REGULATING DANGEROUS DOGS. TO BAN OR NOT TO BAN?. John D. Joye, Esq. Senior Assistant City Attorney City of Charlotte – City Attorney’s Office International Municipal Lawyers Association 2008 Annual Conference. Headlines. Pit Bulls maul, kill boy in father’s back yard Charlotte Observer
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TO BAN OR NOT TO BAN?
John D. Joye, Esq.
Senior Assistant City Attorney
City of Charlotte – City Attorney’s Office
International Municipal Lawyers Association
2008 Annual Conference
Dogs = Property
No Fundamental Right
Not to Ban?
“Non – BSL”
Does your state allow it?
HSUS Statement on Dangerous Dogs and Breed-Specific Legislation
The Humane Society of the United States offers the following position regarding breed-specific policies.
The HSUS opposes legislation aimed at eradicating or strictly regulating dogs based solely on their breed for a number of reasons. Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is a common first approach that many communities take. Thankfully, once research is conducted most community leaders correctly realize that BSL won't solve the problems they face with dangerous dogs.
There are over 4.5 million dog bites each year. This is an estimate as there is no central reporting agency for dog bites, thus breed and other information is not captured. Out of the millions of bites, about 10-20 are fatal each year. While certainly tragic, it represents a very small number statistically and should not be considered as a basis for sweeping legislative action….
Full statement available at www.hsus.org/pets/issues_affecting_our_pets/dangerous_dogs.html
No Fundamental Right
Rational Relation Test
“[I]f the classification has some reasonable basis, it does not offend the Constitution simply because the classification is not made with mathematical nicety or because the practice results in some inequality.”
Dandridge v. Williams, (1970)
“The legislature may select one phase of one field and apply a remedy there, neglecting others.”
Williamson v. Lee Optical of Oklahoma, Inc., (1955)
“Even were it assumed that dogs are property in the fullest sense of the word, they would still be subject to the police power of the state, and might be destroyed or otherwise dealt with…”
Sentell v. New Orleans & C. R. Co., (1897)
ANNUAL DOG BITES
D.B.R . FATALITY
“Totality of Circumstances”
Dangerous means any animal whose behavior, temperament, size, or any combination thereof, when considered under the totality of the circumstances, including the nature of the surrounding area, constitutes a reasonable risk of injuring a human or animal or damaging personal or real property.
Charlotte City Code §3-3