Mashpee, MA Proposed BSL at Town Meeting, 10/19/2009


Postby Marinepits » September 4th, 2009, 12:00 pm

Please see website for more links:

A New Witch Hunt in Massachusetts

August 25, 2009, 3:50PM MT
By Katie Bray, Best Friends Network Volunteer

A proposed breed discriminatory bylaw in Mashpee, Massachusetts, calls for the destruction of newborn puppies...

A New Witch Hunt in Massachusetts

The City of Mashpee will hear an alarming breed discriminatory bylaw at its Annual Town Meeting on October 19, 2009.

This disturbing bylaw includes claims that certain breeds have “a strong instinct for dominance” and a prey drive that results in “aggressive pursuit of . . . human children”. These statements made in Section 1 of the proposed bylaw are reckless and entirely unfounded. Even more appalling is subparagraph (i) under Section 4 of the proposed bylaw. It reads:

“In the event [a pit bull type dog has] a litter, the owner or keeper (i) must deliver the puppies to the Town Kennel for destruction. . . . Any pit bull puppies kept contrary to the provisions of this subsection are subject to immediate impoundment and disposal. . . .”.

Best Friends Animal Society feels compelled to emphasize that the aim of this bylaw is to hunt down all dogs that have the appearance of a certain breed of dog and destroy any offspring. This bylaw is a representation of misinformed policy-makers and public making panic-induced decisions without consideration of civil liberties and reason. It takes on a school of thought similar to the witch hunts that took place in Massachusetts over three hundred years ago whereby paranoia and panic is taking over logic and reason. These assertions and recommendations are counterproductive to ensuring the safety of town residents and are wholly unsupported by any scientific evidence.

Your Action Needed to Prevent Breed Discrimination

To Massachusetts Residents

We implore Mashpee residents to contact your town representatives regarding this proposal. Contact information is listed below.

Request More Effective Legislation
Best Friends opposes canine profiling as it does not reduce dog bite incidents nor effectively manage dangerous dogs. Rather than breed-discriminatory restrictions, legislators should mirror good generic dangerous dog/reckless owner laws that have been enacted in Illinois and Minnesota.

Some of these laws include regulations that:
• Protect innocent dogs and responsible owners.
• Encourage residents to spay/neuter their pets.
• Effectively identify and manage truly dangerous dogs.
• Restrict tethering.
• Enforce stricter consequences for dog fighting.
• Prevent reckless owners from having dogs.

1. Provide your name and address
Legislators want to know that you are one of the people they represent.

2. Ask for specific action
Ask members to oppose any ordinance that bans or regulates a specific breed of dog.

3. Give reasons and examples
• Chose from the list below or share your own. Remember to be always be respectful and avoid being emotional. This is your chance to educate someone about truly effective ways to manage dangerous dogs.

• It is often difficult for even experts to determine the breed of a dog-particularly with mixed breed dogs. Click here to find the pit bulls on the web. Many dogs are misidentified and confiscated simply for their appearance.

• Breed discriminatory laws cause unintended hardship to responsible owners of friendly dogs that happen to fall within the regulated breed category.

• Breed-discriminatory laws compromise public safety by requiring officers to enforce regulation on dogs that may or may not be dangerous instead of investing resources into proven, effective tactics that make the community safer.

• A dog is an individual with its own personality. It should be judged on its temperament and not its appearance.

Studies of pre and post breed ban dog-bite-rates in the United Kingdom and Spain concluded that their pit bull breed ban had no effect whatsoever on reducing dog bites.

Italy recently revoked its breed ban stating the ban had no scientific justification.

Calgary, Canada has lowest dog bite rates in 25 years, without enacting BDL.

Contact Town Selectmen and City Representatives Today!

City of Mashpee

The ordinance will be discussed at the Annual Town Meeting at the Mashpee High School at 7:00 p.m. on October 19, 2009.

Contact Mashpee Selectmen here!

Mashpee Town Hall, 16 Great Neck Road North, Mashpee, MA 02649
Phone: (508) 539-1400

Board of Selective

Deborah Dami, Town Clerk

Thank you for taking action for animals!

Additional Information and Resources

Join the Pit Bulls: Saving America’s Dog campaign to help put an end to breed discrimination.

Learn more about breed bans and dog bite facts at the National Canine Research Council.

Photographs by Crissa Cook and Katie Bray
Posted by Katie Bray, Best Friends Volunteer

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Postby Marinepits » October 18th, 2009, 3:22 pm

:bump: Reminder! This is tomorrow night!

Mashpee residents - VOTE "NO" to the killing of dogs and puppies in Mashpee on October 19th! The meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Mashpee High School.
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Postby Marinepits » October 20th, 2009, 7:44 pm ... /910200315

Mashpee voters put leash on pit bull

October 20, 2009

MASHPEE — There was a collective sigh of relief among dog owners at Mashpee High School last night after residents resoundingly voted down a proposed pit bull bylaw at the annual fall town meeting.

The proposed bylaw would have prohibited residents from owning more than one of the dogs, would have made it mandatory that the dogs be spayed or neutered, forced owners to get expensive liability insurance, and placed the responsibility on the owners of mixed breeds to prove that their dog is not a pit bull through DNA testing, among other restrictions.

The article was placed on the warrant by petition and lacked the support of the finance committee and selectmen.

In the end, it was defeated by a deafening voice vote after 239 registered voters sped through budget adjustments and changes to the town's zoning code.

Those against the bylaw turned out in force, far outnumbering those who were for it, with some nonresidents coming from as far as Plymouth to speak to the merits of the dogs.

"I'm very happy," Mashpee resident Michelle Storm said after the vote, as dog lovers petted her 3-year-old female pit bull and service dog Bugsy. "This is a big relief off of my chest. We have another (pit bull) and I medically need (Bugsy). I don't know what I would do if one of them was taken away."

The warrant article made waves in recent weeks as residents and animal activists challenged the legality and restrictiveness of the proposed bylaw's language.

The article was added by petition after Ashumet Road residents Carmen and Melissa Shay, who have two young girls, tried unsuccessfully to prevent a neighbor from moving next door with six of the dogs.

The proposal, which was modeled after a bylaw already in place in Canton, gave animal control officers the power to impound and even euthanize dogs whose owners were not in compliance or suspected of not being in compliance.

The Canton bylaw has yet to be challenged in court.

"We did what we thought was best for our family," Melissa Shay said after the vote, adding that her house is now for sale. "I'm done. My girls are safe."
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