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MT BSL Bill to be Considered Thursday, Jan 22!

(Monday, January 19, 2009)

Montana House Bill 191–which, with little exception, seeks to prohibit the ownership, harboring, or keeping of dogs described as "pit bulls"–is scheduled for consideration by the House Local Government Committee on Thursday, January 22, at 3PM, in room 172 of the capitol building, 1301 East Sixth Avenue in Helena. The American Kennel Club encourages all Montanans to contact the committee members listed below and express their respectful yet strong opposition to this draconian bill.

The bill, which prohibits the ownership, harboring, or keeping of dogs described as "pit bulls", defines "pit bulls" to include Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and "any dog that has the physical characteristics that substantially conform to the standards established for those breeds by the American Kennel Club." If the bill is passed and signed into law, all such dogs would be seized and euthanized.

The American Kennel Club strongly opposes any legislation, like HB 191, that determines a dog to be "dangerous" based on specific breeds or phenotypic classes of dogs. Instead, we support 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, measurable actions; impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible owners; and establish a well-defined method for dealing with dogs proven to be dangerous. AKC believes that Montana’s existing breed-neutral law should remain the effective law of the state.

RESOURCES:

For tips on contacting Montana's legislature, including an online e-mail form, click here.

For a downloadable copy of our Disagree Diplomatically brochure, click here.

For a sample customizable letter of opposition, click here.

All letters should be addressed to:

Representative ______________
Montana House of Representatives
P.O. Box 200400
Helena, MT 59620-0400

Members of the Montana House Local Government Committee:

Representative Elsie Arntzen, Chair
Representative Betsy Hands, Vice Chair
Representative Gary MacLaren, Vice Chair
Representative Arlene Becker
Representative Gerald Bennett
Representative Tom Berry
Representative Robyn Driscoll
Representative Bob Ebinger
Representative Wanda Grinde
Representative Robin Hamilton
Representative Pat Ingraham
Representative Mike Menahan
Representative Michael More
Representative Scott Reichner
Representative Michele Reinhart
Representative Diane Sands
Representative Wayne Stahl
Representative Gordon Vance

For a copy of HB 191, click here.

For a downloadable copy of our Deed, Not Breed flyer, click here.

For more information, please contact AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.

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