Omaha Bans Tethering But Adopts BSL

Pit bull muzzled

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By a 6-1 vote, the Omaha City Council has passed an ordinance barring the tethering and chaining of dogs in the city outside for more than 15 minutes without supervision.

That is the good news. Unfortunately, the city also adopted breed specific legislation that targets pit bull type dogs. A pit bull is defined as any dog that is an American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Presa Canario or Cane Corso, or any dog displaying the majority of the physical traits of any one or more of these breeds.

Beginning January 1, 2009 all pit bulls in the city must be muzzled, leashed and harnessed in public and under the control of someone at least 19 years old. Pit bulls that pass an unspecified behavioral test will not be required to wear muzzles. Pit bulls outside on their owner’s property must be inside a secure fence. Pit bull owners must carry at least $100,000 in liability insurance.

Certainly dogs will die because of these restrictions. People will surrender their pit bulls because they can’t afford or find insurance.  Targeting pit bulls only heightens needless fear of liability, meaning people are less likely to want to keep their pit bulls or adopt them. Many more will end up dying in shelters.

The new laws also apply to any dogs deemed "potentially dangerous" for aggressive behavior, which is not defined, and also to owners declared to be reckless. Dogs that are declared "potentially dangerous" must be spayed/neutered and micro-chipped. Owners declared to be reckless will be banned from having animals for four years if they violate the city’s rules on three occasions within two years. (No argument here with the last 2 requirements.)

The Nebraska Humane Society supports the breed restrictions and estimates the cost of implementing and enforcing these new laws will be about $500,000. There are increases in license fees to help pay for these new laws; fees for intact animals will be more than twice as much as for those that are spayed/neutered.

Half a million dollars to go after what will largely be friendly family pets.

There is no evidence breed specific legislation works. In fact, BSL does not work, according to every study available. Instead, it means the death of pets and further strain on animal control resources. It does not make communities safer. For more information showing breed specific legislation does not work and what will help make communities safer, click here.

6 thoughts on “Omaha Bans Tethering But Adopts BSL”

  1. Well, the folks in Omaha have just proved that man has not made any progress toward enlightenment and the Legislators are a group of uninformed pinheads who obviously do not care.

  2. I am just totally floored and disgusted that a group of city council, can do this to the owners of these wonderful dogs. I used to be scared of pit bulls, because of all the negative publicity about them.But I havn’t been for a long time. I went down to NO after Katrina to help, and absolutely fell in love with the breed. They are the most wonderful, loving, sweetest dogs I have ever been around. Not a one was aggressive to me while I was down there. And I had every opportunity to find one that was aggressive. I walked and fed and loved on hundreds of them at Lamar Dixon. Since then I have transported, and overnighted many of them. The city is stereotyping this dogs, and I bet not a one of them have ever had contact with one of the loving creatures. This is wrong, so wrong, and I am very disappointed in the Humane society for supporting this law. The Humane society needs new people in there, if this is the way they think. Get rid of these ignorant council members, and get rid of the Humane society people that agree with this, and vote new people in. If I lived there, I would be hiring an atty and sue the city.

  3. We all know that BSL does not work! I hope the mayor and city council members sleep well at night now knowing that loving family pets who never hurt anyone will now die thanks to their decision. Do you all realize that Omaha holds a big dog show? Do you really think bullybreed owners will attend a dog show where their breed is treated like this? We will never again attend your dog show, and your city stands to lose a lot of money in tourist revenue if people do not attend the show. Once again responsible dog owners are being punished while the irresponsible owners will continue to be irresponsilbe. Many people especially with the economy the way it is cannot afford the extra liability insurance, and many companies as it is will not issue that sort of insurance to those who own bully breeds. I think the mayor and city council members outta go to the shelters and hold the bullybreeds that are loyal and loved family pets as they are massively euthanized. The dogs will be licking your face and wagging their tails as they get the needle. I am sorely disappointed that in America uninfomred bureaucrats make decisions that tranple on the simople right to own a dog. What a bunch of losers you all are……

  4. I am absolutely shocked and disappointed that the Omaha City Council would pass such an legislation targeting specific dogs. This kind of legislation does not work and never has. Their council persons need education on what will make communities save. They are only punishing innocent pets and their people which will now result in many deaths of undeserving, friendly, nice dogs. Dog attacks will continue to be the same, just by many other breeds. You can not target one specific breed. It is no different from targeting and racial profiling humans.
    I hope the Omaha City Council will research BSI and rethink their decision. There are a lot of facts and statistics to support and show that breed specific legislation does not work or make communities safe.

  5. Well, all i have to say is i know what these people are going through. i live in a small town in TN and they passed this law last year. they came to my house and tried to take my dog because they didnt think i had the proper insurance on her. i pretty much told them what i thought of them and that they were not getting my dog with out a fight.Needless to say i almost went to jail, but it would have been worth it, because they were not getting my dog. i think some people need to do a little bit more reading up on pit bulls because a small dog is just as likely to bit as a big dog. i have been bit by a chihuahua, never been bit by a pit. i have raised pits for the past 8 years, IT’S NOT THE DOG! ITS THE OWNER AND HOW THEY ARE RAISED! if you show them love and give them attention, they will do the same for you, they are very loyal to there owners.

  6. I am truly dissappointed that the city council has passed this legislation. I was seriously considering moving to Omaha but now I really don’t know…. We own a Boxer, German Shepherd, and Shpherd/Akita cross. My goddaughter lives with us and owns a Boxer and a Pit Bull. Our dogs are all well behaved, two of them having received their CGC (pit is one of them). Legislation like this makes moving to that city very undesirable for our family because our dogs will be treated like criminals when they haven’t done anything wrong.
    My goddaughter and I wrote the city council and only one of the members wrote us back about our concerns of how BSL unfairly targets particular breeds instead of focusing on individual cases and proper ownership.

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