Malden, MA – Vote on BSL put off until April 3

In order to do additional research, the Malden, MA city council tabled an amendment to the city’s dangerous dog law that would require pit bulls and pit bull-mixes to be muzzled and leashed when off of private property. The issue is slated to be on the agenda for the April 3, 2012 council meeting.

In the meantime, please take this opportunity to voice your polite, respectful and informative opposition to BSL to the Malden city officials. Please also include suggestions and alternatives for the council’s consideration, as well.

Malden City Council Offices
200 Pleasant Street
Room 609
Malden, MA 02148
Telephone: (781) 397-7130
Fax: (781) 397-7004
General Email:

Individual City Council E-mail

Karen Anderson – City Clerk
200 Pleasant St., Room 323
Malden, MA 02148
Telephone: (781) 397-7116
Fax: (781) 388-0610

Councilors Muzzle Pit Bull Ordinance, For Now

COUNCIL ROUND-UP: The council will hold off voting on a controversial bill to muzzle and leash pit bulls on public property, and also voted to form an energy efficiency committee.

Couldn’t make the city council meeting Tuesday night? Don’t fret – here’s a round-up of some major items.

Critics muzzle pit bull ordinance – at least, until April.

The council voted to table an amendment to the city’s “Dangerous Dog Law” requiring pit bulls and pit bull-mixes to be muzzled and leashed when off of private property.

The vote included a pledge to revisit the proposal, approved by the council’s Ordinance Committee in a 5-0 vote, during their April 3 meeting.

Councilor Jim Nestor, who chairs the ordinance committee, said the committee’s approval, came after “lengthy discussions,” which included the city’s animal control officer Kevin Alkins.

“We hope the council will follow the ordinance committee’s reporting favorably,” he said.

But councilor Barbara Murphy made a motion to table the proposal, and said she’d prefer councilors do more research before making the controversial move.

She added a representative from the Boston Animal Rescue League requested an opportunity to testify before the council. Other animal groups, such as the MSPCA, have also come out against the measure.

“I…have a number of questions…I’d like ask and have the opportunity to discuss with the full council: how do we define a ‘pit mix’? 5 percent pit? 51 percent pit?

How are we going to enforce this?” she asked. “How is it working successfully in Everett or Worcester?

“From what I am hearing, it is not the best way to move forward.”

“There have been ample times for people to show up at meetings – we didn’t try to hide this,” Councilor Neil Kinnon, who has strongly advocated for the change, said. “Last time it was supposed to come up it ended up getting tabled, and in the meantime, we’ve had a number of dogs killed by pit bulls, we’ve had a serious mauling of a young boy last summer.

“Had the pit bulls…been on muzzles, we’d have been better off.”

Councilor John Matheson said he “didn’t see the rush to approve this tonight,” and seconded Murphy’s motion to table the amendment.

“I see this as a perfect referendum question,” he said. “I don’t think there’s particularly a lot of dog owners on the council – let’s let the people weigh in on this issue.”

Councilor Craig Spadafora said he thought having a robust discussion about the issue was important, but said he was concerned tabling the proposal could postpone it indefinitely. He suggested any motion to table the ordinance include a pledge to revisit the issue at the council’s next meeting.

Ultimately, the council narrowly endorsed tabling the issue until their April 3 meeting in a 6-5 vote.


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