BREED SPECIFIC LAW - LEGAL ISSUES                                  Material on this page © The Animal Council 2006-2017

THIS PAGE UPDATED 5/3/2017

Breed specific laws were an unwelcome novelty in the early 1980s and widely thought to be unconstitutional, at least arguably enough
to be avoided as public policy.  A 1984 law review note optimistically supported this thinking.  University of Cincinnati Law Review,
Volume 53, No. 4, 1984.  The New Breed of Municipal Dog Control Laws: Are They Constitutional?

Potential legal issues include the Constitutionality of the laws themselves under the Federal or possibly respective state Constitutions,
propriety of enactment procedures under government law, enforcement issues and plaintiffs’ standing in particular cases.  

A decade later, this field of law had developed sufficiently for a topic in American Law Reports, a multi-volume legal reference
publication containing articles, called annotations, summarizing the law on particular topics including cases on both sides of issues
and providing citations to both primary (cases, statutes and regulations and secondary sources (texts, forms and law review articles.)   
80 ALR 4th 70, supplemented as a “pocket part” in the back cover of the volume.    ALR, published by West, is now in the 6th edition,
can be found in law libraries.

A more recent article details case law over the 20 years after Cincinatti:  
BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION: UNFAIR PREJUDICE &
INEFFECTIVE POLICY, Devin Burstein, Animal Law Vol. 10:313, 2004.  Mr. Burstein graduated Cum Laude, Order of the Coif from the
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where an earlier version of this article won the Benjamin N. Cardozo Writing Award for the Best
Course/Independent Research Paper.

A body of case law now exists, typically challenging local ordinances in state court on the issues of lack of substantive due process
under the federal Constitution for either lacking a rational relationship to the legislative objective or vagueness.  Lesser legal issues
have included standards that are over- or under-inclusive, take private property without compensation, have oppressive standards,
lack procedural due process notice and hearing provisions and require excessive bond or insurance.  Unsuccessful issues have
included First Amendment and Commerce Clause claims.   Collateral issues may include whether plaintiffs have standing to assert
claims and enactment or enforcement procedures.

Over time, drafters have tended to use language that has been judicially upheld.  For example, the Municipal Research and Services
Center of Washington provides express advice on how to do this in Washington state:

“Breed-Specific Regulations

Some cities, in adopting ordinances based upon Ch. 16.08 RCW, have modified the definition of "potentially dangerous dog" and/or
"dangerous dog" to include reference to a specific breed such as the "pit bull terrier" breed. In these cities, the restrictions that apply
to either "potentially dangerous dogs" or "dangerous dogs" are made to apply automatically to a specific breed.

A few cities have adopted ordinances that completely ban the ownership of particular breeds including pit bulls, wolf-hybrids, and
others. The city of Yakima's ordinance banning pit bull terriers was challenged and upheld in
American Dog Owners v. Yakima, 113 Wn.
2d 213 (1989).

In the case of breed specific ordinances, local governments should be able to show that the breed has some unique traits and
characteristics that pose a greater threat of serious injury or death to humans than other breeds. Breed-specific ordinances must also
clearly define the particular breed being regulated so that owners or potential owners are given sufficient notice of requirements and
violations.”

A more extensive article from the perspective of local government is
ORDINANCES TARGETING PIT BULL DOGS MUST BE DRAFTED
CAREFULLY by Jeannette Cox in "Local Government Law" Number 106 November 2004,  publication of the School of Government at the
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  
Article Link Revised 2/22/2017

A 2006 article reflecting more recent developments Legal Q & A  Animal Control: Breed Specific Regulations.  Roger Huebner, General
Counsel, Illinois Municipal League; Jerry Zarley, Paralegal, Illinois Municipal League;
85 Illinois Municipal Review 27, No. 1 (January 2006)   
Article Link Revised 2/22/2017


    Unofficial copies of cases provided for educational purposes.  Use official editions for citation purposes.







