UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2022!
Bowie CLAW has been active for nearly a decade in opposing the Prince’s George’s County “Pit Bull Ban” [Prince George’s County, Maryland – Code of Ordinances, SUBTITLE 3. – ANIMAL CONTROL, DIVISION 6. – OTHER RULES, REGULATIONS, AND STANDARDS, Sec. 3-185.01. – Pit Bull Terriers link here] and made advocating for the repeal of the ban one of our early initiatives.
Breed-specific laws (BSL) and similar policies ban or restrict dogs because of their breed or perceived breed. Bowie CLAW opposes such public policies as inhumane, unscientific, and ineffective. Instead, Bowie CLAW advocates for humane, supported ownership that emphasizes owner responsibility for training and behavior of pets.
No evidence supports that BSLs reduce dog bites or attacks on people. Further, they divert resources from more effective animal and human safety initiatives, can force families to make painful decisions about their pets and living situations or worse, risk going “underground” about pet ownership rather than participating in the open, transparent and regulated veterinary and pet care community.
In July 2022, a class-action lawsuit was filed in federal court, challenging the ordinance as unconstitutionally vague and over-broad, not based on science, encourages “seriously discriminatory enforcement” and in violation of the Fair Housing Act by forcing residents to either give up their dogs or move outside Prince George’s County. You can read more about the lawsuit in the September 1, 2022 Washington Post here https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/09/01/pitbull-ban-lawsuit-prince-georges/ .
This lawsuit should be an impetus for our County Council to repeal the “ban”. Prince George’s County families should not have to decide between living here and owning a beloved dog of their choosing.
We urge you to contact your Prince George’s County council members and County Executive Angela Alsobrooks andurge them to introduce and pass emergency legislation that would repeal the “ban” in our county.
Here is a sample letter you can copy and paste into your own email, and below that are our Council members names and email addresses:
Dear Council Member,
I am a constituent and ask you to support and act on emergency legislation in this Session to repeal the dog breed-specific law (“Pit Bull Ban”) in Prince George’s County.
For too long, Prince George’s County has relied upon this ineffective, expensive, arbitrary policy to govern how residents like me own and care for a dog based on its perceived breed, or even just its appearance. Families have been faced with the agonizing choice to either give up a beloved pet, move outside of the County, or risk violating the law because of their dog’s classification, regardless of behavior. Further, this ordinance costs the county an estimated $1.3+ million annually without any evidence that it has increased public safety in its 20+ years.
It’s time that we repeal this failed, outdated, discriminatory law that does nothing to help keep our community safe.
County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks firstname.lastname@example.org
Includes the entire County.
Thomas E. Dernoga –CouncilDistrict1@co.pg.md.us – Includes Adelphi, Beltsville, Calverton, College Park, Laurel, Montpelier, South Laurel, Vansville and West Laurel.
Deni L. Taveras –DLTaveras@co.pg.md.us – Includes Adelphi, Avondale, Brentwood, Carole Highlands, Chillum, Green Meadows, Hyattsville, Langley Park, Lewisdale, Mount Rainier and North Brentwood.
Dannielle M. Glaros –email@example.com – Includes the areas of Beacon Heights, Berwyn Heights, College Park, East Pines, Glenn Dale, Glenridge, Landover Hills, Lanham, New Carrollton, Riverdale Heights and Hills, Riverdale Park, Seabrook, Templeton Knolls, University Park, West Lanham Hills, and Woodlawn.
Todd M. Turner – firstname.lastname@example.org – Includes Bowie, Glenn Dale, Greenbelt, Westchester Park, parts of Lanham-Seabrook and Upper Marlboro.
Jolene Ivey –email@example.com – Includes Bladensburg, Cheverly, Edmonston, Fairmount Heights, Glenarden, Landover, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, Springdale and portions of Mitchellville, Bowie, Lanham, Hyattsville, and Landover Hills.
Johnathan M. Medlock – CouncilDistrict6@co.pg.md.us – Includes South Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Kettering, Largo, Mitchellville, and Upper Marlboro.
Rodney C. Streeter
Rodney C. Streeter –CouncilDistrict7@co.pg.md.us – Includes the areas of District Heights, Bradbury/Boulevard Heights, Capitol Heights, Hillcrest Heights, Marlow Heights, Seat Pleasant, Suitland and Morningside.
Edward Burroughs, III – firstname.lastname@example.org – Includes Camp Springs, Andrews Air Force Base, Clinton, Forest Heights, Fort Washington, Glass Manor, Marlow Heights, Oxon Hill, and Temple Hills.
Sydney J. Harrison, Vice Chair –CouncilDistrict9@co.pg.md.us – Includes Accokeek, Aquasco, Baden, Brandywine, Cheltenham, Clinton, Eagle Harbor, Fort Washington, Piscataway, and Upper Marlboro.