Memphis City Council to Require all Pit bulls be Sterilized

At their January 26th meeting the Memphis City Council will consider an ordinance to require that...

At their January 26th meeting the Memphis City Council will consider an ordinance to require that all "pit bulls" over 8 weeks of age be sterilized unless the owner qualifies for a medical exemption, operates a commercial kennel or the dog is recognized as a show dog. "Pit bulls" are defined as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and any dogs displaying the physical characteristics of these breeds. It is vital that responsible owners and breeders attend this meeting and oppose this ordinance.

Memphis City Council Meeting
Tuesday, January 26th, 3:30pm
City Hall, 125 North Main Street
Memphis, TN

For contact information for the city council members, please click here.

The ordinance is unclear as to what qualifies as a show dog as it requires that owners submit pedigree information and "dog show registration." There is no specific registration required for show dogs-any AKC-registered dog can participate in AKC events-so it is not clear exactly what paperwork would be acceptable.

Any owner found in violation will have their dog impounded and will be fined $50 per day. The owners must then pay a $100 deposit and have the shelter sterilize the dog or pay a $60 non-refundable fee to have animal services deliver the dog to their vet.

If an owner is unsure as to whether his/her dog is a "pit bull," an animal services staff member will make a determination. This may be appealed to the Public Service and Neighborhoods Division Director or his/her designee, whose determination is final.

AKC opposes any ordinances that are breed-specific. We believe that dogs should be judged on the basis of their deeds, not their breed. These laws are burdensome to responsible owners and will not affect irresponsible owners who do not comply with current animal control laws.

Further, AKC breed standards are established for the use of breeders and judges in evaluating the quality of breeding stock and are not designed to be used to identify a dog’s breed. Designating animal services staff members who likely do not have any specific experience with these breeds or veterinary training to make breed determinations using these standards is unreasonable.

What You Can Do:

  • Attend the Memphis City Council Meeting on January 26th to oppose the ordinance.
     
  • Write a letter, email, or call the city council members and ask them to oppose the ordinance.
     

    Mailing Address
    125 N. Main, Room 514
    Memphis, TN 38103

    District 1
    Bill Morrison
    (901) 576-6786
    Bill.Morrison@memphistn.gov

    District 2
    William C. Boyd
    (901) 576-6786
    Bill.Boyd@memphistn.gov

    District 3
    Harold Collins
    (901) 576-6786
    Harold.Collins@memphistn.gov

    District 4
    Wanda Halbert
    (901) 576-6786
    Wanda.Halbert@memphistn.gov

    District 5
    Jim Strickland
    (901) 576-6786
    Jim.Strickland@memphistn.gov

    District 6
    Edmund Ford Jr.
    (901) 576-6786
    Edmund.Fordjr@memphistn.gov

    District 7
    Barbara Swearengen Ware
    (901) 458-9406
    Swearengen.Ware@memphistn.gov

    Super District 8
    Joe Brown
    (901) 274-4724
    Joe.Brown@memphistn.gov

    Janis Fullilove
    (901) 576-6786
    Janis.Fullilove@memphistn.gov

    Myron Lowery
    (901) 576-7012
    Myron.Lowery@memphistn.gov

    Super District 9
    Kemp Conrad
    Office (901) 576-6786
    Kemp.Conrad@memphistn.gov

    Shea Flinn
    (901) 576-6786
    Shea.Flinn@memphistn.gov

    Reid Hedgepeth
    (901) 576-6786
    Reid.Hedgepeth@memphistn.go