ALERT: New Mexico (state level)

We learned back in October, that New Mexico Senator Sue Wilson Beffort was reported to be pushing for harsher penalities for “pit bull” and “pit bull mix” owners. Senator Beffort has now drafted a bill that she hopes to present in the New Mexico Legislature’s second session (2012). The draft bill can be found here: https://blessthebullys.wordpress.com/draft-new-mexico-bill/

Under Beffort’s bill, a pit bull is defined as an American pit bull terrier, an American Staffordshire terrier, a Staffordshire bull terrier or “a dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one of more of those breeds.” The bill would also grant animal control officials the ability to obtain warrants to seize unregistered dogs if they deem to have “probable cause to believe that a dog is a dangerous dog.”

As noted above, the bill HAS NOT been filed yet.

New Mexico residents: Please take this opportunity NOW, before this bill is filed, to reach out to and open the lines of communication with your respective state senators and voice your opposition to a breed specific bill being brought to the Senator floor. In addition, please voice your polite, respectful and informative opposition directly to Senator Beffort, the sponsor of the bill.

Senator Sue Wilson Beffort
District: 19
County: Bernalillo, Sand, SF & Torrance
Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4395
E-mail: sue.beffort@nmlegis.gov

To find your state senator: http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/leg.aspx?T=S

Finally, New Mexico residents are encouraged to call and write to Governor Susana Martinez. The number to her office is: (505) 476-2200. In addition, a contact form can be found at this link: http://www.governor.state.nm.us/Contact_the_Governor.aspx

Please do not contact the entire Senate on this issue. The bill would have to pass through a committee before going to the entire Senate for a vote. We will keep you updated on the bill’s status, and make you aware of any committee and respective committee members that would need to be contacted when that time comes.

* * *

December 12, 2011 Capital Report article:

Proposed NM dog bill sparks protest: A matter of public safety says senator, “a really, really bad bill” say opponents

A state senator plans on introducing a bill cracking down on pit bulls in New Mexico but animal protection groups say the legislation is “a death sentence for hundreds and hundreds of dogs” and tell Capitol Report New Mexico they’ll actively campaign against it.

Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort (R-Sandia Park) has drafted a bill she hopes to bring to the upcoming 30-day legislative session that calls pit bulls dangerous dogs, adds new registration requirements under the state’s Dangerous Dog Act and makes additions to the act concerning seizing dogs and the responsibilities of their owners.

In an interview with Capitol Report New Mexico, Beffort says she loves pets but “I also have to think about people, innocent people that are riding their bikes and children that are walking … we do have to represent the people of New Mexico and public safety.”

The entire article can be found at this link: http://www.capitolreportnewmexico.com/

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