Dover, Arkansas “Pit Bull” “Breeds” Ban Passes First Reading

Editor’s note: Dover’s “pit bull” ban would include American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Bull Terriers (which isn’t a breed, at least not according to the AKC who registers them), and American Bulldogs.   Does it not follow that if the ordinance has to define four breeds as if they were one that statistics on “pit bulls” might be massively skewed and therefore meaningless?   In other words, there is no such “breed” as a pit bull” and in fact, the slang term “pit bull” can encompass any number of breeds.   To put that anther way, “pit bull” can be anything you want it to be, just ask the press.

Please contact the Dover Mayor and City Council here or at the following addresses and politely inform them that breed-specific legislation is ineffective, unenforceable, and unconstitutional:

Dover City Hall
8904 Market Street
Dover, AR   72837

Phone: (479) 331-3270
Fax: (479) 331-3388

Mayor Patrick Johnson:

From the Courier News:

The Dover City Council took a major step forward in the citys plans to ban all pit bull breeds from within the city limits and conducted the first reading of an ordinance to ban the dogs during Tuesdays regular meeting.

Aldermen voted to hold the ordinance for 30 days and will vote to pass it during next months meeting.  

The proposed ordinance entirely bans all pit bull breeds from the city limits and states that the banning is applicable to any dog that has been registered as a pit bull, referred to as such, or that is defined or identified as a dog belonging to any of the pit bull dog breeds. The list of banned pit bull dog breeds is as follows:

¢ American Pit Bull Terrier

¢ Staffordshire Bull Terrier

¢ American Staffordshire Bull Terrier

¢ American Bull Dog.

No new pit bulls will be allowed to enter into the city limits, and all pit bulls that currently existing within the city limits will be required to conform to strict guidelines.

An exemption in the ordinance will allow owners to keep pit bulls within the city limits. The exemption will be effective if and only if the owner can provide documented and physical proof that the dog is registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a show or performance dog…

The ordinance goes on to state the exemption will not be applicable to any AKC pit bull dog that is found to be vicious or that in any way jeopardizes the well-being of humans or other domestic animals.

Current pit bull owners will have 30 days after the ordinance is passed to register the dog with the city clerk.

In order to maintain ownership or handling rights to the pit bull, the owner must be at least 21 years of age, must provide documentation that the animal was licensed prior to the ordinance being passed, must provide proof that the dog has received a rabies vaccination, and at his or her own expense, have the dog spayed or neutered and shall present documented proof from a licensed veterinarian that the sterilization was performed.

A pit bull may be exempted from sterilization if the owner can provide legal documentation that the dog is an AKC-registered show dog. Also, the dog may be exempt from sterilization if the owner can provide documentation from a licensed veterinarian stating that a spay or neuter would put the dogs life at risk.

Afterward, the current pit bull owner will be required to bring the animal to Dovers Animal Control Officer. The officer will assign a registration number to the dog, which will then be tattooed on the abdomen near the upper inside of the the right rear leg.

For owners allowed to maintain their pit bulls, the ordinance states the dog must be kept within an enclosure that will prevent their escape or attempted escape.

It also states the dog should never be allowed outside of its enclosure without being held on a leash and under the control of the owner. Owners must also display a sign which states beware of dog on their property, as well as a similar sign near the kennel or confining area.

Failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the ordinance will result in the immediate seizure of the pit bull and revocation of the right to a license to own said dog. It will be regarded as a misdemeanor, punishable with a fine no less than $150 and no more than $500.

Should the dog not be reclaimed within three business days, the dog will be humanely euthanized.

The ordinance will take effect immediately upon passage.

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