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« KCMO to Close Animal Shelter? | Main | Is Truth Telling no longer an option? »

March 27, 2008

Comments

Marjorie

#3 is vital.

I've always been willing to go the law suit route. However, I also knew that, in order for the court to consider the suit valid, I must have a personal stake in it: I must have been harmed by the law I'm challenging. Courts seldom, if ever(?), hear cases of pure principle, with no "victim". And since I don't own a 'pit bull' (nor am I likely ever to do so), my hands are a bit tied, in this regard. So I donate $$$ to groups that are fighting the good fight.

MichelleD

How can they say you being forced to move from your home or face having your dog killed isn't HARM?!

Dog

Why is it that now that most people have stopped being racist against other ethnic groups, they are focusing their hate mongering and racism against certain breeds of dogs?

Marjorie

I know, michelleD. As I said, I'm more than willing to go the legal route. If I had a dog that was targeted by legislation, and thus we were forced to move, I'm sure I would sue the arm of government that passed the ordinance, to recover my moving costs. I know I would...because I certainly wouldn't hang around and muzzle my dog, fail to properly socialize and exercise it off-leash, much less put it in the kind of mortal jeopardy that is BSL. (If it weren't for my husband, I wouldn't even still be in Ontario. And we will eventually flee, because of the repugnant dog laws...that is, if Banned Aid is unsuccessful.)

Truth be known, I scratch my head all the time that more people don't stand up for what's right...especially when it comes to their dogs. I don't get it. But, then again, I'm another breed of cat. I take the resposnibility of animal ownership very, very seriously.

Caveat

I heard about this last weekend from Sonya and await my copy of the reasons. I was totally bummed when I heard about it.

It isn't over, I know that.

We'll have to wait and see what happens next. They went in strong, I know that much.

Emily S

Thanks for this post, and I'll look forward to your comments.

The Colorado courts have NEVER favored our side in BSL cases. NEVER. In the suit against the original BSL, the Colorado SC rejected the "unconstitutionally vague" argument. Unless some new exciting arguments are presented, this may very well be a dead end.

Even when the legislature passed their "no BSL" law, it exempts "home rule" towns.. which is virtually EVERY city/town in Colorado, and the Colorado Supreme Court upheld Denver's right to keep their BSL.

Legal BSL cases in Colorado, at least, are extremely difficult to win. I don't see how we can win one generically. Individual owners have won some cases in Denver to prevent their dogs from being killed, but they still had to move out.

The only thing that will change the laws is local legislators changing the laws.. which means Colorado voters changing their legislators.

The state and District Courts give vast leeway to localities in determining what they deem "dangerous". We were all excited by the Ohio ruling which was on our side.. but then it was overturned.

WE believe that BSL is unconstitutional.. the courts have never backed us.

We need a legislative strategy, more than a legal one.

Though there are clearly local laws which violate due process and property rights, and those do need to be fought.

MAC`s GANG

Can you post a link back to this particular case?
There seems to be so many going on that I`m getting lost.
I don`t think too many people give up being racist.
It`s politically incorrect and acting on your thoughts and beliefs can get you in a whole pile of trouble.
I think racist people can direct their anger towards breeds/types of dogs and get away with it because it`s acceptable to the majority.
The majority of Ontario citizens don`t seem to understand that this goes way beyond dogs and they should care about their fellow citizens.
I`ll also leave Ontario if we don`t defeat BSL.
There is no way I will live in a place like this.

Emily S

Mac'sGang: the courts reject the analogy of BSL to racism.
Dogs are not people. so hating a breed is not racism. That argument is one we like, but we can't sell it outside of our world.

But, there's no doubt that racism is involved in the targetting and stereotyping of certain owners of pit bulls, especially young black men. And to that extent the hatred of pit bulls is a reflection of the racism directed towards black people.

MichelleD

The OH ruling has left me a changed person...I've lost ALL faith in this country and the people in it. I can't express how dismayed I was by their ruling - it was like I was reading a satire. These were supposed to be people who excelled in analytical thinking...they're just as big of idiots as the that Skeldon asshole. Sometimes I question my own sanity - how can the divide be THIS big? As I sit here with 4 dogs chewing bones together watching March Madness, I'm like - WAIT, these are all vicious creatures right!? I'm a criminal in many parts of the world?! WHAT?!?

s kennedy

Actually, the issue preclusion was asserted by defendants, but not granted by Judge. So the case was not barred by the issue as to Plaintiff.pg.9,ln.2 In that respect, it means dog fancier case did not preclude P's case from going forward, as P's were not the same party as dog fancier P's+were not in privity w/those P's;hence P's not barred from litigating.

