In Milwaukee, anyone walking a pit bull or rottweiler must be at least 16 years old. San Francisco requires all pit bulls to be spayed and neutered. And in Denver, pit bulls are banned altogether.
Across the nation, cities and towns have passed rules requiring the owners of certain dog breeds to comply with a host of special regulations.
But a bill before the Connecticut legislature’s planning and development committee would bar municipalities from enacting breed-specific legislation.
House Bill 6311 would ”prohibit towns from addressing the issue of dangerous dogs in a breed specific manner.”
At a hearing in February, several animal rights advocates offered testimony is support of the measure.
“Breed-specific legislation does not enhance public safety or reduce dog bite incidents,” wrote Annie Hornish, a former state representative who is now Connecticut state director of the Humane Society of the United States. ”Rather such laws, regulations and ordinances are costly to enforce and harm families, dogs and communities.”
Elizabeth B. Gardner, a pit bull owner from Fairfield attributed the dogs’ bad reputation to “misinformation and scare journalism.” She urged lawmakers to pass the bill to encourage people to adopt pit bulls.
But the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities testified in opposition to the proposal, saying it “seems to unnecessarily tie the hands of municipal officials.”
The committee is expected to vote on the bill today.