CASE
ISSUES
HOLDINGS
STATUS
ARKANSAS
     
Holt v City of Maumelle, 307 Ark. 115,
817 S.W.2d 208 (Ark. 1991)  
Appeal from summary judgment for City:
whether ordinance prohibiting Pit Bulls/other
breeds from city was unconstitutional?
Order granting summary judgment
affirmed.  
Banning specific breeds not impermisably
vague; including APBT and "Pit Bull" in
banned class not unreasonable; city did not
have authority to delegate its legislative
function to re-enact breed ban in settlement
of prior litigation with plaintiff.
State Supreme Court
CALIFORNIA
     
Beebe & American Dog Owners
Association v. City of Union City,
H-138361-6
1989, California Superior Court,
Alameda County (Trial Court)
Petition for Peremptory  Writ of Mandate, Muni
Code Chapter 8.36, unconstitutionally vague;
violates procedural due process for failure to
provide hearing before or after seizure of dog.  
Order to cease and desist enforcement of
Muni Code Chapter 8.36.
Not appealed.
City liable for attorney fees
Zuniga v. County of San Mateo Health
Department and
Peninsula Humane
Society
, 218 Cal. App. 3rd 1526, 1990.
Could pit bull puppies born of mother
impounded pursuant to dogfighting case be
declared and found "inherently dangerous"
under County dangerous dog ordinance?  
(NOTE: ordinance did not mention breeds.)  
2-1 published decision of First District
Court of Appeal:  must have evidence via
expert witnesses -behaviorial experts and
dog trainers as to whether a dog or puppy
who has not done anything except be born
could be vicious.   Impounded puppies
released.  
1st District Court of Appeal
COLORADO
     
Colorado Dog Fanciers v. City and
County of Denver , Colorado
820 P.2d 644 (Colo. 1991)
Action for a declaratory judgment on the
constitutionality of the "Pit Bulls Prohibited"
ordinance, Denver, Colo., Rev.Mun.Code §
8-55 (1989), and injunctive relief to prevent
enforcement.  
Ordinance did not violate procedural due
process where the ordinance is not
fundamentally unfair and the burden of
proof upon the dog owner in the civil context
is valid; evidence of pit bull determination in
a civil context may not then be used to bring
criminal charges against the owners;
ordinance not overbroad in its classification
of pit bulls as dangerous; ordinance not
vague, as it provided fair notice of the
conduct circumscribed by ordinance; no
violation of dog owners' rights to equal
protection as ample evidence exists to
establish a rational relationship between
the city's classification of certain dogs as pit
bulls and the legitimate governmental
purpose of protecting the health and safety
of the city's residents; valid police power
exercise to protect the health and safety of
the citizens since the evidence showed pit
bulls to be inherently dangerous.
SUPREME COURT OF
COLORADO
City and County of Denver v. State of
Colorado, December 9, 2004
Whether Denver ordinance upheld in above
case is valid and enforceable following
enactment of C.R.S. 18-9-204.5 given State
Constitution Home Rule status of Denver?
Denver ordinance is valid and constitutional
except as to inter-city transportation
provision which is severed by the Court
under the severability clause contained in
ordinance.  
District Court, City and
County of Denver
Sonya Dias, et al., v City and County of
Denver, Colorado
Civil Action No.
07-cv-00722-WDM-MJW
March 20, 2008
Plaintiffs' case not barred by "issue
preclusion", ie. no privity w/Colo Dog Fanciers;
no violation of procedural due process for lack
of pre-seizure hearing when post-seizure
hearing is available; plaintiffs did not have
standing to  challenge alleged unwritten
policies that could be unconstitutional; ord. is
not unconstitutionally vague; no equal
protection claim; no substantive due process
claim.  
Motion to Dismiss granted
UNITED STATES DISTRICT
COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF
COLORADO
Sonya Dias, et. al. v City and County of
Denver, Colorado
No. 08-1132
May 27, 2009
Plaintiffs lack standing to seek prospective
relief having not shown risk of future
prosecution;
Dismissal of vagueness claim correct as not
vague in all applications; Erred in dismissing
substantive due process claim as pit bull ban
is plausibly not rationally related to a
legitimate government interest.
Dismissed in part; Affirmed in part;
and Reversed in part and remanded.  


