Dog Breed Legislation Passes the House

democrat utah representative brian king
Rep. Brian King (Democrat – Salt Lake City)

Cities banning specific dogs breed may soon be a thing of the past. HB 97, Limitation on Local Government Regulation of Animals, sponsored by Representative Brian King (Democrat – Salt Lake City), passed the House floor 43-24 on Thursday.

King initially was approached by an employee about banning breed specific ordinances. Originally, King was hesitant on the idea, saying that he initially thought the bill “wasn’t very good because it ties the hands of local government.” After discussing the issue with his friend and doing some research that he came to the conclusion that breed specific laws in cities are “awful and [don’t] work.”

Currently, there are ten cities in Utah that ban specific dog breeds in their within their city boundaries. If King’s bill passes, it would void all current laws regarding dog breed restrictions. While the bill doesn’t explicitly grant the state the rights to regulate dog breeds, King has discussed the bill as if the state would take up the responsibility. The bill preserves cites’ the right to licensing, selling and disposal of dogs. . 

David Berg, founder of the Utah Animal Rights Coalition, says that while the bill is well intended, it takes away too much power from municipalities to regulate issues like puppy mills and dog fighting. “Pit bulls were breed for a specific reason, to kill. Municipalities should have the right to restrict breeds within their boundaries, because in the end, these dogs need a home and [some owners] aren’t equipped [for pit bulls].” Berg cited his own personal experience when his canine companion, Stitch, was brutally attacked by three pit bulls in the park. Berg said that Stitch nearly died and that the tragic experience shifted his view on aggressive breeds like the pit bull.

Representative John Mathis (Republican – Vernal) spoke in favor of the bill. “This is hard for me,” said Mathis, “[..] there is no way we can legislate total safety in society. We have leash laws, we have ordinances that owners are responsible for their pets.” Mathis says that the problem with the term “pit bull” is that it is not considered a breed, but a type of dog that share the same characteristics. This issue leave open to litigation and legal problems for cities, according to Mathis.

Representative Rich Cunningham (Republican – South Jordan) railed against the bill, in part because he felt that bill was a first step into a more complicated matter. Citing city restrictions on the number of dogs a household could have, Cunningham suggested that next year the State Legislature could adopt a statewide restriction and take away licensing revenue from the cities.

The bill is to be sponsored by Senator Ralph Okerlund (Republican – Monroe) as it progresses through the Senate.




31 Replies to “Dog Breed Legislation Passes the House

  1. If the People of the USA were thinking compassion animal lovers, this law would not be an issue because pit bulls would be extinct.

    The fact that selfish sadistic sociopaths created a powerful pit is not sufficient reason to keep breeding more of these mutants.

    Pits were designed to attack without reason, even far from home, to immediately do damage and not stop even if the victim totally submits, to not stop even when suffering severe personal injury . These traits are essential for fighting dogs. Pits ate the best fighters and they are victims too. Breeding pits is animal cruelty.

    Proof that pits are mutants, that pits are different, is the fact that all USA dog fighters all choose pits.

    Pits are victims as they have control over no aspect of their lives. Unless you want to support dog fighting, let’s enact and enforce mandatory spay/neuter microchipping/registration for all pits, pit mixes, all dog aggressive dogs.

    1. You are part of the problem. Data used to fuel your hatred of this breed has been falsified, statistical evidence manipulated to present the idea that pits are bad pets. Educate yourself, your common household breeds such as Golden Retrievers have a higher attack rate than pits…..

    2. Debbie, you clearly know nothing about dog breeds or dogs in general, no dog is a mutant, not even pitbulls.
      They were just as designed to attack as you were designed to attack if you or someone you love is being hurt.
      Having a bad owner can make an aggressive dog, pitbulls being stronger and bigger tend to be taken on by owners who have aggressive or strong behaviors taking on the trait of their owner, My full breed pit butt is the biggest cuddliest dog I have ever met, he would not hurt a soul even if I was in some sort of trouble, he sleeps on the bed and plays with the babies, Please educate yourself before embarrassing yourself again.

