On Wednesday, the office for Oklahoma State Senator Patrick Anderson from Enid has abandoned his proposal a new state law that would allow municipalities to pass ordinances banning certain breeds of dogs.
“Under current law, it is illegal for communities to pass ordinances that would prohibit the ownership of certain breeds of dogs within their community,” Senator Patrick Anderson, a Republican, told FOX23 about Senate Bill 32 earlier this month.
Senator Anderson's bill would have changed that by letting any city, town, or incorporated area ban whatever dog breeds they want, although some breeds are more likely to get the boot than others.
“(This bill) doesn't specifically target pit bulls, but it says a community can choose to ban a specific breed if they choose to do so. Most of the discussions I have ever had about the topic center around pit bulls,” Senator Anderson said.
The Manager of Tulsa Animal Welfare, Jean Letcher, had some strong feelings on the proposal.
“My personal opinion is it's a step backwards for us. You're going basically on appearance (when you ban the breeds),” Letcher told FOX23.
Another reason the staff members at the Tulsa Animal Shelter didn't like the proposal, they work hard to find homes for pit bulls and pit bull mixes.
“Irresponsible dog ownership is the biggest reason for dog bites, dog maulings, and other problems,” Letcher said.
Letcher says this bill doesn't address that, and she thinks what it does won't do Oklahomans any favors.
“We cannot determine the behavior of any individual animal based on its appearance, and trying to pass laws saying we can, I think provides a false sense of security,” Letcher said.
A week and a half ago, Senator Anderson was not budging.
“(This is about) public safety. I think that's the bottom line, we need to make sure we are protecting our citizens,” Anderson said.
FOX23 found two newlyweds in Tulsa who own a two-and-a-half-year-old pit bull who say the bill was a bad idea.
“I think it's devastating, I think it's pretty tell-tale in ignoring the obvious, which would be the human factor,” Scott McDaniel said.
His wife Meaghan agreed and said dog owners need to do their homework instead of the state letting cities ban certain breeds.
“(Pit bulls) can be raised to be the best dogs if they're raised properly and have good responsible owners,” she said.
Both agreed that had SB32 passed and become law, they would have moved if their town outlawed their dog.
SB32 was an Emergency Bill which means is it is approved by the legislature, it becomes law as soon as it is signed by Governor Fallin.
One possible reason the bill was abandoned, an outpouring of backlash against it. People against the passage of this bill started a petition that got thousands of signatures from people who opposed the possible law. The petition can viewed here: https://www.change.org/petitions/state-of-oklahoma-kill-sb32?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=url_share&utm_campaign=url_share_before_sign