On March 5, the Utah Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee passed House Bill 97, the bill that would prohibit cities and towns from passing breed specific ordinances and repeal those already in place.
HB 97 specifically states:
Section 2. Section 18-2-1 is enacted to read:
Regulation of dogs by a municipality.
1) A municipality may not adopt or enforce a breed-specific rule, regulation, policy, orordinance regarding dogs.
(2) Any breed-specific rule, regulation, policy, or ordinance regarding dogs is void.
Representative Brian King, the sponsor of HB97, advised his fellow Representatives during the bill’s House hearing that it was bad policy for municipalities to restrict dog breeds because breed specific laws fail to reduce the number of dog attacks and/or dangerous dogs in any given area and, further, that no one breed of dog was any more aggressive than another. He argued that there is an interest in having uniformity across the state on this issue, and it was time for the Legislature to step in and stop these laws from being enacted.
We couldn’t agree more.
UTAH RESIDENTS: Please reach out to your Senators and ask them to support HB 97. 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 HB 97 would mean cities and towns, in drafting new animal control laws, and in enforcing current 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.
Members of the Utah Senate: