Federal law leashes pit bull restrictions

Municipal governments from New York City to Miami, and from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Denver, have responded to fear of pit bulls and similar breeds of dogs, by severely restricting their ownership or banning them entirely from their jurisdictions.  Now, thanks to a rule issued recently by the U.S. Department of Justice, such actions are subject to being struck down.  Jurisdictions now considering such overreactions, such as Douglasville, Georgia, would be well-advised to review the Justice Department’s opinion before proceeding.

Dog owners and humane societies have long-opposed such arbitrary and overly broad laws that penalize thousands of pit bull owners who maintain their canine companions properly and without incident, because of a small number who fail to properly train and control the dogs.  Courts generally have permitted such ordinances to stand, based on deference to the so-called “police power” of local governments to protect the public “safety and welfare.” 

The 20-year old, federal Americans With Disabilities Act (”ADA”), however, may put a stop to such “breed-specific legislation.”  The ADA protects measures designed to help persons with disabilities, which includes dogs used by disabled persons for assistance.  Laws that outlaw ownership of entire breeds, including those that might be used for assistive purposes, would limit the ability of persons with disabilities to use such pets, and would therefore violate the ADA and be deemed by the Justice Department to be unlawful.

In what some might consider a rare example of the federal government recognizing that laws can be overly broad and therefore harmful to individual liberty, the Justice Department’s opinion on breed-specific legislation noted that such laws sweep too broadly; and that it is inappropriate to outlaw an entire breed of dogs because a small number cause problems.  Such problems are the result of owners not restraining their dogs properly or inadequately training them, rather than the result of a particular breed’s disposition, and can be addressed by more narrowly-crafted legislation.

Unfortunately, there are still those, like the mayor of Douglasville, Georgia, who favor overly restrictive measures.  The mayor recently noted in support of the city’s proposed pit bull ordinance, that he had no problem singling out pit bulls, because he sees them “on TV” causing “incidents.”    One would hope that local government officials might on their own possess some understanding of limited government and individual liberty; but if the Justice Department at least in this instance will ensure that they do so by way of a federal law, then the feds are serving as an important check on excessive government power.

402 comments Add your comment

PitBull Lover

September 30th, 2010
9:02 pm

Yawn another hateful person who needs to be locked up in a room with a Loving Pit Bull!

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:03 pm

That was in ‘quotes’

That means I am making fun of you, ‘genius.’

Now, go give your lovable pitty a big French kiss for me.

PitBull Lover

September 30th, 2010
9:05 pm

I took it has a complement thank you!!

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:05 pm

‘Really ‘genius’ PitBull Lover? Explain why God’s creation was…well, created’

And waiting…

PitBull Lover

September 30th, 2010
9:06 pm

Cekker… what type of dog do you like??

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:06 pm

‘Really ‘genius’ PitBull Lover? Explain why God’s creation was…well, created’

And waiting…

PitBull Lover

September 30th, 2010
9:07 pm

Go ask God yourself… Cause I am thankful he made PIT BULLS! You must not go to Church do you?? That’s why you are such a hater to his CREATIONS!

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:11 pm

‘Cekker… what type of dog do you like??’

Not telling…because you will search the net far and wide to find some hideous story about my preferred breed and then use it to cripple my argument. you are on your own to find out what type of dog I like.

Good luck!

PitBull Lover

September 30th, 2010
9:15 pm

By the way… I have a life. I don’t need to argue with a BRAINLESS NON EDUCATED person! You don’t amuse me and You are nothing to me… so I am going to go live my wonderful life…

BY THE WAY… CEKKER… YOU CAN LIVE ON HERE ALL YOU WANT AND NOT GET ANYWHERE.. BUT, THINK ABOUT IT.. ALL ANIMALS ATTACK NOT JUST PIT’S.. ANY CAN DO DAMAGE.. AND ANY DOG CAN TURN ON THERE OWNER. BUT, NOT ALL ANIMALS ARE THE SAME.. NOT ALL PIT BULLS ARE THE SAME LIKE NOT ALL HUMANS ARE THE SAME. LIKE ME AND YOU.. I AM NOT LIVING ON HERE LIKE YOU ARE. SO… KEEP WASTING YOU LIFE ON HERE.. CAUSE GOD KNOWS YOU HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO!

