Decade-long ban on Pit Bulls overturned in small Rhode Island Town

Dog owners in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, take part in a victory walk to celebrate the Superior Court decision. (Photo credit: The Providence Journal/Glenn Osmundson)

Good news for pit bull dog parents in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. A law banning American Pit Bull Terriers and Pit Bull mixed breeds in the state was recently overturned.

Pawtucket Police Chief Paul Kelly tells the Associated Press that city officials imposed a specific breed ban in 2004 “to try to curtail the number of Pit Bull attacks.” Kelly says local drug dealers used Pit Bulls to keep authorities from executing house raids.

To celebrate, a number of Pit Bull parents and their dogs paraded in downtown Pawtucket to celebrate their legal victory, which overturned the 10-year long ban on pit bulls.

The parade was organized by Pit Bulls for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Ann Clark, a member of the group, said it was a celebration that “all dogs are free in Pawtucket.”

Last year, Rhode Island joined with other states to stop cities from banning specific breeds. The Pawtucket ruling came from a Superior Court judge just a few days ago.

Those who live with pit bulls and admire the breed strongly believe that authorities should “punish the deed, not the breed.”

Understanding Breed Specific Legislation

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the AVMA (American Veterinarian Medical Association) do not support Breed Specific Legislation. Officials at the ASPCA believe that breed specific laws are costly and have not been effective in keeping people or communities safe from dog bites.

For more information on Breed Specific Legislation, visit the ASPCAand AVMA.

Sources: Associated Press,ABC News, ASPCA, American Veterinarian Medical Association