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UPDATED: BSL to be Removed from NM House Bill 667

(Friday, February 13, 2009)

Representative John Heaton's office has confirmed that HB 667 will be amended to remove the breed-specific provisions. The AKC Government Relations department thanks all those who called, wrote letters, and emailed their representatives about this important issue. We will provide additional information once the amended text is available.

 

Rottweilers and Pit Bulls Targeted in New Mexico BSL

[Thursday, February 12, 2009]

A bill labeling "pit bulls" and Rottweilers as "dangerous dogs" has been introduced in the New Mexico House of Representatives.

Under current New Mexico statute, any owner of a dog deemed to be "dangerous" must be spayed or neutered, microchipped and registered each year. Under House Bill 667, the definition of "dangerous dog" is expanded to include any dog that "is identifiable as or known as a pit bull or Rottweiler." In essence, this measure would mandate spaying/neutering of all Rottweilers and any dog that could be identified as a "pit bull."

House Bill 667 (click here for the bill text) also includes new provisions for dangerous dogs, including:

  • Photographing or permanent marking of the dangerous dog for identification purposes.
  • Random inspections of the dog and its enclosure without warrant.
  • Mandatory liability insurance policy (at least $250,000), with the requirement that the owner must notify animal control at least 30 days before the cancellation or nonrenewal of the policy.
  • Immediate impoundment or humane destruction of a registered dangerous dog if the owner does not comply with the requirements (current statute only allows this for dogs previously determined to be dangerous).

The AKC strongly opposes any breed-specific legislation. We support laws that establish a fair process by which specific dogs are identified as "dangerous" based on stated, measurable actions and impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible owners. A dog should not be deemed "dangerous" simply based on a specific breed or phenotypic class.

The same is true for homeowners’ insurance. The American Kennel Club believes that coverage should be determined by the dog’s deeds, rather that its breed. If the dog is a well-behaved member of the household and community, there is no reason to mandate a higher-liability insurance policy.

How You Can Help:

All responsible dog owners, fanciers, and breeders in New Mexico should contact their State Representatives, the bill’s sponsor, and members of the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee and politely, yet strongly express your opposition to House Bill 667.

Click here to find your State Representatives, then click on their name for their contact information.

Click here for a sample letter to personalize.

HB 667 Bill Sponsor:
Representative John Heaton
Capitol: (505) 986-4432
Office: (575) 887-5983
E-mail: jheaton@caverns.com

Members of the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee

Gail Chasey, Chair
1206 Las Lomas Road NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Phone: (505) 986-4844
E-mail: gailchasey@msn.com

Antonio "Moe" Maestas, Vice Chair
Box 188
Albuquerque, NM 87103
Capitol: (505) 242-2279
Office: (505) 242-2279
E-mail: Antonio@moejustice.com

Thomas Anderson
10013 Plunkett Drive NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114
Phone: (505) 986-4451
E-mail: kb5ysg@arrl.net

Zachary Cook
100 Sarah Lane
Ruidoso, NM 88435
Capitol: (505) 986-4454
Office: (575) 258-9090
junderwoodfirm@yahoo.com

Karen Giannini
2270-D Wyoming Blvd. NE #411
Albuquerque, NM 87112
Phone: (505) 986-4234
E-mail: nmhousedistrict30@live.com

Bill O’Neill
343 Sarah Lane NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114
Phone: (505) 986-4254
E-mail: oneillhd15@fastmail.us

Al Park
7605 Mountain Road NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Capitol: (505) 986-4411
Office: (505) 830-2076
E-mail: alpark.nm@gmail.com

Additional Resources

Click here for a downloadable version of our "Deed, Not Breed" flyer

AKC recognizes that BSL is an emotionally charged issue, but it is important when communicating with legislators to communicate facts and not emotion. View our "Disagree Diplomatically" flyer for suggestions on how to communicate with legislators.