BSL Issues Needing Our Attention (1/11/09)

There continue to be many issues in need of attention and action. In an effort to keep us updated on new alerts, as well as not let older alerts “fall off our radar,” below is a listing of areas currently considering breed specific legislation, along with contact information for city officials.

Please send your POLITE AND RESPECTFUL opposition to BSL, as well as educational materials and viable alternatives to breed specific laws. I cannot stress enough how very important it is to maintain respectful and polite communications with city officials!! Negative communication can and does have a negative impact on the impression we as a whole make on officials.

NEW ISSUES

Montana (Statewide)

A bill that would prohibit the ownership of “pit bulls” or any dog with the physical appearance of a “pit bull” in the STATE of Montana. The bill is currently before the Local Government Committee and, as such, opposition should be sent to individuals on this committee ONLY. It is too early to bombard the entire Montana House with our opposition as the bill has not before the entire House, and we do not know at this time what direction the committee will take with respect to this bill. If and when the bill leaves the committee, we should address the entire House at that time.

Local Government Committee
Meets Tuesdays, Thursdays, 3 p.m., Room 172

Arntzen, Elsie (R) (Chair)
emarntzen@excite.com

Hands, Betsy (D) (Vice Chair)
betsyhands@gmail.com

MacLaren, Gary (R) (Vice Chair)
garymaclaren@yahoo.com

Becker, Arlene (D)
arlene_becker@bresnan.net

Bennett, Gerald (R)
jbenhd1@hotmail.com

Berry, Tom (R)
tom@tomberrymt.com

Driscoll, Robyn (D) — Bill Sponsor
rdriscoll@peoplepc.com

Ebinger, Bob (D)
buffalojump@imt.net

Grinde, Wanda (D)
wsgrinde@aol.com

Hamilton, Robin (D)
robinlhamilton@bresnan.net

Ingraham, Pat (R)
pathd13@blackfoot.net

Menahan, Mike (D)
mike@mikemenahan.com

More, Michael (R)
NO E-MAIL AVAILABLE

Reichner, Scott (R)
sreichner@centurytel.net

Reinhart, Michele (D)
michelereinhart@gmail.com

Sands, Diane (D)
hdsands@aol.com

Stahl, Wayne (R)
wstahl@nemontel.net

Vance, Gordon (R)
vancehd67@gmail.com

Staff: Joe Kolman, 406-444-9280

MONTANA HOUSE BILL NO. 191
(Introduced by Robyn Driscoll)

A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: “AN ACT REGULATING PIT BULLS; PROHIBITING OWNERSHIP OF PIT BULLS AFTER A CERTAIN DATE; ALLOWING EXCEPTIONS; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.”

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:

NEW SECTION. Section 1. Pit bull dogs prohibited — definition — exceptions — registration required. (1) Except as provided in subsection (3), it is unlawful for any person to own, harbor, or keep a pit bull dog.
(2) As used in [sections 1 through 3], “pit bull dog” means:
(a) a Staffordshire bull terrier;
(b) an American Staffordshire terrier;
(c) an American pit bull terrier;
(d) an American bulldog; or
(e) any dog that has been registered at any time as a pit bull terrier or has the physical characteristics that substantially conform to the standards established for the breeds listed in this subsection (2) by the American kennel club or the united kennel club.
(3) The prohibition in this section does not apply to a person who:
(a) owned a pit bull dog and registered the ownership of the dog with the county government and obtained a license tag identifying the dog as a registered pit bull dog on or before [the effective date of this act];
(b) is temporarily transporting a securely confined pit bull dog through the state; or
(c) is showing a pit bull dog in a place of public exhibition, contest, or show sponsored by a dog club, association, or similar organization when the sponsor of the exhibition or show has:
(i) obtained written permission from the county for the showing of pit bull dogs; and
(ii) provided protective measures to prevent a pit bull dog from escaping or injuring the public.
(4) A pit bull dog registered under subsection (3)(a) must at all times wear the license tag identifying the dog as a registered pit bull dog.

Tea, South Dakota

A resident of Tea approached the city with respect to rescinding their pit bull ban which has been in effect since 1996. While it appears the city council may rescind the ban, they have made it clear that restrictions would still apply to pit bulls. IN ADDITION to the failure to consider a a generic dangerous dog ordinance or an ordinance that does not otherwise single out pit bulls, the city council is now also considering new rules that would restrict the ownership of Dobermans, German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Chow Chows.

Tea City Hall
600 E 1st. St.
PO Box 128
Tea, SD 57064
(605) 498-5191 Phone
(605) 498-5665 Fax
tea@iw.net

Mayor John Lawler
Councilmembers
Sidney Munson
Brian Fowlds
Herman Otten
Joe Weis
Chuck Ortmeier
Nathan Peterson

Castalia, Iowa

The town of Castalia – with a population 174 people and ONE pit bull – has proposed an ordinance to ban pit bulls. The ordinance was proposed because residents observed the town pit bull running at large.

Castalia City Hall
1518 Centennial Road
Castalia, Iowa 52161-8004

PENDING ISSUES

Contact information for the following cities can be found a couple posts below. Please note that Fayette, Missouri, which is listed in the January 4 post, passed their proposed ordinance.

Jackson, Mississippi
Per the agenda for the January 13, 2009 council meeting, the proposed ordinance to ban “specific breeds of dogs” is still before the Planning Committee. Please continue to write the continue members.

Ridgland, Mississippi
Next city council meeting is January 20, 2009. According to the meeting minutes of January 6, the proposed pit bull ban was not discussed. Please continue to write the city officials.

Molella, OregonThe city has proposed a pit bull ban. The next city council meeting is January 14, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. A study session begins at 6:00 p.m. The agenda for the meeting is not available. Please continue to write the city officials.

West Point, MississippiA local group has proposed expanding the list of vicious breeds to include pit bulls, chows, doberman pinchers, German shepherds and any mixed crossbreed of these. Next city council meeting is January 13, 2009.

Logan, IowaCurrently considering a ban on “pit bulls.” All letters can be sent to the city clerk with a request to distribute to the mayor and city council.

Oshkosh, WisconsinDiscussions are in the works over the possibility of requiring owners of pit bulls, and other breeds, to meet specific guidelines. THe city has forwarded the proposed ordinance to various individuals in local animal related businesses for their feedback. By all accounts, the feedback from these individuals has been negative. The next city council meeting is January 13, 2009, however, I do not see an animal control ordinance listed on the agenda.

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