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Dog breed restriction bill filed in House

Posted April 17, 2013
Updated April 18, 2013

— A bill filed Tuesday in the North Carolina House would restrict ownership of six dog breeds and mixes deemed "aggressive."

House Bill 956 would create a new "aggressive dog" classification for pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, chows, Presa Canarios and wolf hybrids, as well as any mixed-breed dogs "that are predominantly of" those breeds.  

Asked why he chose those breeds, sponsor Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg, answered, "I don’t want to say those were the ones with the most incidents, but they were the most prevalent by the feedback that I’ve gotten."

Moore said the idea was brought to him by a concerned constituent.

 "You know, (there are cases of) owners being irresponsible with the dogs, not training the dogs, and having no accountability or little accountability after an incident would occur," he said.

Under the bill, prospective "aggressive breed" owners would have to undergo a criminal background check, apply and pay for a special state permit, notify the property insurer and take a four-hour education course before adopting, buying or "otherwise taking possession of" one of the dogs.

"There needs to be some kind of accountability," Moore said. "A lot of people breed them the wrong way. You have very harsh incidents of these dogs maiming children, maiming older folks and sometimes even turning on their owner."

The criminal background check would be run by the county sheriff and sent to the Department of Insurance, which would be instructed under the proposal to deny a permit to anyone whose background check "is not suitable for the ownership of a dog belonging to an aggressive dog breed." 

"If you have a person who has acted irresponsibly in the past, and they have this type of animal, they – it’s a pattern that they would probably replicate," Moore explained. "Then, the dog could be harmed or put someone else in a dangerous situation."

The "aggressive dog permit" could cost as much as $25. The Department of Insurance could also add rules requiring additional risk insurance for the dogs. 

The restrictions would take effect in January. Beginning in 2015, violators would be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Moore says he's already getting "beaten up" over the proposal but hopes it will start a conversation. 

"Some dogs have aggressive natures," he said. "I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about it, saying I’m trying to blacklist these dogs, and that’s not the intent. It’s just to let people take responsibility for owning those breeds because they’re good dogs – all of them – but they have the potential."

49 Comments

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  • msdavis5705 Apr 23, 7:09 p.m.

    "You know, (there are cases of) owners being irresponsible with the dogs, not training the dogs, and having no accountability or little accountability after an incident would occur,"

    Yes that is what we all are saying but here is the problem he is trying to punish all of us that already are doing that. It's not a breed problem it's an owner problem. Any breed can be aggressive if the owner makes it that way. This bill will pretty much seal the fate of any of those breeds if they end up in a shelter. so sad because there are so many dogs of these breeds who have been rescued and been great therapy dogs. I guess though Rep Moore feels it is okay to judge based on heritage. I grew up with Chows and they are a breed I dearly love. They do have a bad rep and the reason is vicious dogs from the late 80s and early 90s. When they were being bred by backyard breeders who didn't care about temperament but were just looking to make a quick buck. It's a people problem not a dog problem.

  • AlbertEinstein Apr 22, 8:58 a.m.

    We have at least three puppy mills within a short distance of where we live. These mills ALL raise some type Bull Terrier. In addition, our subdivision has had no less than two incidents of dog aggression (primarily kids bitten by the animals allowed to roam). Only two of the dogs have been legally destroyed and yet the activity continues.

  • kgred52000 Apr 20, 7:41 p.m.

    Everyone needs to find out who your representative is and send them an email asking them to kill this bill!! Go to the bill link in this story and click it. It will take you to the House website. Shouldn't be too hard from there.

  • kgred52000 Apr 20, 7:10 p.m.

    This stupid bill passed the 1st reading on 4/18/2013 and was Ref To Com On Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House. THIS BILL NEEDS TO DIE NOW!! It should not be allowed to go any further in the House! It should not have been submitted in the first place. So tired of these Representatives wasting time and money on stupid bills. Enough already!!!

  • bradvaughn1 Apr 19, 7:49 p.m.

    This bill is divisive. The list is prejudice and not accurate. Don't we have bigger fish to fry? This is not a solution and it penalizes many of us who have worked incredibly hard to change our lives for the better and to train our dogs to be very loving. My chow-chows are pushovers, very loving and loyal. They are well trained and cared for. I've taken a lot of time to support their being an exception to this old and perpetuated stereotype continue by fearful people who are not well acquainted to even be around dogs.

  • gjackson Apr 19, 5:41 p.m.

    NOT SURPRISED!!!! It's always the dogs who get the bad end of the deal. I have one with a mix, she is so sweet, she has never raised her lip or voice to anyone in her 13 years. She is our doorbell & that's all you'll hear. My aunt's 5 lb poodle with one tooth was meaner than any shepherd I have ever had. Please review this before you put the certain dogs on the line. The people make the dogs bad. Watch Pit Boss, Pitbulls & parollees & Dog Whisperer on TV. Do any of these dogs look like a bad dog????? So stupid....

  • flowersf Apr 19, 1:07 p.m.

    Apparently, he is withdrawing this bill!!!! :)

  • meagandporter Apr 19, 12:08 p.m.

    Really disappointing to read this but I'm not surprised. FYI, I own what you consider a "restricted" breed and she has never bit anyone. I can't even say she would bite someone if they were endangering our lives. Kids have poked her in the eyes, sat on her, pulled her ears and tail and she still has never even raised a lip. Why does every bill restricting owning a specific breed of dog ever go back to the possible source of the issue, like the owner? Your pet is a reflection of you, is it not?

  • jeffro1980 Apr 19, 10:34 a.m.

    This is crazy, they want you to have a permit to own certain dogs, but not a gun.. Republicans of course

  • raleighwakenative Apr 18, 9:39 p.m.

    I have been bitten by more chihuahuas. I have had 4 chows/chow mixes and all were sweet. Canine good citizen, therapy dog. All have been sweet and not bitten, maimed or turned on me.

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