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Legislative Updates: Dog Limit Proposed in Pennsylvania Town, BSL in Arkansas

An amendment to the Gilberton, Pa., animal ordinance that will limit the number of dogs residents can own is expected to be adopted at a September 27, 2012, meeting of the borough council, according to the Republican Herald.

During a council meeting in the last week in August, Mayor Mary Lou Hannon, borough solicitor Karen Domalakes and council members discussed the amendment that would limit the number of dogs to four. The Republican Herald quoted Domalakes as saying that there are similar ordinances in other locations that have held up in court. “I know there are ordinances with four, and if you go less than that, you’re in unchartered territory because it then may be an unenforceable ordinance.”

The mayor asked for verification that a puppy of any age would be counted among the four-dog limit and was given an affirmative answer. The town has allegedly had complaints about “dog noise and excrement odors coming from yards,” which reportedly prompted the amendment.

Just over 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia, Gilberton had a population of 765 in July 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, down 11.3 percent since 2000. The state of Pennsylvania overall has seen a population increase of 3.43 percent in the same time period.

’Pit Bulls’ Again Under Scrutiny

Fox News and other local news sources reported on August 28, 2012, that several dog attacks in a three-day period prompted Garland County, Ark., Justice of the Peace Mary Bournival to call for action to prevent future attacks, including a possible ban on “pit bulls” county-wide.

Two children were allegedly injured in dog attacks on August 25 in Garland County. Fox News and ABC affiliate KATV initially reported that one 12-year-old boy “was castrated because of his devastating injuries.” However, his mother later contacted news outlets and said that her son had serious injuries that required treatment, including stitches, but he did not require surgery of any kind. Shana Barnett told KATV that she does not support a ban on pit bulls. “I don’t think a pit bull ban will do anything,” she said. “I’d rather see stronger laws.”

In another incident, a dog reportedly bit a little girl over the same weekend. Although Fox News reported that there were four attacks in four days, no information was included about the fourth incident in news reports.

Garland County is located southwest of the capital city of Little Rock and includes the city of Hot Springs. A public hearing is scheduled for September 17 at the Garland County Courthouse, where dog owners, victims of attacks and other citizens are invited to express their views.

Best In Show Daily provides a biweekly look at dog-related legislation that is pending and has passed around the country. The American Kennel Club also posts regular updates in its Legislative Alerts section online.

Written by

Christi McDonald is a second-generation dog person, raised with a kennel full of Cairn Terriers. After more than a decade as a professional handler’s apprentice and handling professionally on her own, primarily Poodles and Cairns, she landed a fortuitous position in advertising sales with the monthly all-breed magazine ShowSight. This led to an 11-year run at Dogs in Review, where she wore several hats, including advertising sales rep, ad sales manager and, finally, editor for five years. Christi is proud to be part of the editorial team for the cutting-edge Best In Show Daily. She lives in Apex, N.C., with two homebred black Toy Poodles, the last of her Foxfire line, and a Norwich Terrier.
  • Joe Rosenberg September 16, 2012 at 6:58 AM

    The city and county of Denver, Colorado has had a 3 dog limit for over 30 years and the law has been upheld with every challenge. furthermore, it is prohibited to breed a litter and sell the puppies in the city. Denver also has a ban against pit bulls which has also been upheld in court…with one exception. A certified service dog was given an exemption after a long legal battle. Four dogs doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

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