The City Council of Westwego, Louisiana, is expected to consider significant changes to its animal...
The City Council of Westwego, Louisiana, is expected to consider significant changes to its animal ordinance at its upcoming July 8, 2013, meeting.
This unreasonable proposal includes breed-specific ownership restrictions, ownership limits and breeding limits.
It is imperative that all concerned area residents take action against the proposal.
What the proposal will do: As currently written, the proposal would:
Limit individuals from owning more than three dogs that are 4 months of age or older (this limit would not apply to those with a valid kennel permit), and provide that only one litter may be kept on the premises. It is unclear whether the litter limitation would have a time component—i.e., whether only one litter may be kept on the premises at a time, in a year, etc.
Define “pit bull” as “any dog that is an American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier” or any other dog displaying the majority of physical traits or genetic markers of any one or more of the above breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club for any of the above breeds.”
Ban the ownership of “pit bulls” unless owners acquire a pit bull permit.
Establish a “pit bull permit’ which includes the following requirements: mandatory spay/neuter of any dog determined to be a “pit bull”, payment of a special pit bull license fee (to be determined by the Council); and proof of homeowner’s/renters insurance of at least $100,000.
Require all permitted “pit bulls” to be kept in secure structures and muzzled when out of their pen or enclosure. Owners must maintain proper warning signs providing notice that a “pit bull” is maintained on the premises, and are prohibited from transferring ownership of the dog to any other Westwego resident other than immediate family members.
Require all show-giving dog clubs to receive written permission from the City Manager to allow “pit bulls” to be exhibited at the event, and require owners to keep dogs in a secure enclosure with proper warning signs while at the event.
AKC’s Position on Ownership/Breeding Limits: The AKC believes that restricting Americans' liberties by imposing numerical ownership limits does not address issues of irresponsible dog ownership and improper dog care. Instead, the AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of all dogs without restricting the rights of owners or breeders who take their responsibilities seriously.
AKC's Position on Breed-Specific Legislation: The American Kennel Club supports reasonable, enforceable, non-discriminatory laws to govern the ownership of dogs. We support laws that: establish a fair process by which specific dogs are identified as "dangerous" based on stated, measureable actions; impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible owners; and establish a well-defined method for dealing with dogs proven to be dangerous. The American Kennel Club strongly opposes any legislation that determines a dog to be "dangerous" based on specific breeds or phenotypic classes of dogs.
What you can do: Westwego residents and area dog clubs concerned with the impact of the proposal should plan to attend the City Council meeting on Monday, July 8, 2013. The meeting will begin at 6 PM, and will be held in the City Council Chambers at 419 Avenue A, Westwego, LA 70094. Residents and representative of dogs clubs are strongly encouraged to contact the Westwego City Council members and urge them to oppose more breed-specific restrictions, along with ownership and breeding limits, from being imposed the City.
Mayor John I. Shaddinger, Jr.
Councilman Glenn Green (Dist. 1)
Councilman Johnny S. Nobles, Jr. (Dist. 2)
Councilman Normal J. Fonseca (Dist. 3)
Councilman Garrison Toups (Dist. 4)
Councilman Larry Warino (Dist. 5)
AKC’s Government Relations Department (AKC GR) will continue to provide updates on this Limit and BSL proposal as information becomes available.
For more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.