Mississippi City’s Pitbull Ban Faces Court Challenge

By Holbrook Mohr | July 8, 2013

  • July 8, 2013 at 11:30 am
    Team Pit-a-Full/ David Edelstein says:
    Hot debate. What do you think?
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    “Regardless of whether it’s based on science or perception, many communities across the country have passed laws banning or restricting pit bulls, including big cities like Denver and Miami.”

    If we are going to triangulate the City of Denver into the discussion of Pit Bull bans… lets be thorough, shall we?

    Denver’s 25 year old ban on Pit Bulls is based on a cover up:
    In 1988,a little boy was killed in Denver by what “might” have been a Pit Bull. The owner of the dog had not been cited or charged with harboring a vicious animal on 2 other occassions. The city of Denver failed to enforce any sort of dangerous dog law, and Fernando Salizar paid for the error with his life.

    The city of Denver find it sound policy and good form to confiscate Pit Bull Service Dogs despite a federal mandate from the Americans With Disabilities Act and US Dept of Justice.

    THE ONLY reason Denver continues its ban on pit bull is “EGO”:
    “We are a Home Rule City and no one is going to tell us our business”- City Councilman Charlie Brown 2010

    The city of Denver has been under constant legal attack since the ban’s inception in 1989 and spends over 3/4 milion dollars annually to fight off litigation. (Note- a large percentage of those funds are to pay off dog owners when the city confiscates and destroys the wrong breed by mistake).

    Not one single credible animal welfare organization, or the American Humane Association, or the American Bar Association, or the National Assoc of Animal Control Officers, or the American Veterinary Medicine Assoc endorses Denver’s ban or breed specific bans in general as a means to public safety or reduction in dog bites/ attacks. The National Center for Disease Control (the original sources of information for Denver’s Pit Bull ban) themselves do not endorse breed specific bans and notes “Our findings are inconclusive and should not be the basis of legislation”.

    So yeah, if we are going to talk about Denver and Pit Bulls… let us not half ass it.

    • July 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm
      lee77 says:
      Hot debate. What do you think?
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      @David Edelstein: “Not one single credible animal welfare organization, or the American Humane Association, or the American Bar Association … endorse breed specific bans ….”

      But many emergency room physicians, who see firsthand what a pit bull can do to a human being in a matter of minutes, endorse breed specific bans!

      Of course, animal welfare and humane societies are going to be against banning pit bulls because these dog-oriented organizations are concerned only about DOGS and nothing else! The American Bar Association and the American Veterinary Medicine Association see pit bull attacks as dollar signs because when a pit bull attacks a person, it often calculates to thousands in some lawyer’s pocket; and when a pit bull attacks a pet or livestock animal, it usually means hundreds (often thousands) in some vet’s pocket!

      The protection of human beings is not something that should be decided by dog-oriented organizations or people protecting their bottom line. It is something that needs to be decided by physicians (who are experts on what these land-sharks can do to the human body) and the voting public!

      It’s not about DOGS! It’s about HUMAN BEINGS!

      • July 9, 2013 at 11:11 am
        jw says:
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        It’s about human beings who don’t train their dogs properly. ANY dog can be vicious if trained that way. Pit bulls can be wonderful dogs, if trained correctly. I disagree with your premise that animal welfare groups shouldn’t have a say in laws regarding animals.

        • July 9, 2013 at 1:28 pm
          lee77 says:
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          Go to the library, check out some books on dog-breeding and genetics and READ THEM! Dogs are products of their breeding and different breeds/types of dogs have different temperaments and inbred traits. While training can impact a dog’s behavior to some extent, genetic tendencies remain and there is no way to remove them. If it were a matter of training, there would be no point in having different breeds of dogs because Great Danes could be trained to chase fox (fat chance!), Siberian huskies could fetch game, French poodles could herd animals and Michael Vick would have been fighting bird dogs!

          Bans on dangerous dogs are instituted to protect the public (i.e., human beings) from dogs and have absolutely NOTHING to do with “animal welfare!”

