Springdale, Arkansas says “NO!” to BSL

We learned in the fall of 2013 that officials in Springdale, Arkansas were considering an ordinance that would regulate pit bulls in the city limits.  Alderman Mike Overton brought the suggestion of a breed ban to the council after his dog was attacked by what he believed to be a “pit bull.”

At the November 2013 council meeting, Mayor Doug Sprouse made it clear that the discussions to take place were far from a formal proposal, and that it was very important to keep the public informed and get their input prior to any proposed ordinance being put forward.  He also acknowledged that breed specific ordinances were difficult to enforce, and that he believed the city would be unable to enforce a “pit bull” ban or other restrictions. 

At the end of the November meeting, the council  indefinitely postponed discussions on potential pit bull restrictions to research the issue further.

Mayor Sprouse made it very clear that he wanted input from the public, and we urged you to reach out and provide city officials with information to help them make an informed and educated decision.

And you did!

At the council committee meeting on January 20, 2014, a new animal control proposal was unveiled.  Not only does the ordinance not target pit bulls, but it goes to great lengths to ensure that no dog be deemed vicious or potentially dangerous based on breed.  The proposal specifically states:

Vicious animal means, regardless of breed, any dog or other animal that has bitten or attempted to bite any person, or caused serious injury to another domestic animal or livestock without provocation and is able or likely to inflict injury to another person.

Potentially dangerous animals means, regardless of breed:

(1) Any dog or other animal that has shown a propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack without provocation…. 

When I spoke with the city clerk yesterday, she advised that officials received A LOT of input from the public, and there was no interest on the part of the council to pursue a breed specific ordinance.

To everyone who reached out to the Springdale officials, YOU made a difference!  Because of your advocacy, the city of Springdale is now considering an ordinance that will target irresponsible owners and deem dogs dangerous based on their behaviors, not their breed.

The language of the proposal is still being tweaked, and it will be discussed again at a future committee meeting, but any concerns that the ordinance will target specific breeds no longer exist!

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