Several Residents Lobby for Illegal “Pit Bull” Ban in Van, Texas

Editor’s note: There have been a few articles about some of Van’s citizens wanting to pass a “pit bull” ban, but I have yet to see an article take note of the fact that Texas has a statewide prohibition of breed-specific legislation:

§ 822.047.   LOCAL REGULATION OF DANGEROUS DOGS.   A county or municipality may place additional requirements or restrictions on dangerous dogs if the requirements or restrictions:

(1)   are not specific to one breed or several breeds of dogs;   and
(2)   are more stringent than restrictions provided by this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 916, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. (

Therefore, any breed-specific proposal in any municipality in Texas, whether they are a home rule city or not, would be illegal. (And I say whether they are home rule or not because home rule only applies to issues of public safety, and it has not been scientifically proven that the dogs called “pit bulls” — though “pit bull” is not a breed — are a public safety threat.)

From radio station KMOO 99.9 in Mineola, Texas:

At the Van City Council meeting Wednesday night December 8th, several citizens voiced their desire for a ban on pit bulls. Parties from both sides of the debate presented their opinions.

Sharon Kanopka of Fort Worth, and several others along with their pit bulls made the trip to Van to express their condolences on recent attacks in the area and to stress the importance of education as an alternative to a ban. According to the group part of educating means making it known that the breed is not responsible. While opinions were strong at the meeting, the over all demeanor remained calm. No immediate action was taken toward the ban at the meeting but it was decided to form a four person committee to conduct research over the next few months on the issue. The committee will come back to the Van City Council to present their findings in March.

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