Pit bull bans, and Breed Specific Legislation, have been on the decline over the past year. The Inquistr has been following the progress, including pit bull bans being rolled back, a Washington state congresswoman who pushed legislation against such bans, and soldiers who have had trouble staying or moving to a locale of their choice.
With this trend of shifting away from BSL and pit bull specific bans — though some locales have refused to change despite the trouble it seems to cause — it only seems natural that opposition groups pop up to fight these regulations.
According to the Huffington Post, Ohio has stepped up in the fight against pit bull bans and BSL by forming a political action committee. The pit bull political action committee is called Ohioans Against Breed Discrimination.
Founder Alisha Westerman, who is described as a dog lover and philanthropist, says its discrimination by law.
“People should never allow discrimination to be supported by law and it is up to all of us to ensure it isn’t. That’s what this PAC stands for and that is why everyone should stand up and disallow discrimination of any sort.”
As mentioned, the trend is much bigger than most people realize. Reportedly, 19 states have prohibited discriminating against a dog by its breed. According to Stop BSL, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Massachusetts, Nevada, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Utah, and South Dakota are among the 19 states.
Most of them still allow dangerous dog ordinances, and Colorado is one state where some municipalities have passed and enforced pit bull bans and BSL.
Alisha and Luke Westerman are both co-founders of the pit bull PAC, along with humane law enforcement officer Steffen Baldwin, attorney Dana Pannella, and Lauren Schnieder, an advocate for shelter reform. Their pit bull PAC’s goal is to raise $5 million and get a constitutional amendment that prohibits pit bull bans and BSL on the ballot for the next election cycle.
Baldwin hopes that with this PAC and potential ballot initiative, Ohio will become the 20th state to ban “enacting or enforcing BSL.” Luke Westerman, Alisha’s husband and OABD Co-founder, said “now is the ideal time.”
Just a few days prior, another pit bull ban was lifted in favor of pit bull regulation, according to Fox 2 KTVU. It was lifted after an outcry from residents of Hazel Park, Michigan, where a pit bull named Ice was in danger of being removed.
The community had a pit bull ban, but Ice saved its owner from domestic abuse and caused the community to rally behind the owner. As a result, the pit bull ban was repealed and replaced with specific regulations for owning a pit in Hazel Park.
What are your thoughts? Should all 50 states prohibit pit bull bans and BSL? Should communities retain the power to choose, or should the federal government step in? Leave your thoughts.
[Image via Creative Commons]