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Bitch Noone Wanted
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8,939 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Federal law leashes pit bull restrictions
6:00 am September 29, 2010, by Bob Barr

Municipal governments from New York City to Miami, and from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Denver, have responded to fear of pit bulls and similar breeds of dogs, by severely restricting their ownership or banning them entirely from their jurisdictions. Now, thanks to a rule issued recently by the U.S. Department of Justice, such actions are subject to being struck down. Jurisdictions now considering such overreactions, such as Douglasville, Georgia, would be well-advised to review the Justice Department’s opinion before proceeding.

Dog owners and humane societies have long-opposed such arbitrary and overly broad laws that penalize thousands of pit bull owners who maintain their canine companions properly and without incident, because of a small number who fail to properly train and control the dogs. Courts generally have permitted such ordinances to stand, based on deference to the so-called “police power” of local governments to protect the public “safety and welfare.”

The 20-year old, federal Americans With Disabilities Act (”ADA”), however, may put a stop to such “breed-specific legislation.” The ADA protects measures designed to help persons with disabilities, which includes dogs used by disabled persons for assistance. Laws that outlaw ownership of entire breeds, including those that might be used for assistive purposes, would limit the ability of persons with disabilities to use such pets, and would therefore violate the ADA and be deemed by the Justice Department to be unlawful.

In what some might consider a rare example of the federal government recognizing that laws can be overly broad and therefore harmful to individual liberty, the Justice Department’s opinion on breed-specific legislation noted that such laws sweep too broadly; and that it is inappropriate to outlaw an entire breed of dogs because a small number cause problems. Such problems are the result of owners not restraining their dogs properly or inadequately training them, rather than the result of a particular breed’s disposition, and can be addressed by more narrowly-crafted legislation.

Unfortunately, there are still those, like the mayor of Douglasville, Georgia, who favor overly restrictive measures. The mayor recently noted in support of the city’s proposed pit bull ordinance, that he had no problem singling out pit bulls, because he sees them “on TV” causing “incidents.” One would hope that local government officials might on their own possess some understanding of limited government and individual liberty; but if the Justice Department at least in this instance will ensure that they do so by way of a federal law, then the feds are serving as an important check on excessive government power.
 

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my crazy little mutt pack
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3,272 Posts
:goodpost: nice read thanks for posting
 

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APBT!
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9,589 Posts
Excellent post Tye!! Thanks for that tidbit of info! Much appreciated.
 

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Fat-Dogs-R-Us
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8,760 Posts
I'm probably being dense about this subject, but are they proposing:

1) to make BSL illegal

OR

2) making exceptions for those with disabilities?
 

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Bitch Noone Wanted
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8,939 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I believe it is option 2 Shana, but it would be nice if it was both.
 

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parasite killer
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518 Posts
I think from what I read that it is saying that it is unlawful to ban and entire breed.....which would mean completely banning all pit bulls.....that they may impose smaller types of restrictions, that do not include banning the entire breed??? IDK, got my hopes up....Good info though!
 

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Registered
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63 Posts
Someone needs to send that to our Mayor of Douglasville ASAP. He does want to ban all pit bulls but what happens if another brees starts to bite too? Will he ban them too? He needs to wake up and get to know some pit bulls! I tried to take Max inside they told me NO!. We will meet tomorrow at 7.30pm at city hall for the vote!
 

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Bitch Noone Wanted
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8,939 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
A114, you are MORE than welcome to print this off and take it with you. Please let us know what happens in Douglasville, I have been keeping tabs.
 
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