Mass. ordinance goes to the dogs

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August 23, 2012, 5:17 pm

(NECN: Julie Loncich) - Several local leaders in Boston are speaking out against a new state law that will soon overturn the city's own restrictions on pit bulls.

There are some heated opinions on both sides of this debate.

When it comes to pit bulls, there are always heated opinions.
This city ordinance has been on the books for nearly a decade, but, now, thanks to a brand new bill just passed, Boston's ordinance will mean nothing and other cities and towns also find themselves in the same situation.

There are thousands of pit bulls in the city of Boston that currently fall under a pit bull ordinance spearheaded eight years ago by Boston City Councilor Robert Consalvo.
The ordinance calls for the dogs to be muzzled in public and limits two per building, among other stipulations. It appeared to be working just fine until the Councilor found out a few days ago that just a few hundred yards away from his office in City hall, lawmakers at the State House were passing a bill that essentially nullified his ordinance.

“I’m shocked and disappointed and surprised,” Consalvo said.

The new animal control bill signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick last week blocks municipalities from passing breed-specific rules. It’s supported by the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

But safety is the primary reason Councilor Consalvo says he worked on the ordinance and will now prepare to fight for it.

Advocates of the state bill say blanket breed bills just don’t work. In fact, they say, in Boston, the number of pit bull attacks has actually doubled in the last few years.

As for Councilor Consalvo, he says he and Mayor Tom Menino are now ready to ask a state lawmaker to file a bill to reinstate Boston’s ordinance.

Tags: Boston, massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick , pit bulls, Mayor Tom Menino, Animal Rescue League, City Hall, state house, Julie Loncich, boston city councilor robert consalvo
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