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:17 pm

‘Go ask God yourself… Cause I am thankful he made PIT BULLS! You must not go to Church do you?? That’s why you are such a hater to his CREATIONS!’

Church (insert denomination here)= God = Pit Bull

Got it…will sleep better now.

PitBull Lover

September 30th, 2010
9:18 pm

‘Cekker… what type of dog do you like??’

Not telling…because you will search the net far and wide to find some hideous story about my preferred breed and then use it to cripple my argument. you are on your own to find out what type of dog I like.

Good luck!

YEA your right.. I would because you know your so called favorite breed is not so perfect either… and you don’t have an argument.. because there is nothing else to argue with you about!

PitBull Lover

September 30th, 2010
9:18 pm

YOUR LAME CEKKER

Church (insert denomination here)= God = Pit Bull

Got it…will sleep better now.

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:21 pm

THANKS FOR YOUR KIND RESPONSE PIT BULL LOVER. ALL CAPS MAKE ME REVERE THE SACRED PIT BULL EVEN MORE.

PitBull Lover

September 30th, 2010
9:25 pm

THANKS FOR YOUR KIND RESPONSE PIT BULL LOVER. ALL CAPS MAKE ME REVERE THE SACRED PIT BULL EVEN MORE. <– your welcome… have a nice life…

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:35 pm

‘your welcome… have a nice life…’

Do and shall PitBull Lover. My best to you and your charming pit bull/concubine. Give it a smooch for me, will you.

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:38 pm

‘My late golden was dog aggressive… she only liked dogs she lived with and they had to start out as puppies. And i had to crate one when we were out cause I didn’t want to take the chance that anything would happen. Does that make my golden dangerous?’

Yes, it does make your Golden aggressive…sorry.

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:40 pm

‘The only problem with pit bulls *does* go back to the owners’

Wrong.

Pittie owner

September 30th, 2010
9:40 pm

well there are many humans who do terrible things to their own children/parents/siblings. Its all over the news.

A pit bull is a strong dog. But they aren’t inherently evil. Not all drug dealers own these kinds of dogs.

You want research… read these :

In 2005, Ontario passed a ban on all “pit bulls” and any dog that may appear to be a “pit bull.”

Ontario officials claimed that pit bulls are “different” than other types of dogs and inflict injuries unlike other dogs. Despite the fact that there was no evidence to support this claim, a ban on “pit bulls” was enacted, and continues to be enforced in Ontario.

Ontario officials dismissed, and continue to ignore, all data that disproves their claims, including the fact that only ONE of Canada’s 45 fatal dog attacks (since 1964) has involved a dog identified to be a pit bull or pit bull type dog.

The above was from this website: http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/dog-bites/dog-bites-worldwide/

ONE! out of 45 fatalities was a pit bull or pit bull type. How does this make pit bulls the most dangerous dog?

A Denver columnist( from of course one of the states that do ban pitties) talks about the media bias:

http://btoellner.typepad.com/kcdogblog/2010/07/denver-columnist-confirms-media-bias-in-overreporting-stories-about-pit-bulls.html

You dont “hear” of other dogs because the media isn’t interested. Even the ASPCA says it:

http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/advocacy-center/animal-laws-about-the-issues/pit-bull-bias-in-the-media.html

Pitties are therapy dogs:

A pit bull formerly used as a bait dog in a fighting ring is a therapy dog:
http://www.examiner.com/pets-in-pittsburgh/pit-bull-once-used-as-bait-dog-turns-therapy-dog-sarge-s-story

and another:
http://www.pitbulllovers.com/training-articles/therapy-dogs-pit-bulls.html

Google pit bulls as therapy dogs and you will get many more.

Pitties are used in search and rescue:
http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/articles/sarpits.html

There are even pitties used as police dogs.

I am not saying everyone in the world has to love pitties. Heck i am not a fan of small dogs… (some i do like) as I am a big dog fan and I rescue/foster pits because they need the most help. But that doesn’t mean I would bash chihuahuas or beagles, etc. To each their own. But banning pits isn’t the solution as every place that has such a ban hasn’t had any drop in dog bites/attacks. Because it is NOT the breed that is the problem but us humans.

PitBull Lover

September 30th, 2010
9:42 pm

The only problem with pit bulls *does* go back to the owners’

Wrong.

