01-03-2008, 07:34 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Bill in D.C. will allow BSL
I got this email today. Lets not let this pass!
Good Dogs Don't Deserve Bad Dog Laws
Neither do their owners.
But that's what they're about to get unless we ACT today. The ( Washington ) D.C. City Council Health Committee has silently approved a bill that threatens your dog's security and your ability to peaceably and responsibly own the dog of your choice. The bill is now in the Judiciary Committee, chaired by CM Mendelson.
Bill 17-89 (Animal Protection Amendment Act of 2007), as amended on September 25th, would authorize the District's mayor to label any breed of dog as potentially dangerous. If passed, the mayor will be able to create a list of bad breeds based on adverse events¯ and breed characteristics¯ that the mayor considers to pose a threat to public safety, nebulous and undefined phrases in the bill. As a result, not only could your family dog be at risk of seizure if his breed is listed, but you would be required to comply with a host of regulations:
* apply and pay for a separate potentially dangerous dog¯ registration, the amount of which has not even been determined yet;
* obtain written permission from the owner of the property where your dog will be kept before housing your dog at that address;
* post a sign warning¯ of your dog's presence on the property, which places your dog at risk of harassment;
* muzzle your dog at all times when outside;
* walk your dog on a leash no longer than four feet; and
* notify the District if your dog has passed away or been moved from the District.
Should you fail to comply with these provisions by, for example, simply walking your friendly, unmuzzled dog on a standard six-foot leash, you would be subject to the following penalties:
* a fine of up to $500 on the first offense;
* a fine of up to $1000 on a subsequent offense; and
* up to 90 days imprisonment.
In addition, your family dog presumably could be seized and held as evidence of a criminal violation, if he or she is of the potentially dangerous breeds listed.
Remember, all this just for BEING OF A PARTICULAR BREED; even though you and your dog are COMPLETELY INNOCENT of any wrongdoing.
Think of the ramifications:
1. Thousands and thousands of dog owners and their dogs who have done nothing wrong will be caught by this;
2. Innocent dog owners will be forced to choose between keeping their dog and losing their homeowners insurance, or even their homes and apartments;
3. This proposal is FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY! ! Animal Control resources will be severely diverted from protecting the public from roaming dogs, nuisance animals, and actually dangerous animals, to the tens of thousands of inspections they will need to perform on benign families in order to be granted a registration. It is estimated that it will take YEARS for animal control to complete all registrations.
4. This proposal is both OVERREACHING and UNDERACHIEVING! ! This law is NOT about stopping dangerous behavior before it happens. Instead of targeting the behaviors of specific owners and specific dogs, it casts a broad net over innocent owners and innocent dogs solely because of their breed!! This law misses the point and affects the innocent!!!
Let's put it in perspective:
In 1967, there were 3361 reported dog bites in the District.
In 2007, there were 183 bites. Ten bites were classified as "severe", committed by NINE different breeds. (Source: National Canine Research Council)
To contrast and compare, there were 28,000 serious crimes perpetrated in DC in the first 10 months of 2007 including homicides, sexual assaults, robberies, arson and assaults with a deadly weapon. Should the city council spend precious resources on innocent pets?
Having already passed in the Council Health Committee, Bill 17-89 now heads to the Judiciary Committee, whose chair, Phil Mendelson, reportedly supports it. In the interest of preventing the Judiciary Committee or the rest of the Council from giving CM Jim Graham's amendment to this bill any further consideration, please act now! E-mail, call, write or visit. Say NO to the proposed breed specific potentially dangerous dog law in 17-89. Contact the members of the Judiciary Committee first: Phil Mendelson, Jack Evans, Mary Cheh, Muriel Bowser and Yvette Alexander; then the rest. Their contact information is below.
contact list to follow...
"Give thanks to God for being dog. He gave us the joy of angels." - Trixie Koontz, Dog, Trixie Treats & Holiday Wisdom - Christmas is Good!