    3. You are a statistical selfish person I have had many dogs and have friends with many kinds of dogs and I would much rather see pits and rottweilers than a small Yorkie if you have not noticed the small dogs are fairly aggressive as any other dog (in my opinion more so ) I feel it’s because people are afraid to hit a small dog as a punishment NOT AS ABUSE but any dog can be a fighter large or small it’s all dependant on how they are raised. How about we outlaw all cats I hear them fight at night, how about all chickens there are cock fights. You need to pull your head out of your ass and stop listening to the media when is the last time you have ever heard of a pit doing something good on the news NEVER because it’s MEDIA and they want to brain wash you into be living what they want what you’d you do if you seen a medical pitbull Walking through the mall? If you don’t like the sound of that move my buddy has a medical pit and he is training 2 more for some other people and also how about a search and rescue pit yep I know of one as well stay away from social media and grow up and welcome to the world where people have different likes and loves.

    4. Debbie, you have no idea about anything regarding Pitts, please do your research, before you judge the breed. Many Pitts, if that’s the case most dogss are mutants if thats how you look at it. You can take any dig and train it to fight or be aggressive. Please jump off a bridge cause it’s people like you that make it hard for dog lovers to be at peace. It’s not the dog is the owners.

    5. Youre dead wrong. Maybe you should do research and actually look up the three most likely breeds to bite..guess what American Pitbull terriers are nowhere near the top and they also rank 2nd out of 400 other breeds for the best temperament! Ignorance is what you seem to.specialize in, obviously

    6. Have you ever owned a pit bull? my bit bull is the sweetest thing you would ever meet. he has only ever wanted to be petted and loved like any other dog you would know. I had another pit bull in the past and it was respectful. even of the fact that i was pregnant. She made sure she never jumped on me or ever played rough around me. She protected my family like she was apart of but was ever so friendly to those who showed her no contempt.
      Now the little Chihuahua my friend owned attacked my husband and i on more than one occasion and did not care that is was being aggressive. Now that dog had been abused. Like most pit bulls they will not attack unless they have been TAUGHT by their owner to do so.
      before you claim this dog is a mutant dog do research on it first because the mutant dog might actually be that black lab down the road or even the little yorkie living next door.
      The dog will only be as aggressive as the owner has taught it to be. this is not dog error this is human error and it needs to stop

  2. Good pits mature to attack. Your pit might not be a good pit bull ( yet) but if your pit does go pitbull you won’t know it is happening until it’s too late.

    Good pits do not need a reason to attack; this is essential for pits to win fights.

    Good pits do not give warning. Why give warning when the goal for of a good pit IS the fight, the mauling?

    Most pits probably won’t attack strong assertive leader figures such as vets or groomers, but good pits can sense weaknesses and will use them to their advantage.

    1. You are a horrible, atrocious person who likes to spit bigotry against something you have no clue about…..educate yourself instead of being a Sheeple…..

    2. I agree with other’s who have replied to your comments. You are ignorant. Pit bulls were not bred to fight or kill. They were a working dog that was taken by horrible people who took advantage of the breed’s muscularity to use in dog fights and make Money. Some breeds of pits (the Blue Nose Pit Bull for example) are more prone to violence due to all the inbreeding that BREEDERS subjected them to trying for the best color, disregarding the repercussions of inbreeding. Look up the statistics. The most aggresive breeds are actually chihuahuas and dachshund’s (weiner dogs). Also, there are more dog attacks related to Labrador’s and Golden Retriever’s than Pit Bulls. It all comes down to the owner’s.. There is a reason why they say “Dog” is man’s best friend. A Dog, regardless of the breed, is a reflection of the owner. It’s bad, stupid, ignorant people that are responsible for their pets behavior. The problem is PEOPLE, not the Dogs..

    3. I think you are stupid…… As said before you are reading all the media crap about these amazingly wonderful dogs…. Take the time and do the actual research. There is absolutely nothing in these dogs that makes them more or less prone to aggression… Case and point, my dog baloo was in his own backyard. I was out scooping poo and mowing the lawn, and my neighbors yorkie attacked, ATTACKED, him through the fence. Completely ripped his nose open. You know what he did? I know you r thinking that he ate the cookie for lunch! Dead wrong! He came and laid next to me, and ignored the dog that continued to try and get into my yard. Not even a sec glance at the dog. 30 minutes later the Yorkshire terrier had found it’s way into my yard and still my baloo did nothing. You are completely ignorant to the true facts about these amazing dogs. Look at the historical markings these dogs have left. Watch Cesar Millan ‘s show called love my pit bull. He is talking to politicians, random people on the streets, animal control officers. Listen Don’t judge!!!

