the council directed staff to stiffen existing rules, develop an educational outreach program and explore having city or civil court authorities oversee hearings about vicious dogs.
The city began looking into breed specific legislation after two pit bulls escaped from a yard in June, frightening neighbors and killing five cats. Pit bulls also were involved in two other conflicts in 2007.
“In many cases it’s not the dog, it’s the owner,” said Councilman Manuel Bersamin. “Sometimes teens get pit bulls to add to their sense of manliness. I don’t know if they’re good owners. … We only find out when there’s an attack.”
Several people spoke out against adopting specific regulations for pit bulls, Rottweilers or other large breeds, according to a San Jose Mercury News report.
City Finance Director Marc Pimental, who helped prepare the report for the council, said while targeting breeds was an option, he didn’t recommend it. Cities that have adopted such legislation have found themselves fighting court battles.
Christine Allen, a local member of San Francisco-based Bad Rap, a pit bull rescue group, praised the city for looking at options other than breed restrictions.
A lot of times it is the owner,” she said. “A lot of these owners don’t know they can do it better. They don’t know how. They don’t have the resources.”