BSL ALERT: Hagerstown, MD – Council to discuss 6/5/12

As a direct result of the Maryland Court of Appeals ruling that “pit bull type dogs are inherently dangerous,” the city of Hagerstown, Maryland is considering an ordinance that would regulate the ownership of pit bulls in the city limits. “Pit Bull” is defined as “Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, Bull Terrier, and all dogs which have the appearance of being predominantly of the breed of dogs” stated above. The proposed ordinance in its entirety is posted below.

The council will be holding a work session tomorrow, June 5, 2012, at 4:00 p.m., and I have confirmed with the city clerk that this issue will be discussed. Meetings are held at Council Chambers, Second Floor of City Hall, which is located at One East Franklin Street, Hagerstown, Maryland. Please note that the public can attend the work session, but the council will not hear any public comments.

The city clerk advised, however, that the public is welcome to address the council at the hearing on June 19, 2012 at 7:00 p.m., when a vote may be taken on the ordinance.

Please send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to breed specific legislation to the Hagerstown city officials. Please also include viable suggestions and alternatives for their consideration.

City of Hagerstown
One E. Franklin St.
Second Floor, City Hall
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone: (301) 766-4175

Robert E. Bruchey:

Entire City Council:

Individual Council Members:

City Clerk
Denise Spickler
Ph: (301) 766-4183
Fx: (301) 790-3424




WHEREAS, the City of Hagerstown, Maryland, is a Municipal Corporation charged with protecting the health, safety and welfare of its citizens; and

WHEREAS, there has been a proliferation of Pit Bull Terriers and other Pit Bull type dogs within the corporate limits of the City of Hagerstown; and

WHEREAS, due to the extraordinarily aggressive behavior and extraordinary physical capabilities of Pit Bull type dogs, which exceed those possessed by many other breeds of dogs; and

WHEREAS, the Maryland Court of Appeals has recently ruled that the Pit Bull type dogs are inherently dangerous; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council believe that Pit Bull Terriers and other Pit Bull type dogs pose a special threat and a unique hazard to the public safety; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council find it in the best interests of the citizens of the City of Hagerstown to do so;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, ENACTED AND ORDAINED by the Mayor and Council of the City of Hagerstown, Maryland, as its duly constituted legislative body, as follows:

Section 1. Chapter 87 of the Code of the City of Hagerstown is hereby amended to add a new section thereto, to be known as §87-10, Pit Bull Terriers, as follows:

§87-10. Pit Bull Terriers.

A. Definitions. As used in and for the purposes of this section, Pit Bull or Pit Bull Terrier shall mean any of the following dogs:

(1) Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed of dogs;

(2) American Pit Bull Terrier breed of dogs;

(3) American Bulldog;

(4) Bull Terrier; and

(5) All dogs which have the appearance of being predominantly of the breed of dogs known as Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bulldog or Bull Terrier. Predominantly shall mean that the dog exhibits the physical characteristics of a Pit Bull Terrier more than any other breed of dog.

B. Confinement. Subject to the exemption contained in subsection 87-10.C. hereof:

(1) Pit Bull Terriers, owned, possessed, kept or harbored in the City shall at all times be securely confined indoors, or confined in a securely and totally enclosed and locked pen, with either a secure top or with all sides measuring at least six (6) feet in height.

(2) At any time that a Pit Bull Terrier is not confined as required in subsection (1) above, the dog shall be a) humanely muzzled in such a manner so as to prevent it from biting or injuring any person or animal, b) kept on an unbreakable or unseverable leash, and c) maintained under the control of an owner, custodian, or other individual, who shall be physically capable of maintaining control of the dog.

C. Exemption.

The confinement requirements contained in subsection 87-10.B hereof shall not be applicable to a dog who has successfully passed the K-9 Good Citizenship Test administered by the American Kennel Club (AKC). For this exemption to apply, the dog must wear the tag issued by the AKC indicating satisfactory completion of the test and be fitted with a microchip implant for identification.

D. Penalties.

Any owner, custodian or keeper of any Pit Bull Terrier who shall violate any of the provisions of this section, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to imprisonment for up to ninety (90) days and/or a fine not to exceed $500.00.

E. Construction.

(1) The provisions of this section are hereby declared to be severable, and in the event that any section, subsection, paragraph or subparagraph is declared invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not effect the remainder of this section.

(2) This section shall be read, interpreted and construed as being in addition to and not in contravention of the balance of Chapter 87 of the City Code, as from time to time amended.

Section 2. Effective Date. This section shall become effective immediately upon the effective date of this enacting ordinance.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, ENACTED AND ORDAINED that this enacting ordinance shall become effective at the expiration of thirty calendar days following its approval.


_______________________________ _____________________________________________
Donna Spickler, City Clerk Robert E. Bruchey, II, Mayor

Date of Introduction: PREPARED BY:
Date of Passage: NAIRN & BOYER, LLC
Effective Date: CITY ATTORNEY


2 responses to “BSL ALERT: Hagerstown, MD – Council to discuss 6/5/12

  1. Pingback: Hagerstown, MD: Work session to discuss proposed BSL, June 5 | Stop BSL

  2. Good Afternoon,

    I am not the owner of one of the above mentioned breeds under review, although I have several friends who own the above mentioned breeds. I have a Standard Poodle and join them in many community activities here in TN. It is not the breed that is the problem, it’s bad owners! Any canine can be aggressive if not properly trained, cared for or treated. My dog is a certified therapy dog. His buddies are two rescued pit bull mixes who are also certified therapy dogs. One which recieved the highest scored that can be recieved. By history, they are one of the best family dogs you can have and are extremely loyal. Why is it you only see the bad in these dogs and not the good. They save people they don’t even know because that is their instinct! Killing is what humans have taight them! Yes, humans! It’s our fault! Not theirs! If I had the room and could afford another dog at this time, it would be a pit bull! I hope to reconsider passing this bill. Like I said, I don’t own a breed in question, but I promise you if this bill is passed your state will never see another dime of mine or my families tourist money!

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