U.S. Supreme Court upholds breed-specific legislation

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2008:
WASHINGTON D.C.–The U.S. Supreme Court on February 19, 2008
upheld the constitutionality of breed-specific dog regulation by
refusing to hear an appeal of Toledo vs. Tellings, a challenge to
the Toledo ordinance limiting possession of pit bull terriers to one
per person, and requiring that pit bulls be muzzled when off their
home property.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of Toledo in August
2007. The Ohio Supreme Court verdict followed other court decisions
upholding breed-specific legislation in Arkansas, Colorado,
Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Utah, Washington,
and Wisconsin.

The Ohio Supreme Court rejected plaintiff Paul Tellings’
claim that he was denied due legal process because Tellings was
notified about the requirements of the Toledo bylaw, and did receive
the chance to be heard when he contested the charges brought against
him for violating the bylaw.
The Ohio Supreme Court found that Toledo has legitimate
reason to try to protect humans from attacks by pit bulls, because
pit bulls, compared to other breeds, “cause a disproportionate
amount of danger to people.”
The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld breed-specific legislation
on similar grounds in Holt vs. Mamuelle (1991). An entity called
Responsible Owners of Arkansas Dogs in December 2007 filed a case
against the pit bull ordinances in effect in the cities of
Jacksonville, Lonoke, North Little Rock and Beebe, citing claims
parallel to those of Tellings’ attempt to overturn the Toledo
Pit bulls were banned in Aurora, Colorado in November 2005,
after the Colorado Supreme Court overturned an act of the state
legislature that prohibited cities from passing breed-specific
bylaws. The Colorado verdict reinstated a 20-year-old Denver
ordinance, after a 13-month suspension, and encouraged other cities
to emulate the Denver ordinance. A summary of the results of the
Aurora pit bull ban, presented to the city council in January 2008,
found that alleged violations dropped from 238 in 2006 to 137 in
2007; impoundments of pit bulls fell from 758 to 269; and the
number of pit bulls killed by animal control fell from 635 to 173.

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