Officials in League City, Texas are planning to crack down on dangerous dogs after a toddler was mauled earlier this month. At a regular council workshop on Monday, city officials talked about introducing stiffer regulations such as mandatory microchips, fluorescent ID tags and sterilization of “dangerous dogs.”
We, of course, have no opposition to regulating and/or strengthening the current law to protect the community from dogs who have proven themselves to be dangerous by their actions and behaviors, as well as the owners who allow or encourage such behavior.
However, the city is also looking at stringent rules for pit bulls, including higher registration fees, extra security fences, and requiring owners of pit bulls to have special liability insurance.
Texas state law prohibits municipalities from passing breed specific ordinances. Specifically, Chapter 822 of the Health & Safety Code states:
§822.047. LOCAL REGULATION OF DANGEROUS DOGS. A county or municipality may place additional requirements or restrictions on dangers dogs if the requirements or restrictions: (1) are not specific to one breed or several breeds of dogs; and (2) are more stringent than restrictions provided by this subchapter.
Accordingly, please send your polite and respectful letters in opposition to breed specific legislation to League City officials to (1) let them know their proposal violates state law and (2) encourage them to move forward with a breed neutral ordinance that focuses on dogs whose actions have proven them to be dangerous, regardless of breed, and the owners that allow those dogs to become problems in the community.
As a side note, in a report on ClicktoHouston.com, a representative of League City stated their discussions are based on what some other cities in the area are doing. Either this is a false statement in order to give the impression that League City is simply “going with the flow” when they are actually blazing their own unlawful path, or other cities in the Houston area are contemplating ordinances that are in direct conflict with state law.
If you live in Galveston or Harris Counties, I would strongly recommend watching the agendas for upcoming city council meetings in your town.
City Manager and City Council Members of League City, Texas