    4. You obviously know nothing about dogs at all. and the way you talk about “good Pitbulls” makes me more than suspicious that you are probably a dog fighter. educate yourself before you open your ignorant mouth. most of the breeds of dogs in the “pit bull” catigory were breed to be nany dogs and protect children. others were breed for hunting (like many other non agressive breeds such as labs). What makes them so aggressive is the way people train them. if you train a dog to fight he will fight. If you train a dog to hunt she will hunt. If you train a dog to protect he will protect. If you train a dog to lounge on the couch all day then that’s what she will do. Yes some characteristics of the breed temperament come into play but if you properly train and socialize the dog then there would never be a problem until the dog tries to protect ether itself or you. Because dog attacks are NEVER for no reason. The dog is generally trying to protect itself or you. And yes to a dog if someone (typically children) are yanking on his tail and years and jumping on him and whatnot then a bite is his only form of self defence and that is any dog. All dogs have their limit. And the limit is never the same for any 2 dogs. so if you actually read this then you have a SMALL bit of information that you didn’t have before. And again please educate your ignorant self before opening your mouth.

    5. Debbie, you are not horrible, or dumb. Just a bit misguided. And all people who see this, if you’re calling someone dumb or horrible for doing the same to you, think about it! Pit bull-types were bred for fighting but it’s not their biological makeup, they were trained how to fight. They are powerful breeds of dogs, and when irresponsibly handled, then maybe they show aggression. Elderly and children are attacked the most and it’s because children are careless and don’t understand the consequences of their action or the behavior of the dog. I’m not sure why elderly people but those are the statistics. Please don’t blame the dog for their owners mistakes!! Yes they are the victims and we should place laws to protect them, against terrible and irresponsible people!!

    6. ‘Mature to attack’??? ‘good pit bulls’ (yet)?!? WTH??? ‘ ‘good pits can sense weaknesses’??? Pits bred for fighting are kept isolated generally on chains outside. Little to none human contact. Just to be made to fight to the death for sick ‘people’s entertainment/betting. Cruel and inhumane.Your comments not only are ignorant and uneducated but absolutely false. What is ‘a good pit’?!? At what age does this occurr?!? Wow.

  3. I am so happy that the Nondiscrimination Bill 97 against a BREED of dog passed the House!! Thank you !! I was viciously attacked
    by a Red Heeler dog near South Jordan while running. It cost the owners nearly $3,000.00 for my medical bills. The dog almost
    bit to the bone in my left leg. It was NOT a pitbull. I should have put that in the news ! The media seems to always cover pibull attacks
    when there are other scary attacks by other breeds. We have a rescue Bluenose pitbull and she is such a ” sweetheart!” The owners of all dogs are RESPONSIBLE!!!! Our dog is our ” baby.” I want to train her as a therapy dog like Captain Cowpants from Best Friends Sanctuary. A BIG THANK YOU to Rep. Brian King and Bestr Friends Sanctuary!!

  4. Mr Berg would feel no differently about what happened to Stitch if Stitch had been the Yorkie killed by a Golden Retriever in one incident or the Poodle killed by a Golden Retriever in an unrelated incident.

    Sometimes dogs kill other dogs and the reasons why deserve our attention – not the breed.

  5. Debbie Bell, I saw for awhile your constant posts about ‘pit bulls’, on almost every thread on the internet related to them, appeared or were trying to appear more reasonable. But now you’re back to really crazy stuff.
    But it’s obvious from the progress of laws on its way through Utah’s legislature, now in more and states, that people aren’t listening to nuts like you.

  6. On Saturday March 8th my sun on was involved in an unprovoked attack by a pit bull. The dog bit him directly on the face required many facial stitches for the punctures am lacerations, he is 7 years old. Its frustrating to always here that the breed is misunderstood or the owners are to blame. These dogs are inherently dangerous and should banned.

  7. Pit bulls are dangerous.

    Dogs are not people; breeds are not races.

    Stop applying constitutional concepts of non-discrimination to dog breeds.

    1. Your comment is spot-on, Robert! This isn’t a return to Jim Crow laws, but cities working to keep their citizens safe from vicious dogs. Indeed, dogs are not people, despite what some owners might think.

