Educating not Discriminating
Dog Legislation Education (DLE) is for anyone on either side of the Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) fence. I wanted to provide a place where you can ask questions that otherwise might spark debate. This is not meant to be a place to argue the issues, but to help people understand why dogs bite, who's really responsible, and what types of legislation have proven successful in protecting the public and punishing human offenders. Anyone commenting on the blog will be removed from the group for being insensitive. My main focus will be for citizens of Springfield, Mo as the Animal Issues Task Force (AITF) has proposed new legislation, policies, programs to City Council. Because these proposals could help improve the safety of citizens anywhere, the blog is open to anyone.
The Root of Fear is Ignorance.
The one thing I have learned over the years, is that most people who have a problem with a specific breed of dog either had one bad experience or heard bad stuff on the news. Humans are allowed to be afraid...I'm afraid of spiders, hopefully no one faults me for that! What I hope to accomplish with this blog is to help Pit Bull and other Power Breed owners to understand that some people don't know any better than to be afraid. As dog owners we have to take our time and show the public that no one breed stands alone with behavioral issues. I hope to not only educate people who don't know the blessings our dogs bring, but also help educate people who may not know what is appropriate behavior for them and their dog. Though I don't believe Breed Specific Legislation is effective in educating the public, I do believe Potentially Dangerous Dog, Dangerous Dog, and Irresponsible Owner Legislation can not only educate, but improve public safety as well.
Please enjoy the blog, sign up for email updates, keep your filters on when commenting, and hopefully learn something new today.
To ask questions anonymously email at

Monday, March 23, 2015


 Burlison tried to get the Pit Bull Ordinance on the next agenda for the last City Council Meeting with this council. There were only five council members present. He was supported by Hosmer, but the bill did not get voted through. Such a sad thing, for those on council for so many years, that supported the repeal. 

This is the first time in a long time that I have felt we have made some progress! I went to a Plans and Policies Committee meeting on Friday the 20th. When walking out of the meeting I was almost in shock because something was accomplished....

The Reckless Owner, Nuisance Dog, and Dangerous/ Vicious Dog Legislation was presented to the committee in an easy to understand format by Clay Goddard, Assistant Director of Health. With only one time limit change and a few questions, the committee passed the Task Force's recommendations on all three pieces. Some of the questions revolved around whether or not the punishments would be too harsh, and the consensus was that these ordinances are only needed to be enforced if the human and/or dog are causing themselves to be put on Animal Control's radar. Other questions were about the behavior of the dog and why Ian Dunbar's Bite Scale is used so widely by trainers, behaviorists, and animal controls over the world.

This was the first time I felt that City Council was taking our years of work on the Animal Issues Task Force seriously. There was a tremendous amount of time taken to research and analyze other cities shelters, animal controls, ordinances, and behaviorist's studies. I definitely felt that all the hard work had been taken for granted until Friday.

The meeting was ended after a comment from Cindy Ruschefsky. I can't quote it exactly, but the gist of  it was that, "It will be nice to see how the new legislation works. When we see that it is working for all breeds it will help ease the minds of those who still find it hard to think of repealing the Pit Bull Ordinance".

So, what now?
With the legislations being passed by the committee, they have been sent to legal to be written into the proper language and will be put before the Council. The council will then decide whether to adopt these pieces of legislation  in place of the BSL or in addition to the BSL.

The "unofficial petition"
This is the petition I decided to put out around the Springfield Area in the last few weeks. An "unofficial petition" is one that does not have to be approved by council and can be signed by anyone that is effected or has an opinon about the petition subject. After the petition is presented to Council, then we will see if we think it is necessary to start an official one. I decided to start this unofficial petition after taking advice from many people with City and State experience, and people with BSL Repeal experience. This is not an effort to start controversy, it is an effort to show how much support there really is out there. We have to work together to show our city officials, who we vote for, that we are not going to sit idly by and get ignored, and that we are educated and informed. Thank you to all of the citizens showing up to the council meetings and city events. We have to continue working together for our common goals!

The amount of support the Repeal Petition has received has been amazing! I was going to collect the petitions by Thursday last week, but this was not the time to present them to the committee. So let's continue collecting! If you want to sign the petition, or want a copy for your family and friends to sign, or even one to put at your place of business, just email me at I will let everyone know by blog and my Facebook page when they are due to be collected.

Small steps are better than no steps!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pushing Forward Toward the Repeal of BSL in Springfield, Mo!

***Update...The bill was tabled.

As most of you know, Councilman Doug Burlison made an announcement this week that he will present a bill at Monday March 9th's City Council meeting that would repeal language that targets pit bulls, and leave the city's vicious animal ordinance in place for all breeds. This does not mean that it will be voted on any time soon, although we can still hope for it being looked at in a timely manner.

What do we need to do in the meantime?

*Continue to show our support by showing up at the City Council meetings and acting appropriate. 

*Keep your friends, colleagues, and the news media outlets informed on all of the new updates.

*Call and write your council members and/or send them emails in support of removing this antiquated ban.

*Learn what the Pit Bull Ordinance really says.

*Join us in getting an "unofficial" petition signed with as many supporters of the repeal as possible! 

This was recommended to me by multiple people in influential positions at both the city and the state level. It would be best to have signatures from Springfield voters, but because it is unofficial we can get signatures from any people, over 18, effected by the Springfield BSL that live in and around the Springfield area. Please email to find a place to sign the petition or to get a copy of the petition so that you can have your friends, family, and co-workers sign. 

Remember to keep the questions coming in!
Thank you all for your support!