Lowell, MA

Pits in the news and info on Breed Specific Legislation.

Postby Val » January 13th, 2009, 1:47 pm

I received this in an e-mail today. It is the next town over from me. :cry:



***CITY TO VOTE ON PIT BULL ORDINANCE TONIGHT***


On Tuesday January 13, 2009, the Lowell City Council will vote on a new ordinance regulating the ownership of pit bulls.

If you are a Lowell resident, please join us on Tuesday evening at the Lowell City Hall to oppose a specific law that is not an effective way to control dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs.

The following is a portion of the proposed law:

http://www.mspca.org/site/DocServer/Low ... docID=4161

While Lowell Unleashed generally is in favor of the previously enacted Dangerous Dogs ordinance and its tenets, it is opposed to the Pit Bull Ordinance for multiple reasons:

*Not all Pit Bulls are dangerous dogs and not all dangerous dogs are Pit Bulls, and is a mistake to confuse
the two


*Requires Pit Bull Owners to keep their windows closed at all times, even during the oppressively hot summer months

* Ordinance hearings poorly promoted at public hearing two days before Christmas
* Punishes responsible dog owners who already abide by all of the city's animal regulations

*City must first strictly enforce the licensing and leash laws currently in place
Lowell Unleashed believes that the solution lies in providing extensive education to the dog owning population and rigorous enforcement of the leash and licensing laws currently in place. We want to urge the City Council to postpone the Pit Bull Ordinance vote until we can all evaluate the results of the Dangerous Dog Ordinance.

There is strength in numbers so please join us this evening to voice your concern.



Thank you for your support! Any questions please email us at lowellunleashed@gmail.com
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Postby Jenn » January 13th, 2009, 1:54 pm

:( Oh no, good luck!!!
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Postby Mickle » January 13th, 2009, 1:59 pm

I was just talking to someone about this last night .
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Postby Judy » January 13th, 2009, 10:29 pm

Animal advisory panel members are sought



LOWELL -- The city is seeking three residents, including one who owns a dog, one who does not own a dog and a member of a certified kennel club or the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs, who want to serve on the Animal Advisory Committee. The group, established by the vicious-dog ordinance recently passed by the City Council, will study, review and issue reports on issues relating to dogs or other animals in the city and make recommendations to City Manager Bernie Lynch and the City Council on how to improve the city as it relates to dogs and other animals. The committee will also include a member of the City Council, a police officer, a dog officer and a member of the MSPCA, all of whom must be Lowell residents. Send a letter of interest to the Lowell Human Resource Office, City Hall, 375 Merrimack St., Lowell, MA 01852, by Jan. 23, at 5 p.m., fax it to (978) 446-7102, or e-mail it to Kathi Cheney at kcheney@lowellma. gov. Call (978) 970-4105.


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Postby Val » January 15th, 2009, 9:19 pm

Recieved by e-mail today....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Vote On The Pit Bull Ordinance
Has Been DELAYED!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But It's Not Over!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The public hearing at Tuesday night's city council meeting ended with cheers! After an incredible turnout and moving statements from Lowell Unleashed, veterinarians, Boston's Animal Control, Mass Federation of Dog Clubs, and most importantly Lowell Residents, our City Councillors decided unanimously to delay the vote on the proposed pit bull ordinance.

However, this is not the last we will see of the ordinance. The City of Lowell is currently accepting applications for their new Animal Advisory Committee, who will represent the community by researching and making suggestions to the City Council regarding dogs and other animals in the city. Click here for the Lowell Website where you can find information on applying for a seat on the committee.

Thank you to all who e-mailed our City Councillors or came out to support Lowell Unleashed and our efforts.
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Postby Jenn » January 15th, 2009, 9:27 pm

:clap: Sounds like a step in the right direction.
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Postby Val » January 15th, 2009, 9:43 pm

I really hope so...it is too close to home for me. I like to take Abby for walks along the river
in Lowell. I hope enough people stay involved so this doesn't go through!
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Postby Judy » January 15th, 2009, 10:53 pm

That is good news! Now if only someone can get a seat on the new committee!
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Postby Judy » January 15th, 2009, 11:07 pm

And more...

City Council delays decision on pit-bull ordinance
By Jennifer Myers, jmyers@lowellsun. com
Updated: 01/14/ 2009 08:52:41 AM EST

LOWELL -- An hour of passionate lobbying from animal advocates convinced the City Council to delay a vote on a proposed pit-bull ordinance last night.

The ordinance, patterned after similar laws adopted by the Boston City Council in 2004, restricts dog owners to a maximum of two pit bulls per residence, with the exception of puppies less than 9 weeks old; pit bulls must be properly registered and licensed, spayed or neutered, and muzzled when off the owner's private property; they will also be prohibited from the city dog park.

Pit-bull owners would be required to post a "Beware of pit bull" sign on their residence that is visible from the roadway and would not be allowed to keep the windows of their homes open, for fear that the dog may jump through the screen.

Those who violate the ordinance will be fined $200 for the first offense and $300 for each subsequent offense.

Paul Brunelle, a Lowell resident and pit-bull owner said Sioux City, Iowa, recently passed a pit-bull ordinance, but declined to include mandatory muzzling because wearing a muzzle renders the dog unable to defend itself. Their ordinance does require mandatory microchipping, leashes no longer than six feet, and stricter licensing.

He added that of 73 pit-bull attacks recorded in Sioux City, only one of the dogs was on a leash.

"The responsibility for an attack is on the owner, not the dog," Brunelle said. "We need to step up accountability for the owner."

Dr. Amy Marder, of Cambridge, a veterinarian and certified animal behaviorist, said the biggest problem with breed-specific legislation is that "within any breed there is enormous behavioral variability. "

Additionally, determining which dogs should be classified as pit bulls is problematic. A recent DNA test on a dog classified as a pit bull by the MSPCA in New Hampshire revealed trace DNA from a German wirehaired pointer and a Yorkshire terrier.

Breed-specific bans have been lifted in Lower Saxony, Germany, and the Netherlands, Marder added.

"When a dog becomes dangerous it is because it is an individual, not a certain breed," she said.

Several of the 13 people who spoke in opposition to the ordinance pointed out that the Council passed a dangerous and vicious dog ordinance last month which should be given time to work before adding on any additional breed-specific regulations that will only serve to punish responsible dog owners.

Emanuel Maciel, the president of the Animal Control Officers of Massachusetts and Animal Control Officer for the city of New Bedford said breed-specific laws are too difficult to enforce because there are so many mixed breeds.

"In New Bedford the ordinance does not work," he said. "You take the dog to the vet and the vet says it is a boxer mix, then what do you do?"

Councilor Rita Mercier admitted that she had been leaning toward approving the ordinance, but the evening's testimony swayed her.

The Council voted unanimously to delay the vote in order to take representatives from the MSPCA, Humane Society, Lowell Unleashed and others up on their offer to work with the city to formulate an ordinance that will work best for all residents.

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