Thursday, November 20, 2014

BSL Is Disappearing

Revised: November 21, 2014; 05:36 GMT

Two recent news stories have bolstered the claims that Breed Specific Legislation is disappearing. These stories have been widely circulated in the pit bull blogosphere and have raised the hopes of advocates in the run-up to a critical meeting in Kansas City.

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City will meet on December 4th to decide whether to reverse their decades old ban. The proposed animal control ordinance sailed through the Public Works & Safety committee on Nov 17.

The two articles which claim bans are disappearing appeared in quick succession, and there are likely more to come. The tri-state area has a powerful advocacy movement and it seems implausible that the articles could have been written without outreach from pit bull advocates.

Among the advocates mentioned in the articles are Bernie Toellner and Katie Bray Barnett. In 2010 Ms Barnett worked to revoke the ban in her home town of Topeka. And, no surprise, she also assisted in writing the new animal ordinance. Within two years, about the time it takes for an un-neutered male pit bull to fully mature, two year old Samantha Mae Edwards was killed in a Topeka suburb by a pit bull adopted under Ms Barnett's new regulations.

Samantha Mae Edwards, d. December 13, 2012

Commissioner Jane Winkler Philbrook proposed the new legislation, and it's fair to say that advocacy outreach is also behind her proposal. Ms Bray, Mr Toellner, and Melanie Coy would like nothing more than to convince us that BSL is a thing of the past. The authors of the "BSL is disappearing" stories adhered to advocacy talking points; had they looked further they would have found a long list of cities that recently defied the advocates and retained their BSL (see below).

The advocates know that their best chance of revoking BSL is to gain access to legislators; it may be their only chance. After years of complaints and protests by pit bull advocates the Aurora city council put the matter to a vote.
Advocates for pet, livestock, and human safety in Aurora, Colorado claimed a resounding win with the November 4, 2014 defeat of a well-funded attempt to repeal the nine-year-old Aurora pit bull bylaw.1
It was a crushing defeat for the advocacy movement; by an overwhelming 2-1 majority Aurora citizens said they do not want to live next door to a pit bull. The same is true of the citizens in the Heart of America.

Two articles which claim that pit bull bans are disappearing:
In a quiet trend, pit bull bans are disappearing
   Kansas City Star, Nov 9, 2014
U.S. communities increasingly ditching pit bull bans
   USA Today; November 18, 2014
Twenty stories: a partial list of cities that have recently enacted, upheld, strengthened, or defended their BSL:

Pit bull ban stands in Camdenton, Missouri
   Lake News Online; November 19, 2014
Attempt to repeal pit bull ban crushed in Colorado
   Animals 24-7; November 5, 2014
Enumclaw City Council upholds city’s long-standing ban on pit bulls
   News-Tribune; October 14, 2014

KALB News Channel 5; Moreauville, LA
On October 13, the village passed an ordinance that states if you own a pit bull or a Rottweiler, you must get rid of it by December 1 or they will take it for "disposition."

Clay, Alabama to defend pit bull ban in court; September 1, 2014
Fort Thomas mayor decides vote to keep pit bull ban
   Community Press; August 5, 2014
Reynoldsburg council refuses to repeal pit-bull ban
   Columbus Dispatch; July 29, 2014
Wellsville nips push to neuter pit bull ban
   Ottowa Herald; July 11, 2014
Parma City Council unlikely to remove pit bull ban anytime soon; February 11, 2014
City Council upholds ban on pit bulls in Yakima
   Global News; September 30, 2013
BSL Ordinance enacted in Goodland, KS; July 16, 2013
Waterford Township Decides to Keep Pit Bull Ban in Place
   Oakland Press; June 11, 2013
City votes to keep pit bull ban
   Ogemaw County Heald; April 2, 2013
Town of New Llano bans pitbull dogs
   Leesville Daily Leader; March 27, 2013
   Miami Herald; August 13, 2012
Preston will keep pit bull ban
   Herald Journal; July 19, 2011
Council votes to keep pit bull ban
   Sioux City Journal; June 28, 2010

Commissioner Philbrook believes breed-neutral dangerous dog legislation can prevent dog attacks. Is she right?

* * * * *

1   Attempt to repeal pit bull ban crushed in Colorado
     Animals 24-7; November 5, 2014

Sources: Attack on Jimmie May McConnell:
Family of woman mauled by pit bull angry as commissioners decide on lifting ban
   KSHB41; November 18, 2014
Kansas City, KS Man found guilty in pit bull attack case (page archived)
   Kansas City Star; April 4, 2008
   (Original page removed; page now reprinted here)
 New Trial Starts in KCK Pit Bull Death; Apri 1, 2008
71-Year-Old Kansas City Woman Killed by Pit Bull
   ABC News; July 29, 2006

Sources: Colorado
   (Editorial) Aurora Sentinel; November 18, 2014
Putting an end to Aurora’s dangerous pit bull charade
   (Editorial) Aurora Sentinel; October 23, 2014


2014 Dog Bite Related Fatalities: on Daxton's Friends
Index of canine fatalities on Daxton's Friends

32 years of logging fatal & disfiguring dog attacks
   Animals 24-7; September 27, 2014

Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 30+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada.
View or download the current PDF

This page may also include information from Dogsbite and Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

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