In the past few months, New Mexico dog owners have been very vocal about expressing their opposition...
In the past few months, New Mexico dog owners have been very vocal about expressing their opposition to proposed breed-specific legislation (SB188). However, fanciers are now extremely concerned about two dangerous dog bills that are moving quickly through the legislature - HB400 and SB432. Your help is needed quickly to defeat them.
While HB400 and SB432 do not target certain breeds, they are problematic for many reasons. First, they contain many overly broad definitions that could easily make criminals out of responsible dog owners. For example, a dog could be defined as "potentially dangerous" for a range of normal canine behavior, including "acting in a highly aggressive manner within a fenced yard." Additionally, HB400/SB432 punishes dog owners equally whether their dog has been defined "potentially dangerous" or "dangerous." Thus, an owner whose dog has barked at someone from behind a fence could face the same strict punishment as one whose dog has seriously injured or killed another person or animal. Of further concern is the fact that animal control authorities would have the right to seize a dog they felt to be dangerous or potentially dangerous, but they would not be required to notify the owner of the seizure or the investigation.
New Mexico fanciers, who would strongly support a reasonable, enforceable dangerous dog law, have been working diligently with state legislators to address the concerns noted above. They need your help!!
What You Can Do:
- Dog owners in New Mexico should immediately call or e-mail (there is no time for letters) their representatives and urge them to oppose HB400 and SB432 as written. HB400 has already passed the House and is now in the Senate Conservation Committee. SB432 recently passed the Senate and is now before the House Judiciary Committee. Please contact the members of these committees, as well as your own representatives, and respectfully ask them to vote "No" on HB400 and SB432.
- Encourage legislators to instead work with New Mexico dog owners to formulate a reasonable dangerous dog law that will help protect all residents, including responsible dog owners.
- Visit the New Mexico Legislature's web site to find out the most current bill status, read the bill text, or to find out who represents you.