The Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Board met on January 9, 2014 to discuss a new “vicious dog ordinance” following a fatal dog attack in November. That attack involved a bull mastiff that had a long history of aggressive behavior. In addition, the dog was owned by two irresponsible women who were aware of the dog’s history, yet routinely allowed the dog to roam the neighborhood freely. Both women were arrested, one charged with manslaughter.
As a result of the Jan. 9 meeting, the Property Board recommended the community adopt the dog-related laws of Garland County, Arkansas. Of particular concern with this ordinance is Section 1(g)1, which regulates specific breeds and defines a “high risk dog” as follows:
Certain types of dogs have physical characteristics that present a significant risk to the public. These dogs are generically referred to as “Gripper Breeds” because they bite onto a victim and shake causing massive disfiguring or even fatal injuries. These breeds include all “Pit Bull” types referred to as the American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and any dog of mixed breeding that has the primary characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier. Though rarely seen, Dogo Argentines, Persa Canarios (sic) and Can Corsos (sic) (and any dog of mixed breeding that has the primary characteristics of these breeds), are also commonly considered to be “Gripper Breeds.”
Oddly, the breed of dog responsible for the fatal mauling that sparked the discussion on vicious dogs in Hot Springs Village is NOT targeted by the ordinance being considered by the Property Board. But even if the Board chooses to use Garland County’s animal control ordinance as a model, that ordinance addresses dangerous and nuisance dogs without the need for the breed specific language, and that language should be deleted from their consideration.
Even more important, however, is that Garland County’s ordinance, which went into effect in October 2013, is already proving itself a financial disaster for the county, and has resulted in shelter overflow and far too many healthy, adoptable dogs being euthanized due to lack of space. Another breed specific ordinance in the same county would only add to the existing problems and would negatively impact residents and animals in ALL the cities in Garland County.
Prior to taking a vote, the Property Board will hold a public hearing regarding implementation of the proposed ordinance. That hearing is scheduled to take place on Thursday, January 23, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. at the Coronado Center in Hot Springs Village.
Please send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to breed specific legislation to the Hot Springs Board members listed below. Please also provide them with viable alternatives and suggestions, and please make them aware of the problems Garland County is experiencing with their new ordinance.
Talking points and alternatives to breed specific legislation can be found here.
To email the Board of Directors collectively, click here.
In the alternative, you can contact individual Board members via their respective e-mail addresses:
Previous Alert for Hot Springs Village, Arkansas: