BSL Proposed in Delaware

The New Castle County Council will vote next Tuesday, March 14th, on an ordinance to restrict...

The New Castle County Council will vote next Tuesday, March 14th, on an ordinance to restrict "pit bulls." The measure, authored by Councilman Jea P. Street, defines "pit bulls" as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers and any dog displaying the physical characteristics of these breeds.

The measure will require owners to keep their dogs inside unless they are muzzled or in a cage. Residents who own these breeds would further be required to purchase $100,000 worth of liability insurance and display a sign announcing that a vicious dog is on the premises.

What You Can Do:

  • Attend the meeting Tuesday, March 14th at 7pm.

    Council Chambers
    Louis L. Redding City/County Building
    800 N. French Street
    Wilmington, DE 19801

 

  • Contact the author, Councilman Street, and voice your opposition. Ask him to withdraw the proposal in favor of a strongly-enforced dangerous dog ordinance.

    Councilman Jea P. Street
    Phone: (302) 395-8350
    Email: jpstreet@co.new-castle.de.us

 

  • Contact your representative on the New Castle County Council and ask him or her to oppose this measure. To find out who represents you click here. It is critical that officials hear from their own constituents!

    New Castle County Council
    Louis L. Redding City/County Building
    800 North French Street
    Wilmington, DE 19801

 

Points to Address:

  • Breed-specific laws are not the best way to protect communities. An owner intent on using his or her dogs for malicious purposes will simply be able to switch to another type of dog and continue to jeopardize public safety. The list of regulated breeds or types could grow every year without ever addressing responsible dog ownership. Deeds, not breeds, should be addressed.
  • Breed-specific laws are hard to enforce. Breed identification requires expert knowledge of the individual breeds, placing great burden on local officials.
  • Breed-specific laws are unfair to responsible owners.
  • Breed-specific laws increase costs for the community. Shelter costs for the community could rise as citizens abandon targeted breeds and adoptable dogs of the targeted breeds could be euthanized at the shelter.
  • Some communities have had their breed-specific laws overturned on constitutional grounds. Because proper identification of what dogs would be included is difficult or impossible, the law may be deemed unconstitutionally vague.
  • Strongly enforced animal control laws (such as leash laws), generic guidelines on dealing with dangerous dogs and increased public education efforts to promote responsible dog ownership are all better ways to protect communities from dangerous animals.
  • Breed-specific legislation is opposed by the AKC, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Animal Control Association, the ASPCA, and a host of national animal welfare organizations that have studied the issue and recognize that targeting breeds simply does not work.

 

For more information please contact:

Wilmington Kennel Club
jpfoster@ix.netcom.com

AKC's Canine Legislation department
919-816-3720
doglaw@akc.org