We believe that the proposed amendments to House Bill HB621 and Senate Bill SB865, which labels any pit bull type dog in the state of Tennessee as vicious, must be withdrawn. Not only does it infringe on our rights as citizens of this state, but also is breed discrimination. It is clear that all animals are a product of their environment and are not born vicious.
These amendments are expected to be proposed by Representative Brenda Gilmore to the House Sub-Committee (Agriculture and Natural Resources) on March 20th. If approved by the sub-committee, these regulations and restrictions would go into effect as early as July 1st, 2013 if passed by the full House vote.
Not only does it infringe on our rights as citizens to have pets, it also will cost the state to implement and enforce. This is money that the state does not have, so it would trickle down to the taxpayers. So we would virtually be paying for our pets to be regulated, twice over, since owners would be required to obtain insurance for their dog. Many insurance don’t provide insurance for pit bull type dogs or other dogs deemed vicious, and the few that do, have obscene deductibles and rates.
In the proposed amendment, it states :
“Belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog.
The ownership, keeping, or harboring of such a breed of dog
shall be prima-facie evidence of the ownership, keeping,
or harboring of a vicious dog.”
“Every owner of a dangerous or vicious dog shall have a policy of insurance in the amount of at least twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) issued by an insurer authorized to transact business in this state insuring the owner of the dangerous or vicious dog against liability for any injuries inflicted by the dog. The owner shall within sixty (60) days from the date on which the owner knows or should reasonably know the dog is a dangerous or vicious dog comply with this section.”
We believe there are better ways to implement safety, which starts with harsher punishments against animal abusers instead of attacking responsible owners. Responsible owners should not be punished by the few people who decide to abuse, neglect, and fight their dogs.
We are respectfully asking that the proposed amendments to House Bill HB621 and Senate Bill SB865 be withdrawn and not carried to vote, as it would take innocent pets away from responsible owners and contribute to the misunderstanding and blind views of pit bull type dogs, which are just like any other dog.
Please join us for a peaceful protest against BSL in the state of Tennessee.
This peaceful protest is in response to proposed amendments to House Bill HB621 and Senate Bill SB865, in which Representative Brenda Gilmore is set to propose breed specific state wide laws that regulate pit bulls.
We will not stand for BSL of any sort in this state, and hope you will stand with us as we show our support to have this amendment withdrawn.
In a joint effort between Pit Bull Awareness of Tennessee, Operation Education, and Labor of Love Animal Welfare Project, we have organized a protest to take place on March 20th at 1pm.
Attire : Please wear purple to show your support of our peaceful protest against the proposed amendments. If you plan on attending the hearing after the protest, please wear appropriate attire for a hearing.
When : March 20th, 2013
Location : 650 James Robertson Parkway, Nashville TN 37243 (Base of Capitol Hill, facing Bicentennial Mall) Followed by a march to Legislative Plaza.
Time : 12pm
Things to keep in mind : We are allowed to be on the sidewalk only. We may not enter Capitol Grounds or impede traffic flow on the street. Any passing pedestrian traffic must be able to pass freely without interruption. Signs are encouraged, as long as tasteful. Dogs are encouraged, as long as well behaved and socialized. W e want to see dogs of many breeds represented on Wednesday, as this bill effects anyone with a dog! When we are marching, we must allow passing pedestrian and vehicular traffic to flow freely. This means giving right of way to pedestrians and waiting for legal traffic signals allowing us to cross.
Prior to the protest, we will be attending the hearing to see the votes, and this is not a public speaking engagement. We are allowed to view the process, but are not allowed to interact during this hearing or ask questions. We ask you all to remain professional and silent during the hearing.
Thank you all for signing,
Ronnie Van Zant - President/Founder
Pit Bull Awareness of Tennessee
firstname.lastname@example.org - 615-669-PITS (7487)