Pit bull bans and Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) has been in decline over the past year, and two more towns ditched the pit bull laws this month.Wilmington, Delaware, has had their pit bull BSL for more than 12 years, according to the News Journal. In 2012, Wilmington’s Mayor was apparently seeking to remove the BSL relation to pit bull at the time, in part because they were struggling to hire animal control contractors.
However, according to ABC 6, pit bull BSL has ended in Wilmington, Delaware. The Wilmington city council voted unanimously to end the pit bull legislation to the literal applause of local pit bull owners, and much to the chagrin of the opponents of such a move to end the BSL. Responsible-a-Bull Shelter for the Misunderstood applauded the removal of the pit bull-specific law and said that “[w]e just want all dogs to be treated equally”.
Amanda Rodriguez, pit bull owner and opponent of the original BSL, had fought this new legislation back in 2012. Rodriguez and her pit bull Gotti moved due to what she felt was discrimination against her and the pit. She did not “feel comfortable giving her tax dollars” to Wilmington. Sadly, Gotti the pit bull passed away before the removal of the BSL, Rodriguez lamented.
Maria Ruckle, an opponent of the change, called the keeping of the BSL against pit bulls a “matter of life and death”. Ruckle’s daughter was severely injured in a dog attack prior. The new Wilmington pit bull law, or lack thereof, actually puts the Delaware city in line with the rest of the state. Though Wilmington council voted to remove the pit bull BSL, they hope to enforce tougher broader standards on resident canines deemed dangerous.
Boonville, Missouri, according to Lake News Online, also did away with their pit bull-specific law. However, in Boonville, pit bulls were under an outright ban until earlier Tuesday.
The pit bull ban failed to be re-instituted, so it went before the entire council and Mayor for a vote. In the end, the Mayor voted in favor of removal of the BSL, and broke a 4-4 stalemate that held up the final decision on the matter. Boonville, Missouri, Councilman Henry Hurt, who voted against removing the pit bull ban and is in favor of BSL, feels the people did not want it removed.
“I don’t normally get calls, but I have gotten calls about this subject. People want us to keep pit bulls out of Boonville. I know there are people who have pit bulls in town. I see them all the time. If these people are not going to do what is legal now, are they going to do what is legal when we say it is okay for them to have these dogs?”
Despite the victor for pit bull advocates in Missouri and Delaware, both states have strong, unusual vicious dog ordinances.
In Boonville, according to an amendment that was passed with the remove of the pit bull ban, “any animal taken from the owner could be given to a non-for-profit state licensed rescue organization”. This removal is based on, and includes the prohibition of “any dog that showed signs of aggressive behavior towards a human or a domesticated animal”.
States like Ohio can’t even ditch their pit bull bans for wounded warriors, according to the Inquisitr.
It would appear with any victory, some setbacks are always possible. Pit bull advocates that are hopeful to see the end to pit bull bans and BSL will need to be aware of this concept.
What are your thoughts? Should these locales have dropped their breed-specific legislations? Are the alternatives harsher towards all canines? Leave your thoughts.
[Image Via Creative Commons]