2012, case settled
UNITED STATES COURT OF
APPEAL
10TH CIRCUIT
Sonya Dias, et. al. v City and County of
Denver, Colorado
No. 08-1132
September 29, 2010
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment
Denied
UNITED STATES DISTRICT
COURT FOR THE DISTRICT
OF COLORADO
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
     
McNeely v. U.S.
District of Columbia
874 A.2d 371 (D.C. App. 2005)
Pit Bull and Rottweiler Dangerous Dog
Designation Emergency Amendment Act of
1996 "A pit bull or a Rottweiler that causes
injury to or kills a human being or a domestic
animal without provocation shall be humanly
[sic] destroyed and the owner of such dog
shall be fined up to $20,000 and may be
sentenced to not more than 2 years of
imprisonment." 43 D.C.Reg. 2158
This
temporary act was in effect for only 90 days
and never re-enacted.
Conviction under emergency Act affirmed,
Act did not deprive defendant of fair warning
of the proscribed conduct;  prosecutor's
improper comment was rendered
harmless by the trial court's curative
instructions.

Case analyzes due process challenge as
to issues of standing, vagueness and
constitutionality of strict liability felony.  The
Act only applied to dogs causing
death/injury in unprovoked attack and not
otherwise a prohibition on owning.  
District of Columbia Court of
Appeals
FLORIDA
     
American Dog Owners Assn., Inc., et
al. v. Dade County, Florida, et al.
728 F.Supp. 1533
(S.D. Fla. 1989)
County ordinance required registration,
leashing, muzzling, confinement of 3 specific  
AKC/UKC breeds or dogs substantially
conforming to characteristics; grand-fathering
w/ban; civil fines; potential destruction of dog.  
Action for pre-enforcement declaratory relief,
injunction.  Was definition so vague as to
violate due process under Fed. con.; were FL
con. standards violated by lack of enforcement
standards.  
Dismissed with prejudice; plaintiffs failed to
meet burden of proof.  Ordinance was not
facially vague: the term "pit bull" is
understood by dog owners who know or
can determine their dogs' breed.  
Enforcement standards did exist so as not
to be impermissably lacking on a
pre-enforcement basis.  Court noted that
federal courts must construe state law as
constitutional when reasonable
construction can be applied and that
plaintiffs had not challenged County's
factual basis, leaving County's valid
exercise of police power and rational
relationship to government interest
assumed in this case.  
United States District Court,
Southern District of Florida
State of Florida v. Peters
Florida
534 So.2d 760
(Fla.App. 3 Dist. 1988).
City of North Miami Ordinance No. 422.5,
required pit bull owners to carry insurance,
post a surety bond, or furnish other evidence
of financial responsibility in the amount of
$300,000 to cover any bodily injury, death or
property damage that may be caused by the
dog, register their pit bulls with the City and
confine the dogs indoors or in a locked pen.  
Ordinance did not violate equal protection
clauses of Florida or United States
constitutions, did not violate dog owners'
right to due process, and was not
unconstitutionally vague.  
District Court of Appeal of
Florida
Third District
Peters v. State
542 So. 2d 1334  (1989)
Petition for Review
Denied
State Supreme Court
IOWA
     
American Dog Owners Association,
Inc., Responsible Dog Owners of
Iowa, Inc.; Roger Anderson v City of
Des Moines
469 N.W.2d 416 (Iowa 1991)
Appeal from trial court upholding
constitutionality of ordinance requiring special
licensing/confinement of designated
breeds/mixes and dogs having the
appearance of these breeds.  
Ordinance provisions for designated
breeds was NOT unconstitutionally vague,
but provisions applying to mixes or "pit
bulls" other than designated breeds WAS
unconstitutionally vague.  Severance of the
unconstitutional portion only was
appropriate.
State Supreme Court
KANSAS
     
Randy L. Hearn v. City of Overland
Park, Kansas
772 P.2d 758 (Kan. 1989)
Kansas Supreme Court
Was city ordinance regulating ownership of
Staff. Bull Terriers, American Staff. Terriers or
American Pit Bull Terriers unconstitutional?  
Plaintiffs sought injunction and damages.  
Ordinance not unconstitutionally vague or
overbroad; does not violate the due
process rights of plaintiffs under the United
States and Kansas Constitutions; does not
violate the equal protection clauses of the
United States and Kansas Constitutions;  
the district court did not err in dismissing
the plaintiffs' claim for damages pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (1982).
State Supreme Court
KENTUCKY
     