      1. To Robert and Jack: Pit bulls are not dangerous, it’s the irresponsible owners as well as the media who portrays them to be “vicious”. Have you ever met a pit bull in real life? They are incredibly sweet and loyal to the end. They do in fact need more training and exercising but it’s people who get these dogs because they are “bad ass” but don’t properly train or care for them that ruin it for the rest. Labradors are more likely to attack someone than a Pit bull. Utah has Pit bulls as therapy animals – would they allow that if these dogs were so incredibly dangerous? 11 out 22 Michael Vick dogs were rescued, retrained, and adopted out into loving homes with more than one dog and they are doing just fine – and these were supposedly “vicious” dogs because they were once fighting dogs. Also, BSL is not proven to work at all. All it’s doing is spending a ridiculous amount of unnecessary money.

  8. Save/Euthanize Mickey

    That is the Question or is it?

    Last month a 5 year old Pit bull named Mickey was in his yard chewing on his favorite bone.

    The neighbors 4 year old son who was being cared for by his babysitter managed to leave his home and enter into the neighbors back yard where Mickey was chained to his dog house and chewing on his favorite bone.

    A curious little boy wondered over to Mickey and tried to take his bone away.
    At which time Mickey bit the child causing serious damage to the child’s face.

    Now a community divided calls for the death of Mickey while the other rally’s to save him.

    Please join our Facebook event so you will receive a reminder for Friday the 14th to tune into this show.

    We want to hear from you no matter what side of the fence your on.

    You can weigh in by calling into the live show or joining us in the chat room.

  9. I own a pitbull and I’m proud. My dog was a rescue. He also lives with 4 children. I dare everyone against Pitts to spend a day with my dog. Than at the end of the day tell me you feel the same.

    My dog is a rescue & he has changed plenty of peoples opinions. My dog will be 5 in September. Two years ago he was attacked by a pug mix. My dog screamed in pain & shook with fear. Does that sound like what the media tells you? What about the Pitt who saved her family from a fire? Or the one a robber broke in? The man who needed help & his service Pitt got it for him?

    I judge dogs based on the actions of the animal.

    Just saying.

  10. About Pit Bulls and Other Dog Breeds

    There is a lot of nonsense promoted by pit bull and rottweiler lovers, many of whom value emotions over facts, and anecdotes over statistics, and who don’t see the contradictions in their own thinking – and they include “expert” Cesar Millan. Here are some very important questions. For the sake of the many potential victims of dog maulings, please THINK before you comment.

    1. Why are dog breeds said to have different traits in their temperaments, if the traits are just a matter of upbringing and training, and are not genetic?

    2. Why wouldn’t you want to have a wolf (or wolverine!) for a pet, and why is that illegal – because the authorities are just ignorant?

    3. Is it conceivable that a dog breed could be bred by humans, through many generations, to be very ferocious and dangerous?

  11. I would like to share my experience with pitbulls and rottweilers. When I was 16 my family decided to get a dog. We went to a local animal shelter to adopt a puppy or young dog. Origionally we had planned in picking out a German Shepherd but we stumbled upon an 8 week old pit bull german shepherd mix. She was the only one of her kind in a small caged area of puppies. She was calm and quiet even though the other puppies around her were barking, running around, and biting at her. She continued to stay calm. Of course after seeing this we decided to bring her home. Her name is Drew. I trained Drew myself and she became my best friend. She comforted me through my darkest hours of depression. This sweet angel of an animal learned how to be motherly all by herself. Whenever we took in and cared for stray puppies
    She was there to be their guide. As a puppy she did get attacked by an older dog in which case I was able to save her. That experience never even phased her.She continued to love, nurture, and play. Drew even tried to be a mother to a few hurt baby birds that fell out of a tree in our back yard. She never ever even thought to attack or eat the helpless things. I have had this amazing dog through high school and the beginning of my marriage. After a year with my husband we decided to adopt another dog. This time we were looking for a Rottweiler. My husband and I came across an 8 week old Rottweiler australian cattle dog mix and we made him an addition to out family. His name is Neeson. Drew the pit mix immediately wanted to be his new best friend when we brought him home. The two are now inseparable like brother and sister. Drew is now about 7 years old and Neeson is about 2. Neither have EVER shown signs of aggression. In fact, if you were to put a toddler in front of either of them right this minute they would both sit or lay down immediately so as to not frighten the child. I DID NOT teach them that. They learned it on their own. It is in their DNA as family bred dogs. I know what you might be thinking, “but they are mixes, it changes things.” IT DOES NOT. I have been around their Pure Bred counterparts and they act THE EXACT SAME WAY. This is my testimony to two amazing, Loving and loyal dog breeds.

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