Standing required for challenging unconstitutional behavior: Judge said post deprivation hearing was adequate. I disagree. But he also said the injury in fact req. for 'injuctive relief' was not present, but that it was conjectural. However that does bring up the point, if one moves to save the dog, then one doesn't have apprehension of any seizure. So it would appear one would have to NOT move, but just move the dog. then if one brought the dog back, there would be apprehension.
I don't know that such a plaintiff was on the suit.Or maybe one would have to admit to sneaking the dog in a fearing apprehension?

Vague: Because the plaintiffs stated the ordinance at some point did not give fair warning of which dogs were covered, but did not go into why defendant's cases were not exactly controlling (perhaps they were not)- but most case law in US holds that the AKC standards are sufficient for owners to "know" if their dog is or isn't a breed--that doesn't mean the city doesn't have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to ID.

EP: Judge said that P stated an impounded dog owner can choose an admin hearing (to determine if a pit) or can admit it is a pit as defined. then Judge says it is the owner's choice, and not a govt. classification. Actually, the govt has already classified dogs, if they use the AKC standards; but--P argued the standards do not define such dogs such that an owner would know what is banned. If an owner didnt know what dog was banned, then I assume P's mean to say that such a classification is not equal when compared to other breeds. That may be true but has not held up in most cases, so perhaps they should have stated it differently. {Tellings is different bec experts were used to show that if it "looks" like a pitbull, it is a pitbull, which is different to me) In any event I know the Ohio Ct. found for the city, but not because of that issue. Basically Ohio Ct. said that the rational basis was what Skeldon said (druggies/dogs killing/biting more)altho there was no foundational showing of that allegation. This was ignored by the court, but it is error.

Subst DP: Judge said there was no property nor liberty interest affected, then states that unless it affected a fundamental personal right, the ordinance is valid presumptively. that is true, but whether the property interest is "fundamental" can be argued. He then talks about fundamental libery interests (marriage,abortion,directing education of kids, etc) and says it doesnt apply. A rather lame job to say that killing a fox bec unknown if it had rabies, and comparing to killing a dog that has done nothing and has a rabies shot. In any event, the property tact has fallen on deaf ears when it comes to health/welfare/safety issues these days. [Not that i think it's right!]
In addition, wiping out the human animal bond in one sentence is typical of what fed judges do when they don't want to discuss the subject.

If you then look at MSN in the context of the above, you can see the uphill task it would be to stop it locally. However as a statewide measure, that is something very different.

s kennedy

ps Although this was not a published case, a 12(b)6 with prejudice is considered on the merits. A case which is dismissed in this manner is not likely one which should be appealed since the higher court might affirm it. On the other hand,Tellings I believe, was appealed with good reason. The Ohio S Ct. was/is wrong/will always be wrong.

Becky

To Michelle, who said, 'Sometimes I question my own sanity - how can the divide be THIS big? As I sit here with 4 dogs chewing bones together watching March Madness, I'm like - WAIT, these are all vicious creatures right!? I'm a criminal in many parts of the world?! WHAT?!?'

It is extremely unfortunate that most owners have not integrated their dogs into the family/pack, and properly cared for them, as you have. So, unfortunately, the dogs have misbehaved, and in seeking someone besides humans to blame for this, we've decided to blame breeds of dogs.

We all know that prejudice and bigotry are wrong and immoral, regardless of whether the resulting actions are protected by laws. It is not as if we are comparing dogs to humans, we are stating that prejudice and bigotry are wrong, by definition.

It was not that long ago that bigotry against humans was protected by law. (I recently learned that my father lost the best teaching job he'd ever gotten to date, in the early 60's because of his stand against the prejudice that was protected by law)

And so, I will not respect the decisions of a federal judge when they are immoral and wrong, regardless of what the court says. Our animals may not be protected by the consitution, but we are to be.

What to do about it, I don't know yet, beyond trying to educate and protest. But I'm getting more negative by the minute....

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