BSL ALERT: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The Land Use Committee of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota city council will begin public discussions which will likely involve breed specific steps to “reduce the potential for dog bites or attacks.” The committee chair expects these discussions will start at the next meeting on June 26, and he has expressed a desire to hear from the public on this issue.

At this time, no formal proposal has been brought before the council as a whole. As such, please send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to the members of the Land Use Committee only. Please be sure to present viable suggestions and alternatives for their consideration, as well. Talking points and alternatives can be found here.

Land Use Committee Members:
•Rex Rolfing (Chair)
•Kermit Staggers
•Dean Karsky (Presented breed specific materials to committee)
•Kenny Anderson Jr.

Land Use Committee member e-mails,,,

The Land Use Committee will next meet on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. Meetings take place at Carnegie Town Hall, Council Chambers. Please note: The meeting will start immediately upon conclusion of the Council Information Meeting, so the actual start time can vary.

Council puts dog attacks on topics list

The City Council’s land use committee soon will begin a public discussion about what steps Sioux Falls could take to reduce the potential for dog bites or attacks.

Councilor Dean Karsky, who works in the insurance industry, presented dog bite statistics to the council last week that show pit bulls and Rottweilers are responsible for about 70 percent of all dog bites in the nation that require medical treatment. Karsky said Friday he has not talked to the other councilors about the issue, and while he’s not pushing for any kind of citywide ban on those breeds, he would be for it.

The land use committee chairman, Councilor Rex Rolfing, expects to start discussion at the committee’s July meeting and then bring in experts to talk about local facts and statistics to help determine the best way to approach the issue. He said input from the public might come in August or September.

Rolfing said he hopes to hear a lot of public discussion. He added that it could be a while before any sort of council action is taken.

A Sioux Falls man was hospitalized last week after he was mauled by two pit bulls while playing basketball at Beadle Greenway Park. A police officer shot and killed one of the dogs after it acted menacingly toward a second person and began to approach the officer.

“It’s not just a bite, it’s an attack,” Karsky said. “It will be interesting to see what comes up, I want input, and to hear from both sides of the issue. Maybe I’m jaded just because I hear all the bad side.”

In South Dakota, some cities have placed restrictions on pit bulls and other large, powerful breeds.

Tea considered a ban on pit bulls in 2009 but settled on an ordinance requiring owners to carry liability insurance, post signs warning and muzzle the dogs when they leave home.

The town of Hurley banned pit bulls, Rottweilers and Doberman pinschers in 2005.


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