Michael Bess, Timothy Poe v. Bracken
County Fiscal Court
NO. 2005-CA-000541
December 1, 2006
Was 2004 local ordinance prohibiting Pit
Bulls, as defined, inconsistent with generic
dangerous dog statute based on individual
dog's acts?
Trial court (Bracken Circuit Court) dismissed
plaintiff-appellants' motion for TRO and
complaint.  Kentucky Court of Appeals
affirmed.
Breed specific ordinance does not conflict
with state generic dangerous dog law but
provides a more comprehensive "plan of
protection" for the public based on use of
police power; takings pursuant to police
power rather than public use purpose do
not require compensation of owners;
ordinance contemplated hearing prior to
disposition, thus no deprivation of due
process; no violation of constitutional right
to travel, because travelers are not entitled
to greater rights than local residents
regardless of rights in their home
jurisdiction.    
Commonwealth Of Kentucky
Court of Appeals
MASSACHUSETTS
     
American Dog Owners Assn., et al v.
City of Lynn
533 N.E. 2d 642
(1989)
City enacted a series of ordinances: 1st
imposed breed specific restraint
requirements; 2nd repealed any inconsistent
terms and imposed ban except restraint on
owners' property; 3rd replaced previous and
repealed inconsistent terms, imposing new
requirements, restrictions; Trial Court
declared 3rd ord. void for vagueness; a 4th
ordinance was enacted.
Enactment of the 4th ordinance rendered
moot the controversy and action on the prior
3, requiring vacating the trial court
judgment.  The court suggested that if
based on the same facts and arguments,
the 4th ordinance might also be
unconstitutionally vague.  
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT OF
MASSACHUSETTS -  ESSEX
MISSOURI
     
City of Pagedale v Murphy
142 S.W.3d 775(Mo. Ct. App. 2004).
THE COURT COURT OF APPEALS OF
THE STATE OF MISSOURI EASTERN
DISTRICT
Appellant Murphy appealed conviction ($100
fine) under ordinance for possession an
American Stafforshire Terrier when the
ordinance referred only to a "pit bull".  
Court of Appeals held ordinance not
defining "pit bull" is not unconstitutionally
vague and whether a specific dog is a "pit
bull" is a question for the trier of fact and not
one of constitutional law.  
State Supreme Court denied
application for transfer
NEW MEXICO
     
Garcia et al v. Village of Tijeras
767 P.2d 355 (1988)  New Mexico
Court of Appeals
(AKC as Amicus Curiae)
Appeal from District Ct. of Bernalillo County
upholding ordinance banning
ownership/possession of American Pit Bull
Terrier.  18 of 80 households had 1 or more
pit bulls.  
Court of Appeals held ordinance not
unconstitutionally vague as to Plaintiffs' pit
bulls; not violative of substantive or
procedural due process; not a taking of
private property without just compensation;
State Supreme Court denied
Certiorari
OHIO
     
