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 jwoestendiek 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
Blue’s not totally destitute. He has an air conditioned dog house, $1,800 in savings, a Facebook page and a lawyer, who’s now working to get him an exemption from local leash laws so he can continue his free and rambling lifestyle.
Abandoned as a puppy 10 years ago, Blue, also known as Bluedog, was left at Casa Taco and cared for by the owner, who died two years ago, according to the Associated Press.
Janice Conner, co-owner of Butte General Store and Marina, took over feeding Blue after that. But when a citizen complained about Blue following her and her dog on walks, someone in the city decided that Blue should receive a citation for being off leash, and issued it to Conner’s husband, Bob Owen.
Albuquerque attorney Hilary Noskin offered her legal services, and is trying to get Owen, who doesn’t officially own the dog, off the hook — and win an exemption that would allow Blue to live out the rest of his years, preferably untethered, in front of the store he now calls home.
“He’s one of my favorite clients,” says Noskin. “He is a sweet, sweet dog. He doesn’t meet any vicious dog standards. Somebody said he snarls … but I am not sure I believe that.”
City Manager Alan Briley says the city has received complaints about Blue snapping and growling and almost being hit by cars crossing the street.
Blue has resisted efforts to adopt him, always making his way back to the store. Local residents have donated more than $1,800 his care, Conner said, and they’ve also built him a dog house with heating pads for the winter and air conditioning for the summer.
“Everybody just loves this dog. People who can’t afford a dog bring their kids here to play with Blue. … He is the only dog I know who got four plates of Thanksgiving dinner at his dog house,” she said.
Conner says she has collected more than 1,100 signatures in support of Blue, who is on Facebook as Bluedog EB-Mascot.
“He was here before we became a city” she said, “so all we are asking for is for the city to grandfather him in as a representative of the community.”
(Photo: From Blue’s Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air conditioned, australian cattle dog, blue, blue dog, bluedog, butte general store, casa taco, citation, citizens, city council, communal dog, dog house, donations, elephant butte, everybodys dog, exemption, facebook, heated, hilary noskin, homeless, janice conner, lawyer, leash laws, new mexico, off-leash, residents, savings account, stray, wanderer
Chief Gene Wrinn , acknowledged that his officers didn’t follow procedure during the March 21 incident and that they failed to call animal control officers, in accordance with policy.
His remarks came during a meeting Tuesday with residents, held at a local library, according to the Brattleboro Reformer
“We screwed up. We apologize for that, and we’re going to try to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said. “We’ve gotten some good feedback. We’re not sweeping anything under the carpet. We’re having conversations.”
Wrinn said two officers responded to the Green Street School playground for a dog complaint, and one of the officers used a shotgun to kill the animal, believed to be a pit bull or pit bull mix.
“It was truly unfortunate that the department had to take the dog’s life, but it had to happen,” Wrinn said.
While some have described the dog as “dying,” other residents say it may have just been ill. “It probably was hungry. It probably was dehydrated,” said one.
Wrinn declined to say if the two officers involved had been disciplined. “That’s a personnel matter, and it can’t be discussed,” he said.
Wrinn noted that department representatives have met with the Windham County Humane Society. “This may be a great opportunity for training for the officers,” he added.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animal control, animals, brattleboro, citizens, complaints, dog, dogs, dying, gene wrinn, meeting, officers, pets, pit bull, playground, police, police chief, residents, school, shooting, shot, shotgun, sick, vermont
I’m pretty sure this is a work of art designed for Facebook posting, as opposed to an actual billboard.
And it’s slightly innacurate — while Ohio law pretty strictly regulates pit bulls, the state isn’t removing them from homes and exterminating them on sight.
But we love the sign/art anyway, and it does make a good point.
To be cracking down on pit bulls — all while a suicidal ex-convict is being allowed to keep dangerous wild animals on his property — makes Ohio seem something of a laughing stock.
Was Terry Thompson, who freed 53 wild animals from their cages at his private reserve before commiting suicide this week, required to have $100,000 worth of insurance, as state law requires of pit bull owners?
If he had two of the same breed, could wardens arbitarily seize one, as allowed under the Ohio law with pit bulls?
Was he subject to fines and worse if his animals weren’t properly muzzled, or securely fenced and enclosed, as pit bull owners have been?
Some Ohio cities, like Cleveland and Toledo, avoided the state’s strict line on pit bulls by passing their own kinder and gentler dangerous dog laws — laws that didn’t automatically presume all pit bulls to be vicious.
And the state legislature, we should point out, is considering removing wording from its dangerous animal law that currently labels all pit bulls as vicious — a move that would bring an end to the over-reaching restrictions.
Until it does pass, the state will likely fall victim to the kind of ribbing this Facebooker came up with.
