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Persecution of pit bulls

August 28, 2012
The Daily News

EDITOR:The city of Kingsford is breaking the law. The pit bull ban is illegal.

According to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit breed specific legislation (BSL) is unconstitutional.

Altman, et al. v. City of High Point, et al. (2003) ruled in favor of dog owners.

The court held that dogs qualify as property protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees that you shall not be deprived of your property without due process. Breed Specific Laws deems all dogs of a particular breed as "dangerous" or "vicious." As such, owners are not provided the opportunity to dispute or offer proof that that their dog (their "property") is not dangerous. Dog owners of this particular breed are automatically subject to the law and, thus, are deprived of constitutionally guaranteed due process.

Kingsford repeal this law.

Furthermore, in Carter v. Metro North Associates (1999) Supreme Court of New York, the court ruled that courts cannot take judicial notice of a dog breed's particular behavior when a dog's "propensities" are not "authoritatively settled." In plain English, this simply means that a court cannot rule your dog vicious simply due to its breed.

Kingsford change this law and stop prosecuting owners.

Additionally in City of Huntsville v. Sheila Tack, et al. (2003) Supreme Court of Alabama, the Court affirmed the lower courts ruling that pit bulls are not inherently dangerous.

Moreover, on August 1, 2007, the Supreme Court issued an opinion which overturned the Appellate Court's ruling effectively upholding Ohio's biased law against "pit bulls."

Specifically, the Ohio Supreme Court held that "the State of Ohio and City of Toledo have a legitimate interest in protecting citizens from the dangers associated with pit bulls," and that the laws were rationally related to that interest and were, in fact, constitutional.

It is fully expected that with this opinion in hand, cities across the state of Ohio will fall like dominoes to breed specific legislation targeted primarily at "pit bull."

Kingsford your law in unconstitutional.

Yet still, on March 3, 2006, the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, in and for Lucas County, issued an opinion in the case of City of Toledo v. Paul Tellings. The court's ruling is monumental to the fight against BSL as it found breed specific legislation to be unconstitutional and it rendered expert testimony that was both relevant and up-to-date, dispelling many of the past notions on pit bulls .

A law signed by Gov. Deval L. Patrick of Massachusetts states "No city or town shall regulate dogs in a manner that is specific to breed." Maryland's law has also been overturned about breed specific legislation. Is Kingsford far behind the times, you are certainly not the Progressive City.

We will not go away. Join us at the next Kingsford city council meeting. Call your city council members.

Stop the persecution of pit bulls.

This must stop here and now. Don't let these laws spread. Kingsford, stop breaking the law. You are sworn to uphold the laws of the land, do so.

Mark Wiederrecht




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