          • July 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm
            jw says:
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            I disagree.

          • July 9, 2013 at 3:26 pm
            Patti Cake in the East says:
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            Lee77, if I were to believe your theory then, the Doberman Pinscher that I purchased for $2K as a puppy, from a breeder, paid for obedience classes, etc., is actually a vicious, dangerous monster. You have no idea just how wrong you are.

          • July 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm
            SWFL Agent says:
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            Lee, this is an emotional issue for most people and you won’t win this argument. No one wants to think their pet will cause harm and everyone thinks their pet is different than anyone else’s. Yes, it’s true, various breeds have specific temperaments and physical characteristics. That’s why there are different breeds. I’ve never heard of a Golden Retriever dog fighting ring or some “responsible owner” turning a lion cub into a lazy house cat.

          • July 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm
            lee77 says:
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            To Patti Cake: It’s not a “theory,” it is fact. Radcliffe Robins, DVM and animal behaviorist, says: “Temperament is 100% genetic; it is inherited, and fixed at the moment of the dog’s fertilization/conception/birth. Temperament in the dog cannot be eliminated nor transformed from one type to another. It cannot change during the dog’s lifetime. It is the permanent mental/neurological characteristic of the individual dog. Environment, socialization or training can modify the expression of an individual dog’s temperament, but they cannot transform it nor eliminate it. The dog will die with the temperament with which it was born.” Even pit nutter extraordinaire Diane Jessup, who claims to be a pit bull expert, was quoted as saying, “I truly believe that a dog is about 90% genetics.”

            To SWFL Agent: Last year, when the citizens of Miami-Dade, Florida, voted on whether or not to overturn or retain its 1989 ban on pit bulls, everyone said those of us in favor of the ban wouldn’t win. Newspaper and TV websites were predicting the ban would be overturned, online polls indicated voters would reject the ban by a sizeable majority, and Mark and Jamie Buehrle and other pitwits were out en force “educating” people about pit bulls. But when the votes were counted, an overwhelming two-thirds majority of voters voted in favor of the ban!

            Only a small minority of people in the US own pit bulls. The majority of people would be happier if their communities were free of these land-sharks!

          • July 10, 2013 at 11:41 am
            jw says:
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            lee77, your vet source is one opinion. My vet has a different opinion. I happen to like my vet’s opinion, so I’m going with that.

      • July 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm
        Debbie Bell says:
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        “American Veterinary Medicine Association see pit bull attacks as dollar signs”

        That’s the usual nonsensical response to the point BSL advocates can never answer with a rational response. Why does *every* relevant scientific organization oppose BSL? Because they are all crassly looking for ‘&’s’ in some unexplained way. That’s already idiotic as it applies to veterinary organizations but just completely nonsensical when it comes to say, the CDC.

        Among the many common sense reasons virtually *all* of animal science rejects BSL is particular reason emphasized in this court challenge. What’s a ‘pit bull’? A law which prohibits something as vague as that, and then promises that unaccountable bureaucrats, not a court, will decide if you’ve violated the law, is unconstitutional.

        Even if BSL actually worked, that would be a huge problem with it, either denying owners due process or tying down municipalities in constant court battles over which dog is a ‘pit bull’. But BSL *doesn’t* work, even besides that.

  • July 8, 2013 at 11:41 am
    George says:
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    On the bright side, Richland won’t have to watch any more of those Dr Pepper commercials. Lets have a real good time, lets have a real good time, lets have a real good time, lets have a real good time. Dale!

  • July 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm
    DD72 says:
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    The more I see of people, the more I love my dogs. If we had harsher penalties for people baiting and training vicious animals, and brought back public hangings for murder & other vicious crimes…there wouldn’t need to be breed specific legislation. Punish criminals instead of giving them cable tv, square meals, and live behind bars.