(Photo: From the Facebook page of John Sibley)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, billboard, citizens, danger, dangerous, dogs, facebook, hb 14, house, house bill 14, laws, legislature, ohio, pets, pit bulls, politicians, preserve, priorities, safety, senate, sign, terry thompson, tigers, welcome to ohio, wild animals
Authorities in Anne Arundel County say they won’t file charges against a federal officer who entered an off-leash dog park with his leashed German shepherd and shot a Siberian husky who he thought was playing too roughly with his dog.
Bear-Bear, a 3-year-old brown and white husky, was playing in the Quail Run dog park at about 6:30 p.m. Monday when the officer and his wife arrived with a German shepherd, who was kept on a leash.
According to the Baltimore Sun, when the dogs began to play roughly, the federal officer asked Bear-Bear’s guardian — the brother of the dog’s owner – to call off the dog. Then, seconds later, he pulled out a gun and shot Bear-Bear.
Bear-Bear died of his injuries a few hours later.
Anne Arundel County police, astonishingly, have not named the federal officer, and — equally astonishingly — say no charges will be filed against him. No further investigation appears to be taking place.
“I’ve been bawling my eyes out since 7 p.m. last night,” Rachel Rettaliata, Bear-Bear’s owner, told the Sun. “It’s grief mixed with anger. We’re so angry this guy was able to take our animal for what we feel was no reason at all…We still don’t believe that he’s gone. We just want so badly to be diligent about this. [The officer] has to pay some sort of consequence for his foolishness.”
Rettaliata adopted Bear-Bear about two years ago from a husky rescue. He’d been seized from a Delaware home where people had tied him up outside and neglected him.
Bear-Bear was a regular at the dog park in Quail Run, a community of townhomes. Neighbors say the park is generally an easygoing place where well-mannered dogs play with one another.
“I’ve never personally seen him be aggressive toward any dog or human or anything, for that matter,” Tarnna Hernandez, who lives two doors down from the Rettaliatas, told the Sun.
“I have not seen that dog hurt anyone. Or snarl. He’s never even barked,” she said. “His only way was to get out a gun out and shoot him? Uh-uh. It’s completely unbelievable.”
The manager of the homeowner’s association, Dorothy Pearce, called the shooting “tragic…A community of homeowners with children playing around should not have gun-crazy, off-duty policemen shooting in their area, especially a dog in a controllable situation.”
According to Rettaliata, Bear-Bear didn’t cry out when shot. “He just went and laid down,” she said.
Carolyn Kilborn, chairwoman of Maryland Votes for Animals, based in Annapolis, said the case should be further investigated.
“The killing of the dog in Severn is a sad situation that should be investigated carefully to determine if the incident was caused by a dangerous dog or a dangerous person,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: anne arundel, anne arundel county, bear-bear, citizens, complain, dog, dog park, facebookk page, federal, german shepherd, investigation, justice, killed, killing, leash, leashed, maryland, no charges, off-leash, officer, play, quail run, quail run dog park, rachel rettaliata, rettaliata, rought, severn, shooting, shot, siberian husky, unnamed
Instead of pointing fingers at owners who don’t pick up after their dogs, surreptitiously photographing them, engaging in shouting matches and confrontations, or fining them $1,000 (aka the Baltimore way), Sandra Kaliga and her neighbors decided to go for the funny bone.
She and her friends now regularly hit the streets of Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg district — under the auspices of their organization, Shit Happens – to place tiny flags featuring funny quips atop uncollected piles.
“Only humor is effective,” said Kaliga, a dog owner.
Shit Happens has 15 different flag slogans that they hope will alert innocent pedestrians and remind dog owners to clean up after their pets. “Well formed!” reads one. “100 grammes, just €1.99,” says another.
So far reaction in the neighborhood has been positive, according to an article in “The Local,” an English-language news website in Germany.
“Most people find it funny,” Shit Happens member Sabina Ruminski said. “But we also get some dim-witted commentary, which mostly comes from dog owners who feel like they’ve been caught.” Other dog owners rush to clean up poop when they see the group headed their way, members said.
According to the Berlin Animal Protection Agency, the city is home to more than 107,000 pooches, producing an estimated 30 million pounds of poop a year. Some dog owners in Germany, because they are required to pay a “dog tax” each year, reportedly feel that should absolve them of having to clean up after their pets.
Shit Happens members say they sympathize with Berlin dog owners, who are often forced to carry plastic bags of poop for long distances due to a lack of waste receptacles – a problem the group suggests be solved with dog tax money.
In the meantime, Shit Happens is filling tiny flag orders for communities outside Berlin and is creating new “Danke” flags to hand pet owners they spot doing their part to keep the streets clean.
(Photo from Shit Happens … “Haufen,” I think, means pile, but I don’t know what “Herrchen” means. Maybe some our readers in Germany can help us out.)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, berlin, campaign, citizens, clean, collect, dog, dogs, feces, flags, germany, group, humor, initiative, littering, organization, pets, pile, piles, poop, scoop, shit, shit happens, uncollected, waste