BSL: Demand Pawtucket RI obeys state law against BSL

Bans against particular breeds are wrong, and states are beginning to create legislation to prohibit this. However, a defiant city, Pawtucket RI, is refusing to concede that the RI law passed in July 2013 applies to them. Their position is that they are ‘grandfathered’ because they passed their BSL in 2004.

First, I would like to point out that the city of Pawtucket aggressively tried to get the legislature to not pass the bill. When it was clear it would pass, they aggressively tried to get language added that would grandfather them into allowing their 2004 ban ordinance to continue. The legislature refused to add the grandfathering language and passed the law as written. Clearly the legislature did not agree that Pawtucket should be allowed to disobey the law.

When a ‘pit bull’ (not sure the exact breed of the dog) got out of his owners yard (did not attack or threaten anyone or cause a problem) Pawtucket hit him with their now illegal ordinance. This is going to court because he is rightfully fighting this.

My correspondence with the mayor gave me insight into the city position: the council passed BSL overwhelmingly at the time (2004) and he feels confident that they will win. Please note that Pawtucket voters were not allowed to vote in a referendum on this in 2004; it would have been unlikely to be received well by educated people that vote

Please tell the mayor of this fine city to stop harassing its citizens and to stop contributing to the genocide of several breeds of dogs. Tell the mayor the country/world is watching, no city is above the state or federal laws, and with these hard economic times, this is a foolish way to use critical city resources.

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