Vanater v. Village of South Point
Ohio
717 F. Supp. 1236 (D. Ohio 1989)
US District Court Ohio, Southern
District of Ohio
Criminal ordinance prohibiting Pit Bulls as
defined "... any Staffordshire Bull Terrier or
American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog,
or any mixed breed of dog which contains, as
an element of its breeding the breed of
Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American
Staffordshire Terrier as to be identifiable as
partially of the breed of Staffordshire Bull
Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier by a
qualified veterinarian duly licensed by the
State of Ohio."  Complaint sought declaratory
judgment and permanent injunction.
US District Court found ordinance
constitutional:
valid exercise of police
power, there is a presumption of
constitutionality, there was a rational
relationship to a legitimate government
interest,  not unconstitutionally vague,
underinclusive or overbroad, and "United
States Constitution does not empower this
Court to second guess state officials
charged with the difficult responsibility of
protecting the safety and welfare of its
public."  
United States District Court
State v. Robinson
541 N.E. 2nd 541
Court of Appeals of Ohio, Clermont
County
1989
Defendant appealed conviction under state
law requirement to securely confine pit bulls
(R.S. 955.22(D)(1)  
Court of Appeals affirmed and upheld state
law as not unconstitutionally vague,
over-broad or violating due process
protection.   Court noted "Courts, however,
frequently upheld against vagueness
challenges laws, which, like pit bull
statutes and ordinances, describe
objects"
as distinguished from laws defining
conduct being more likely to be found
violative.  
Court of Appeals of Ohio,
Clermont County
City of Akron v. Tipton
559 N.E. 2d 1385
Akron Municipal Court
1989
Defendant filed motion to dismiss charges of
violating city ordinance with breed specific
restrictions and regulations.  
(Defendant did not appeal his subsequent
conviction.)  Court upheld ordinance as
constitutional.  (Court noted that both sides
"spent considerable effort" and  "the city's
brief tends to emphasize the case law and
...defendant's brief, the facts.")
Akron Municipal Court
Singer et al v. City of Cincinnati  566
N.E. 2d 190
Court of Appeals of Ohio, Hamilton
County
1990
AmStaff owners appealed trial court finding
that municipal code provision prohibiting
owning/keeping/harboring pit bull in the city is
constitutional.  This ordinance followed
previous restrictive ordinances.  
Upheld:  Ordinance involved no
fundamental right or suspect class of
persons so that evidence to disprove
rational relationship to public safety would
have to meet clear and convincing
standard: no violation of constitutional due
process or equal protection rights.  
Ordinance is not unconstitutionally vague
as to persons who know that their dogs are
included.  
Court of Appeals of Ohio,
Hamilton County
George M. Anderson v. Ohio
501 U.S. 1257, 115 L.Ed.2d 1067
Petition U.S. Supreme Court of
Ohio v. Anderson
Petition for writ of certiorari to
Supreme Court of Ohio denied.
U.S. Supreme Court
State of Ohio v Anderson, 57 Ohio St.
3rd, 168; 566 NE 2nd, 1224.  February
13, 1991
Ohio Supreme Court
Charges under R.C. 955.22(D) failure to
confine vicious dog, R.C. 955.22(E) failure to
obtain liability insurance for vicious dog, i.e. pit
bull.  Trial court dismissed charges; found
R.C. 955.11(A)(4)(iii) unconstitutionally void for
vagueness.  Ohio appealed.  10th District
Court of Appeals affirmed, October 12, 1989.  
Upheld R.C. 955.11(A)(4)(iii) NOT
unconstitutionally void for vagueness.
State Supreme Court
State of Ohio v. Ferguson, 57 Ohio St.
3rd 176; 566 NE 2d 1230. February 13,
1991
Ohio Supreme Court
Whether statute requiring confining vicious
dog known as a "pit bull" unconstitutionally
vague?  Defendant's conviction had been
reversed by Court of Appeals.  2 unconfined
dogs killed 2 yr old child.  
Reversed (remanded on other issues)  
"commonly known as a pit bull dog" is not
vague and defendant had registered his
dog as "American Pit Bull Terrier."  
State Supreme Court
City of Toledo v. Paul Tellings
TOLEDO MUNICIPAL COURT, LUCAS
COUNTY, OHIO
Trial Court No. CRB-02-15267
July 8, 2004
Charges under Toledo ord. prohibiting owning
more than 1 vicious dog as defined under
R.C. 955.11 or a dog commonly known as a
Pit Bull or Pit Bull mixed breed, 3 counts
failure to obtain vicious dog insurance.  
Convicted on all counts.  State statute and
Toledo ordinance upheld as constitutional.
 
Reversed
Toledo v. Tellings Mar. 3, 2006,
2006-Ohio-975,
Court Of Appeals Of Ohio
Sixth Appellate District
Lucas County
No. L-04-1224
Decided: March 3, 2006
Appeal conviction on 4 issues:
State statue and Toledo ord. unconstitutional
for lack of procedural due process; violated
rights to equal protection and substantive due
process for lack of rational basis to single out
pit bull as inherently dangerous; improper
taking of private property without just
compensation; unconstitutionally vague
because no rational basis to identify pit bull.
 
