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.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What's going on in Springfield, Missouri now?

This blog entry is going to highlight some of the things the Animal Issues Task Force accomplished over the last 3 years. After years of studying, interviewing, visiting other city shelters, attending seminars, and meetings to come up with new ways to keep our citizens and animals safer, because of the Mayor's opinion, the City Council voted a few weeks ago to dissolve the task force...I was the only Task Force member sitting in the room when they decided. I was shocked because we had simply asked to have our name changed to continue to be able to be a sounding board for advice as we move forward with the new City Shelter and the other recommendations. The Mayor made a speech that eluded to the fact that we should give other citizens a chance to voice their opinion since the "same 12 members have been on the AITF since the beginning". Not True! We have had people resign and voted new people in at least 3 times over the last 3 years. There are only 4 members that were originally on the Task Force. I know there are tons of great citizens out there, but do you really know who was on your Animal Issues Task Force over the last few years? The President of CARE, the President of the Humane Society, the President of SAAFEHouse, a former City Council member, two different City contracted Veterinarians, Biologists, a Professional Dog Trainer specializing in behavior, Cat behavior professionals, Attorneys, citizens, and many more! We called in AC officers, professionals in shelter protocol and animal behavior from around the United States, and contractors. We volunteered our time and now the Mayor dissolved the whole thing and wants to start over!? The new Task Force is now going to have to relearn what we already know, and continue where we left off. Does this make sense to you? Seems like a waste of tax-payer money to me. I know that when I find a good professional in any field, that can help me with my business, I stick with them, I don't spend my non existent abundance of time trying to find another person to start over with! I just hope that the dissolution of the Task Force doesn't only come down to this...

Clay Goddard, Kevin Gibson, Randy Barnts, Mayor Stephens, and many others wanting to work towards their agenda...Whether this means retirement, their opinion of social status, MONEY, the fact that the BSL might get repealed, or any other agenda that doesn't reflect what the citizens want but what they want!

Thank you to everyone who helped the City of Springfield come this far. I appreciate all of the progress we have made. It's funny, in a not-so-funny way how politics can get in the way of progress! I feel, as a citizen, that I was taken for granted and disrespected... and I'm sure other former AITF members feel the same.

Animal Issues Task Force and other professional's Accomplishments:

In October the new ordinances for Dangerous/Vicious/Reckless legislation was passed by City Council. Here is a short video explaining this ordinance. Springfield's Updated Nuisance and Restricted Dog Ordinance

The AITF also passed an ordinance restricting the tethering of a dog. There are exceptions such as time limits, so don't panic those of you who are "responsible owners". You can check out the Greene County Health Department page for updates and the final draft of the ordinance.

Parking Lot Animal Sales No More! Here is the ordinance we proposed that got passed!

The City Council has voted to revisit the Breed Specific Legislation in the next 12 months. I will tell you that as long as we have this Mayor, I am not confident in the City Council will able to come to their own conclusion and vote accordingly. The Mayor doesn't believe Pit Bulls are a normal dog...He has made it clear he believes they are "Rabid Dogs"...of course that is from the words he used to describe the people who love their Pit Bulls..."Rabid Dog Lovers". All I ask is that each City Council member listens to ALL sides before they vote the Breed Specific Legislation here in our city. It is not effective, costs more money than it makes, and charges money to those citizens who are responsible....and the few citizens who get "caught". I know there is at least one Council Member that is afraid of "bigger dogs". This is just one example of why I hope the Council is willing to get informed and notices that the new Dangerous/Vicious/Reckless is way more effective than the Pit Bull ordinance we currently have in place. The City panicked 8 years we are more informed and have so much more data. Look at the numbers...why are they different? Ask questions...don't listen to people tell "stories" to put their twist on statistics...take note of the FACTS! And citizens...stand up to politicians that don't have OUR interests at heart!


The following was Mayor Stephen's new resolution about the NEW Task Force!

Charge: The Animal Issues Task Force will exist for one year following its formal establishment and be charged with the following:

� Serve as a "sounding board" for City Council's Plans & Policies Committee as it researches and addresses the issue of breed-specific language within the City's ordinances.

� After six months of it being enacted, analyze the effectiveness of the Nuisance and Vicious Dog ordinance passed by City Council on September 28, 2015 and provide a written evaluation to City Council's Plans & Policies Committee shortly thereafter.

� Be on stand-by for any other animal-related issues City Council votes to refer to the Task Force for evaluation during its year of existence.

� This iteration of the Animal Issues Task Force will not be asked to address any topic the first Animal Issues Task Force has already addressed via its report to City Council.

Process: The Office of Public Information will solicit members from the general public for the new Animal Issues Task Force. There will be twelve members of the new Task Force. Up to three members of the original Animal Issues Task Force are eligible to be re-appointed to the new Task Force, but the intention is to appoint a majority of new members to the Task Force. Membership of the Task Force will be selected by City Council's Public Involvement Committee once a sufficiently sized and diverse pool of applications has been received by the City Clerk.

Isn't this what the dissolved Task Force was already doing?