Right!

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:42 pm

‘Where i am from we just had a pittie save a little dog from a coyote.’

Save it for desert or as an appetizer?

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:45 pm

‘I have two pitties who are well trained and well behaved. We crate them when we are not home. That is for their best interest and ours. If they got into a fight, I wouldnt want to see the result.’

Even pit bull lovers admit they are crazy as bat crap.

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
9:45 pm

The only problem with pit bulls *does* go back to the owners’

Wrong. hmm… Nope your wrong Cekker… it does go back to the owners. The owner is responsible for there animal. If there animal is not properly trained or not in a fence yard like they should be then it is the owners fault. We have to train the animal.

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
9:46 pm

‘Where i am from we just had a pittie save a little dog from a coyote.’

Save it for desert or as an appetizer?

Neither… your sick… you must like those animals crush video’s don’t you?

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
9:49 pm

‘I have two pitties who are well trained and well behaved. We crate them when we are not home. That is for their best interest and ours. If they got into a fight, I wouldnt want to see the result.’

Even pit bull lovers admit they are crazy as bat crap.

No.. its so they don’t have a free for all in the house.. I have owned Pit Bulls most of my life. If they are alone and not being watched they like to get into things… So your full of crap Cekker… what does Cekker mean anyways? Is that even a word? Oh your not educated.. sorry.

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:52 pm

Interesting…all these ‘responsible’ owners admitting they have to crate their sweet pit bulls for fear they will do some damage if left untended for a period of time.

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
9:55 pm

Interesting…all these ‘responsible’ owners admitting they have to crate their sweet pit bulls for fear they will do some damage if left untended for a period of time.

Yes. All dogs should be crated if no one is home. Anything else “genius”

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:55 pm

‘If they are alone and not being watched they like to get into things…’

You mean things like little kids throats?

Right about that!

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
9:58 pm

‘All dogs should be crated if no one is home.’

Hogwash.

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
10:01 pm

‘The owner is responsible for there animal. If there animal is not properly trained or not in a fence yard like they should be then it is the owners fault. We have to train the animal.’

Train the animal to do what? Not chew someones face off?

Dr. Pangloss

September 30th, 2010
10:04 pm

And today two pit bulls attacked a teenage girl on her way to school in West Palm Beach. Thankfully, a very brave man was able to chase the dogs away. Story at http://www.orlandosentinel.com/fl-west-palm-pitbull-attack-20100929,0,1683233.story

The man who rescued her says, “It was like two pit bulls fighting over a piece of meat and that meat was a child,” Simpson said. “I’m still a little shaken up. It was one of the scariest things I have had to do.”

It’s always just a question of time.

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
10:05 pm

‘If they are alone and not being watched they like to get into things…’

You mean things like little kids throats?

Right about that!

No… like the garbage. Not all Pit Bulls attack “genius’ There not the only breed of dog that can do damage. Did you know that a rottweiler bites will do more damage… you didn’t did you? Are against Rottweilers now?

Dogmom16

September 30th, 2010
10:06 pm

I cannot believe some of the anti-pitbull arguments I am hearing. First of all, NONE of them have legitimate sources. (No, hear-say, the news, and wikipedia are NOT reliable sources). I have been working at an animal hospital for 3 years, am an owner of pitbulls, and at any given time have 1-2 pitbull fosters in my house. The most vicious, unpredictable breed we come across at the animal hospital and shelters is a CHIHUAHUA! You heard me, CHIHUAHUA. Even the cats we see are more aggressive than pitbulls. So get out of your house, volunteer at a shelter, and meet these dogs before you judge them. Otherwise, you are just ignorant. If I read another ignorant comment on here, I might just scream… P.S. pitbulls are GREAT around kids, too, so F-U to the person(s) who think otherwise.

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
10:08 pm

All dogs should be crated if no one is home.’

Hogwash.

What? Are you from Harry Potter? I have always crated my dogs… even a dog that wasn’t a Pit Bull. You have no education on any dogs do you? I will guess not.

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
10:10 pm

‘The owner is responsible for there animal. If there animal is not properly trained or not in a fence yard like they should be then it is the owners fault. We have to train the animal.’

Train the animal to do what? Not chew someones face off?

No… if you have not ever owned a pit bull… do us a favor and go own one then you can judge.

