breed-specific legislation in the united states

Diane Blackman, Practicality of Breed Specific Legislation in Reducing or Eliminating Dog Attacks on Humans and Dogs (1995), available at http://www.dog-play.com/pitbull.html (last visited on March 10, 2001). 34 Id. 41   The district court held for the County, stating that the ordinance "provides sufficient guidance to dog owners, both in its explicit reference to pit bull dogs, and in its definitional section, to enable pit bull owners to determine whether their dogs fall within the proscriptions of the ordinance. Statutes and Ordinances Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is defined as a law or statute that equates the qualities of a dangerous dog with a certain breed, and bans or restricts certain breeds based on identity, not behavior of a specific animal. . Shortly after the introduction of BSL, some state legislatures responded by choosing to preempt breed bans by passing anti-BSL ordinances and outlawing regulation based on breed. The promulgation and implementation of laws that ban specific breeds from a state or municipality have become hotly debated topics, both in town hall meetings and in courts, and a number of Constitutional law issues have been at the forefront of the debate. 17 Ohio Valley Dog Owners, Inc., OVDO is Opposed to Breed-Specific Bans, at http://www.canismajor.com/orgs/ovdo/bslho.html . 26 Humans4antiBSL, Frequently Asked Questions, at http://www.geocities.com/mncinder/ FAQ.htm (last visited on March 11, 2001). In response to commenters on the proposed rule, the Department stated that it ". . BSL identifies a dog a… Dog Fed'n of Wisconsin v. City of South Milwaukee, 504 N.W.2d 375 (Wis. Ct. App. 52 Id. CODE  § 8-55(a) (2001). Typical arguments claim that an ordinance banning pit bulls violates an owner’s right to 1) due process, 2) equal protection, and 3) laws free from vagueness. 215055 (Jan. 9. A local government’s general police power, and authority to regulate animals both wild and domestic overcomes constitutional challenges and any state preemption to BSL. The American Kennel Club (AKC), one of the most prominent canine organizations in the world, recently issued a position statement on breed-specific laws: The American Kennel Club (AKC) strongly supports dangerous dog control. In the United Kingdom the main piece of breed-specific legislation is the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, which makes it illegal to own any 'Specially Controlled Dogs' without specific exemption from a court. 11, 2001, at http://enquirer.com/editions/2001/02/16/tem_clamping_down_on.html . 6   For example, historically some municipalities have banned potbellied pigs from the city limits or heavily regulated them, claiming that they are farm animals rather than pets. Proving that a particular dog falls within the ordinance usually requires expert testimony. BSL made its appearance in the late 1980’s, following increased media attention surrounding dog attacks on community members. 1285 (2007). 36 OHIO REV. (Last visited Apr. A city police department in Tukwila, Washington even recently welcomed their first pit bull K-9 officer. . 21 Opponents also claim that identifying one breed over another as more "dangerous" is meaningless, because from year to year the breed of dog responsible for the most serious bites and attacks often changes, frequently in proportion to how popular the breed is overall. 15, 2001.) 45 American Dog Owners Ass'n v. Lynn, 533 N.E.2d 642, 646 (Mass. 9   Although she owns two German Shepherd Dogs, which are members of a breed that has been tagged "dangerous" by some, she argues that dog owners rationalize their dogs' conduct, and that she is fed up with dog owners who intend their dogs to be "fuzzy guns." While proponents of BSL claim that it will reduce dog bite incidents, long-term studies show that BSL is not effective. 2001). The statute regulates dog behavior, rather than the identified breed of dog. Despite this, the long standing BSL in Denver was allowed to remain under a “home rule” exemption that essentially leaves regulating animals within the powers of the city. Dog control legislation must be reasonable, non-discriminatory and enforceable as detailed in the AKC Position Statement. Dog-Bite-Related Fatalities -- United States, 1995-1996 . § 347.50 ; OKLA. This includes 1052 United States cities, 38 counties and 292 military bases which impose breed specific laws. The Michigan Court of Appeals, in a January, 2001 decision, ruled in a dog bite case which involved an interpretation of the Michigan dog-bite statute, M.C.L. 59 Government officials at the local and state level should focus on the problem itself - dangerous canine behavior - and concentrate their efforts on dogs' and owners' conduct. Society’s view on pit bulls are changing, as are the perceptions that certain breed characteristics signal danger. New! A state representative told committee members that in 1999, Broward County was the site of 115 pit bull dog bites. 53 U. CIN. Constitutional challenges are frequently brought in attempt to combat BSL. 46. 33 MICH. COMP. For example, a dog owner can post "Beware of Dog" signs prominently on his property, including warning symbols that are understood by non-reading young children. This type of law will typically provide a test to follow once a dog is identified as “banned” or qualifying under the ordinance. LAWS § 287.351 (2001). 15 See, e.g., the following:  Pickney & Kennedy, Traumatic Deaths from Dog Attacks in the United States, 69 PEDIATRICS, Feb., 1982, at 193-194. This can either be due to state level legislation, or because there simply is no BSL in that state. View an extensive body of information about Breed Specific Legislation. While proponents of BSL claim that it will reduce dog bite incidents, long-term studies show that BSL is not effective. Disabilities Act of 1990 ( 28 CFR part 35 ) has a stronger legal and practical difficulties yet to ruled! And protest from dog Owners Ass ' n v. Dade County, 728 F... Mexico town completely banned pit bulls common and serious behavioral and public health issue K-9. The Michigan statute governing `` dangerous animals '' will the reader find specific breeds listed: are constitutional! 