  • July 8, 2013 at 1:55 pm
    Libby says:
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    The breed is known to cause more serious injury than other breeds, but it is the responsibility of the owner to contain their animal. My best friend had a pit bull and she was the sweetest dog you’d ever want to meet. But my friend did not allow her to be around children or other animals because she did not know how she might react. That’s just being responsible for your pet. Unfortunately, personal responsibility has gone by the wayside in this country.

  • July 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm
    Vickie says:
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    Pit bulls are vicious. I know that they seem sweet and some are – up to a point. I have personal knowledge of 3 instances where the sweet little dog goes crazy and attacks. One killed another animal and the second nearly killed another dog. The third scaled a 6′ block wall early in the morning and was launching itself at my picture window and snarling. This was totally unprovoked.

    I realize that they didn’t attack people, but where do you draw the line? Unprovoked attacks (both were) cannot be tolerated. Today another dog, tomorrow a child? These dogs get nasty and I am pretrified of them.

    I don’t want one next door, or even on the same street as me.

  • July 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm
    Baxtor says:
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    Another way around a city wide ban is to require owners of these dogs to carry $1,000,000 liability insurance on them. Then if they don’t obtain it, fine them and then take the dog. That way you aren’t taking away someone’s constitutional right, but making them responsible.

    • July 8, 2013 at 4:31 pm
      DougJ says:
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      I do not think any insurers will want to write that coverage. So there is your answer, the insurers know the facts!

      I get so tired of seeing on the news after a maiming or death the owner says “It never attacked anyone before.”

      • July 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm
        Pitbullowner says:
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        That is stupid most times a dog bets it is for the first time.

    • July 9, 2013 at 7:30 am
      Pitbullowner says:
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      I have owned pit bulls for years, own a home and have insurance. Why have a 1 million dollar law suit, the average settlement for a dog bite is 25,000. Just because a person has a million dollar liablity coverage does not mean that the insurance company is going to pay out a million dollars.

      • July 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm
        lee77 says:
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        Yes for a “dog” bite, not a pit bull attack. Pit bull victims are often scalped and/or dismembered and face years of plastic surgery. Google “Amaya Hess” and look at the once beautiful little girl that a pit bull turned into a one-eyed monster in less than 2 minutes. Do you think $25,000 would have covered her medical expenses?

  • July 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm
    Huh! says:
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    I have been on the receiving end of an unprovoked dog attack. It was not a Pitt Bull — it was another family friendly dog. The owners of the dog were family friends, who never apologized or asked how I was doing later. In my case, I find much more fault with the owner than the dog. We need responsible pet owners and we need to exercise caution around all animals. Those animals that prove themselves dangerous should be put away; the others are more than welcome to stay.

    • July 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm
      lee77 says:
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      Unfortunately, there is no way to force people to be “responsible pet owners” anymore than there is a way to force people to drive the speed limit, refrain from driving under the influence, or using illicit drugs. Laws are meaningless unless there is enough manpower and money to enforce those laws.

      Additionally, the attorney who filed this lawsuit is one of those jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none lawyers, whose knowledge of Constitutional law is limited. Lawyers sometimes file off-the-wall lawsuits just to get their name in the news and this is likely what Featherston is doing. If he knew anything about the Fourteenth Amendment, he would know that when it comes to laws banning pit bulls, or whatever, the only requirement is that there be fair warning to persons of ordinary intelligence of the prohibited conduct. Young knew, or should have known, pit bulls are banned in Richland. If he didn’t, that’s his problem because ignorance of the law is no excuse.

  • July 9, 2013 at 12:10 pm
    Snoopy says:
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    Wonder what the average cost is for litigation against pit bulls. I bet it would be incredibly less expensive to take care of dog bite victims. Towns and cities pay gobbs of money and tie up court rooms because of ridiculous bans. Cannot wait until the entire population realizes that pit bulls are not the only dog that can cause serious damage and that their tax dollars are being dried up to defend a witch hunt.

    • July 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm
      Pitbullowner says:
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      Denver pays 750,000 per year for litigation. I am sure the tax payers in this town can afford the legal fees.

  • July 9, 2013 at 12:37 pm
    Debbie Bell says:
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    It’s been said you can judge a country by how it treats its animals.