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
10:13 pm

It’s the pit’s idiot human that either trains them to fight or does not train them at all!!! You have to work with ANY dog to make them a productive member of society….just like kids!

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
10:17 pm

‘Cekker… what type of dog do you like??’

Not telling…because you will search the net far and wide to find some hideous story about my preferred breed and then use it to cripple my argument. you are on your own to find out what type of dog I like.

Good luck!

YEA your right.. I would because you know your so called favorite breed is not so perfect either… and you don’t have an argument.. because there is nothing else to argue with you about!

I would do the same thing just to prove to you that your breed of dog does attack to. Of course your not going to tell anyone your choice of breed. So you can’t be prove that your choice of breed also attacks.

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
10:17 pm

‘I have always crated my dogs… even a dog that wasn’t a Pit Bull. You have no education on any dogs do you? I will guess not.’

If you think that every domestic dog needs to be crated when left alone, you are the one that lacks education.

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
10:20 pm

‘The most vicious, unpredictable breed we come across at the animal hospital and shelters is a CHIHUAHUA!’

Those pesky chihuahuas and their 2 inch mouths again!

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
10:21 pm

‘Even the cats we see are more aggressive than pitbulls.’

You must see some scary-a__ cats!

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
10:22 pm

‘I have always crated my dogs… even a dog that wasn’t a Pit Bull. You have no education on any dogs do you? I will guess not.’

If you think that every domestic dog needs to be crated when left alone, you are the one that lacks education.

Really… so me 1. wanting to keep my animal safe.. 2. not wanting to pick up trash every time I come home. 3. Just they way I do it and was told by my vet to do is lack of education… got it! Thanks for the info “genius”

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
10:24 pm

‘P.S. pitbulls are GREAT around kids, too, so F-U to the person(s) who think otherwise.’

Spoken like a true class act with their head in their anal orifice.

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
10:24 pm

‘Even the cats we see are more aggressive than pitbulls.’

You must see some scary-a__ cats!

and this is what you do with your life. Comment on everyone’s post.. You really don’t have a life do you?

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
10:26 pm

‘P.S. pitbulls are GREAT around kids, too, so F-U to the person(s) who think otherwise.’

Spoken like a true class act with their head in their anal orifice.

Cekker that is where your head is.. and I don’t think anyone wants to join you.

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
10:28 pm

‘Really… so me 1. wanting to keep my animal safe.. 2. not wanting to pick up trash every time I come home. 3. Just they way I do it and was told by my vet to do is lack of education… got it! Thanks for the info “genius”’

You are quite welcome!

P.S. If your animal cannnot control itself itself for 8 hours, it is not well trained. Look into that, Svengali.

Cekker you lose

September 30th, 2010
10:28 pm

also we have a English setter and a shih tzu mix that gets in the garbage so he also gets crated. I haven’t had a dog who didn’t get in the garbage.

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
10:30 pm

‘Really… so me 1. wanting to keep my animal safe.. 2. not wanting to pick up trash every time I come home. 3. Just they way I do it and was told by my vet to do is lack of education… got it! Thanks for the info “genius”’

You are quite welcome!

P.S. If your animal cannnot control itself itself for 8 hours, it is not well trained. Look into that, Svengali.

Honestly cekker speaker that have no life. What dog do you know don’t get in the garbage when there pups?

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
10:32 pm

‘also we have a English setter and a shih tzu mix that gets in the garbage so he also gets crated. I haven’t had a dog who didn’t get in the garbage.’

My sympathies…you have some poorly trained dogs.

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
10:34 pm

For your information Cekker.. I do have control over my animals. Just like kids.. animals will do wrong when they can. Not all animals are perfect like your imaginary one!

Cekker

September 30th, 2010
10:34 pm

‘Honestly cekker speaker that have no life. What dog do you know don’t get in the garbage when there pups?’

Dogs that have owners that don’t control the garbage in their own house perhaps?

Punish the DEED not the BREED

September 30th, 2010
10:35 pm

‘also we have a English setter and a shih tzu mix that gets in the garbage so he also gets crated. I haven’t had a dog who didn’t get in the garbage.’

My sympathies…you have some poorly trained dogs.

My Sympathies to your parents Cekker for a poorly uneducated person you are. That happens to think he/she is right about everything. That’s it your a teenager!