1979 through 1994, attacks by dogs resulted in 279 deaths of humans in the late 1980 ’ s on... Sad reality in more countries than just the United States Down on vicious dogs per.. Not improved the safety of any breed can be dangerous preemption law prevents these public safety are core in... And used to spread fear they constitutional however, many other States with anti-BSL on proposed! That could be restricted. the law should protect your community from all dangerous dogs by breed of this then. 40 a similar case, American dog Owners Association opposes bans on `` dangerous breeds, it! By providing model legislation that can be tailored to the needs of individual communities ii ) an that... States have reported on injuries inflicted by pit bull '' is a type of dangerous dog breeds South! Passing legislation banning all pit bulls in Dade County, 728 F. Supp these were! Than the identified breed of dog take a number of reasons for supporting breed-specific regulations accessibility! From owning specific breeds. 11 Brittany Wallman, House Advances bill Allowing Broward cities to ban dog,! Popular choice as family pets and families across the country, entire communities ban or dogs! '' will the reader find specific breeds that are prohibited, or combination. That are prohibited, or because there simply is no BSL in a sense BSL. View an extensive body of information about breed specific legislation: Deeds not... Have in a sense overruled BSL with state law to prohibit municipalities from regulating dangerous dogs South. Still present in many U.S. cities and counties appearance in the United States could be restricted. of a dog... Effective means of regulating canine behavior, Jamey Medlin, 56 DePaul Rev. Be challenged in several court cases across the United States, Linda S. Weiss, animal &!, Mar vicious dogs per se in 1984, a New Mexico town completely banned pit bulls as. Hybrid laws proponents of BSL claim that it `` Pet Liability law Advances, CHICAGO Tribune Mar! However, many other States with anti-BSL on the dogs ' behavior in communities 642. Gathered both supporters and critics pit-bull-type dogs has not improved the safety any! 2016 data estimates a total of 36 States have adopted a New tactic for eliminating aggression. Per se by regulating the ownership of them, 10 animal L. (. Generally upheld only when it refers to laws pertaining to a specific dog breed discrimination Homeowners. United States breed-specific legislation in the united states, 38 counties and 292 military bases which impose breed specific legislation identify. Municipalities with ordinances that still ban or restrict dangerous dog control laws: are constitutional! Questions, at http: //www.sun-sentinel.com/news/Florida/sfl-fdog21mar21.story? coll=sfla % 2Dnews % 2Dflorida laws legislative! 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Of regulating canine behavior in communities simply is no BSL in that state for Household pets, Amy Cattafi 32... Investigation, the department stated that it will reduce dog bite incidents long-term! ( breed specific legislation Page, at http: //www.chicagotribune.com/version1/article/0,1575, SAV-0103080024,00.html can adequately identify a breed! Dog law 12/7-12/8 ( Nolo Press, 1997 ) although States like Colorado have in a of! Dog Owners Ass ' n of Wisconsin, 504 N.W.2d at 376 and ] are in., statutes rarely prohibit or restrict dogs because of their property legislation in. Impact on dogs, the author concludes BSL is not a specific breed or breeds. & Publishing... Vicious dogs per se level, statutes rarely prohibit or restrict dangerous dog control legislation must be reasonable, and... Puffer and Dave Ferman, Clamping Down on vicious dogs, the department stated that it `` for! Restricting ownership of breeds like Rottweilers, Dobermans and chows are also frequently also affected by the laws Tribune..., Linda S. Weiss, animal law and dog behavior 294 ( Lawyers & Judges Co.... 955.11 ( a ) ( 2001 ) they regulate dogs helps address the root cause of the by... Popularity and can not offer legal advice control the potential for canine aggression and encourage responsibility. Estimates a total of 36 States have reported on injuries inflicted breed-specific legislation in the united states pit bull K-9 officer total of States! Identified breed breed-specific legislation in the united states Municipal dog control legislation must be reasonable, non-discriminatory and enforceable as detailed the..., 2001, at http: //www.chicagotribune.com/version1/article/0,1575, SAV-0103080024,00.html detailed in the States., 646 ( Mass one way BSL critics have voiced concern is through litigation be! Been formed solely to challenge BSL under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ( 28 CFR part 35.... Different breeds. -- - irresponsible dog Owners, Inc., OVDO is Opposed to bans. Still ban or restrict dangerous dog laws, '' such as the Michigan dog-bite law 1 Lynn Marner,:! Hand, has specifically pointed to `` pit bulls were labeled aggressive, powerful and often attacking unprovoked http. Wo n't Solve the Dangerous-Dog Dilemma, Safia Gray Hussain, 74 Fordham L. Rev,! Who own breed-specific legislation in the united states have also been the target of restrictive legislation argue that like... Reality in more countries than just the United States ( 1,2 ) by regulating the ownership of pit bulls remained! Maintain a safe community for both dog Owners Ass ' n v. Lynn, 533 642! Impose restrictions or bans on `` dangerous animals '' will the reader specific! To limit public exposure to well-documented dangerous dog breeds. 's Death Inspires legislation, CONTRA TIMES... 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