    What if the country continues to breed more dogs specficially designed to be the best at attacking and killing dogs for no reason other than instinct to do so? How sick is that!

    If we were a compassionate, sane country, we would not need Breed Specific Laws because no one would be breeding or buying pit bulls. Pits are victims too, of the sociopathic, sadistic, pit fanciers (fighters) who created these mutant dogs.

    Normal dogs do not want to fight, therefore normal dogs give warning before a confrontation. Normal dogs would not kill neighbor puppies.

    “Good” pits do want to fight, therefore they do not give warning before attacking. Good pits will attack, maul kill other dogs, even puppies who are completely submissive.

    Normal dogs want to guard a resource or want you to leave, so if they do bite, normal dogs immediately let go, so you can leave (and live).

    Good pits bite because mauling feels good to them, as endorphins and adrenalin flow during a mauling. Therefore, they do not let go, don’t let the victim leave, or live.

    If you manage to escape a pit attack, a good pit will seek to destroy, following victims into homes, into cars. Good pits do not stop even after suffering severe personal injury themselves. Kick an attacking border collie and he retreats and returns to his porch. Shoot several bullets into a pit, blind him with bear spray and he probably won’t stop his “kill or die trying” attack, good pits will continue because the flood of endorphins reduces their pain.

    Don’t confiscate and kill, but enact and enforce mandatory spay/neuter of all pits/pit mixes. When in doubt, spay/neuter the mixed labs, too. No responsible pit owner is punished, as his dogs are already spayed/neutered.

    • July 9, 2013 at 6:14 pm
      Pitbullowner says:
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      How many pit bull type dogs have u exactly handled?

  • July 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm
    Debbie Bell says:
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    Pits are different. Proof is that with literally countless breeds/combinations, ALL USA dog fighters use only pits.

    Essentially no one is breeding pits for good dog social skills. Spend some time on a pit forum; ask the pit breeders there. “Dog aggression is THE pit trait, that’s what attracts most pit bully people to pits. If a pit breeder says that they are breeding for temperament, that means they are breeding for “gameness” the tenacity to continue doing something no matter what. Game is insane. It means chewing into a neighbor’s house for hours to reach the victim dog. It means continuing in a dog fight even after suffering fatal injuries and suffering from shock: the “dead game” pit pushes himself back across the pit to attack a new “opponent”.

    Here’s a video of a dead game pit. She cannot help herself; she’s a victim too of the insane pit breeders. Stop breeding more pits.

    paste into search bar on YouTube
    “pit bull vs cavalo.”

    Become pit bull aware
    “cuida tu pitbull para que no suseda esto”

    • July 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm
      Pitbullowner says:
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      Debbie bell queen of the copy and paste…you can read her bs every time a pit bull farts.

  • July 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm
    Pitbullsupporter says:
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    I am a pit bull owner and worked in personal injury law for a number of years. Dog bite victims were a common occurrence and pit bulls were never the offending breed. Labs, golden retrievers, and the beloved lap dogs were the most common dogs biting people. And I would love the mayor of this town who was quoted saying, “If my lab bites you, he’s going to bite you, release and back away.” to meet a former client of mine who was not only bitten but attacked by a golden retriever. This man is no longer able to have children because of this unprovoked attack. Last year I was attacked by a lab and it was my pit bull who came to my rescue.

    I think the biggest misconception people have is that some dogs are dangerous and some aren’t. They are animals bottom line and whether it is a pit bull or a poodle they have the ability to bite. Will a bite from a lab be worse than a bite from a chihuahua… Of course. Dog attacks, pit bull or other wise, should not be tolerated. A fine and a slap on the wrist to the dog owner will not fix the problem. Every era has a breed that is labeled dangerous and vicious. In the 1800s it was the mastiff, during WWII it was the doberman and now it is the pit bull. In 20 or 30 years it could be the Labrador retriever. Education and owner responsibility need to change or there will always be some breed of dog biting and attacking people.



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