A bill has been introduced in the South Dakota state legislature that would prohibit the passage of breed specific ordinances. Senate Bill 75 was introduced by Senator Dan Lederman, and has several co-sponsors from both the Senate and the House.
SB 75 states as follows:
No local government may enact, maintain, or enforce any ordinance, policy, resolution, or other enactment that is specific as to the breed or perceived breed of a dog. This section does not impair the right of any local government unit to enact, maintain, or enforce any form of regulation that applies to all dogs.
Senator Lederman is sponsoring this bill because he understands that dog bites are not a breed problem but, rather, are an owner problem. Moreover, in a blog he recently posted about SB 75, Senator Lederman states “this measure will take dog breed out of the equation, and instead of feel-good, knee jerk reactions, require [law makers] to look at real solutions for animal-human interaction safety.”
SB 75 was introduced and assigned to the Senate Local Government Committee on January 23, 2014. A hearing on the bill has not been scheduled yet.
Please reach out to your respective legislators, as well as the members of the Local Government Committee, and ask them to support SB 75. Let them know that laws that target dogs based on their appearance rather than their behavior creates communities that are more vulnerable to dangerous dogs, not less. The passage of SB 75 would mean cities and counties, in drafting animal control ordinances, would have to tackle the root cause of dangerous dogs, irresponsible and reckless dog owners, rather than pass a blanket law that regulates all members of specific breeds.
Please remember to keep all communications with legislators polite and respectful. The manner in which we communicate with officials can and does make a difference.
South Dakota residents, you can find your respective state legislators here:
Members of the Senate Local Government Committee:
Online contact forms are available for the individual members of the Local Government Committee, and are linked to each Senators’ name below.