Annapolis, MO: BSL forcing another family apart

Another family may be forced to give up their dog because city officials believe him to be a “pit bull.” 

Patches was found as a stray by 15-year-old Bayle Sutton.  He followed her home one day, and her family took the playful, loving puppy in.  Now the Tucker family has been ordered to give him up.  The Tucker’s have been ticketed by police because Patches is considered a “public threat” by the city of Annapolis, Missouri.  The city has given them 5 days to get Patches out of the city limits.

The Tuckers consider Patches to be part of their family, and they’re prepared to fight for him in Court today.  

Chris Hayes, with FOX2 News in St. Louis, is sharing this story, and he bought a DNA test kit to help with the court battle.  While the results won’t be available in time for today’s hearing, the Tuckers hope the Judge will agree to wait for the results before moving forward with the case.

The Annapolis’ Police Chief advised he is only enforcing the laws on the books, and that he would personally make sure Patches isn’t put down and finds a good home. 

But that’s just the point…Patches has already found a good home. 

This instance, like so many before, underscores the problems of breed specific laws.  Dogs who have never done anything to indicate they are a threat to the community are automatically labeled as such, and responsible owners who care for them are punished because their dog happens to have a similar appearance to a certain grouping of dogs. The appearance of a dog has no bearing on the threat it may or may not pose to a community, and city resources and tax payer dollars are drained to penalize responsible dog owners for being responsible dog owners.  Wouldn’t the city of Annapolis – and any city for that matter – be better served with a generic, breed-neutral vicious dog ordinance that targets vicious dogs because they have displayed vicious behavior, as well as focus on the irresponsible and reckless owners who create and encourage that behavior? 

We are hopeful that some of our Missouri friends who have been so active in fighting and repealing breed specific laws this last year will reach out to the Tuckers and help them change Annapolis’ discriminatory law. 

And finally,  if anybody is deserving of being recognized this year during National Pit Bull Awareness Month, it is certainly Chris Hayes with Fox2.  He is doing an incredible job raising awareness of the problems associated with breed discriminatory laws and educating people on these incredible dogs. We’ve been looking for a voice in the media, and we have certainly found that in Chris.

UPDATE:  FEBRUARY 27, 2013 @ 5:30 p.m.

The Judge postponed the court hearing today in order to allow time for the DNA test results to become available.  This may take several weeks.  We will be anxiously awaiting the results and hoping that, in the meantime, the Tuckers will try to change Annapolis’ pit bull ordinance so other families don’t have to go through the same terrible experience.

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