REVERSED
State statue and Toledo ord. found
unconstitutional for lack of procedural due
process; violated rights to equal protection
and substantive due process for lack of
rational basis to single out pit bull as
inherently dangerous; unconstitutionally
vague because no rational basis to identify
pit bull.  Appellant's issue of improper
taking was found moot and not decided.  
Reversed
Toledo v. Tellings.  (see page 6)
05-10-06
Lucas App. No. L-04-1224,
2006-Ohio-975
Motion for stay of execution of
judgment. (pending appeal)  
Motion granted.  6-1, Justice Alice
Robie Resnick dissenting.  
OHIO SUPREME COURT
Toledo v. Tellings
8-1-07
114 Ohio St. 3d 210
871 N.E. 2d 1152
The state of Ohio and the city of Toledo have a
legitimate interest in protecting citizens from
the dangers associated with pit bulls, and that
R.C. 955.11(A)(4)(a)(iii) and 955.22 and
Toledo Municipal Code 505.14 are rationally
related to that interest and are constitutional.
REVERSED  7-0, Justice Maureen
O'Connor
concurring opinion disapproving state
law provision classifying pit bulls as
dangerous
OHIO
SUPREME
COURT
Toledo v. Tellings
9/26/07, Case Announcements
2007-Ohio-4884
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
MOTION DENIED
OHIO SUPREME COUT
Paul Tellings  v. City of Toledo
No. 07-8545
522 U.S. ___
Petition for a writ of certiorari and
motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis
Petition for writ of certiorari denied
UNITED STATES SUPREME
COURT
Paul Tellings v. City of Toledo
No. 07-8545  
522 U.S. ___
Petition for rehearing
Denied
UNITED STATES SUPREME
COURT
Russ v. Reynoldsburg
2017-Ohio-1471
Appeal from the Licking County
Municipal Court, Case No. 2015 CVF
2039
April 19, 2017  
Reynoldsburg Codified Ordinance Section
501.01(m)(5) stated that a dog that “[b]elongs
to a breed that is commonly known as pit bull
dog” is a ”vicious dog.” Reynoldsburg
Codified Ordinance Section 505.35(a)
provided that “[n]o person shall keep, or
harbor any vicious dog… as defined in section
505.01(m) within the municipality.”  Effective
May, 2012, Ohio Revised Code Section 955.11
(A)(6) defining "vicious" dogs removed breed
specific criteria. Court found Revised Code
Chapter 955 is a "general law" and that the
Ordinances at issue in this case conflict with
state law and exceed appellee’s (municipal)
authority under the Home Rule Amendment.
Reversed, Judgment Entered
COURT OF APPEALS
LICKING COUNTY, OHIO
FIFTH APPELLATE DISTRIC
T
PENNSYLVANIA
     
Starkey v. Township of Chester
628 F.Supp.196 (E.E.Pa. 1986)

Note:  Federal District Court
Motion for preliminary injunction re Township
ordinance regulating "Pit Bulls" - Hi fee
licenses; $20K bond; confined or muzzled;
removed/destroyed if attack involved.
Motion denied:  Ordinance met rational
basis test, thus no violation of equal
protection rights.  Chances of prevailing at
trial too slim to grant preliminary injunction.  
First Amendment and Commerce Clause
claims "frivolous".   
United States District Court,
Eastern District of
Pennsylvania
TEXAS
     
City of Richardson v. Responsible Dog
Owners of
Texas
794 S.W.2d 17
(Tex. 1990).
Dog owners sought injunction and declaratory
relief based on issue of whether state law
preempted criminal ordinance when some
ordinance provisions were based on state
law.  Dangerous animal ordinance included
special registration for pit bull dogs.  
Reversed:  State law on topic did not
completely preempt but requires
reasonable construction when there is only
small overlap of narrow statute and broad
ordinance written as a comprehensive
approach to animals including just a small
provision limited to dogs.  Court stated;  
Under article XI, section 5 of the Texas
Constitution, home-rule cities have broad
discretionary powers provided that no
ordinance "shall contain any provision
inconsistent with the Constitution of the
State, or of the general laws enacted by the
Legislature of this State...."  
SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS
Responsible Dog Owners of Texas v.
City of Richardson
781 S.W. 2nd 667
Court of Appeals of Texas, Dallas
1990
Dog owners had sought injunction and
declaratory relief based on issue of whether
state law preempted criminal ordinance when
some ordinance provisions were based on
state law.  Dangerous animal ordinance
included special registration for pit bull dogs.  
Trial court held for city.  Dog owners
appealed.  
Court of Appeals reversed, based on state
law preemption of differing local criminal
ordinance with same provisions, holding
ordinance void.  

(Note, no breed specific issues were
decided in this case which was based on
the breed specific ordinance provision
causing it to differ from and conflict with
state law to the point of state preemption.)  
COURT OF APPEALS OF
TEXAS, DALLAS
UTAH
     
Greenwood & American Dog Breeders
Association  v. City of
North Salt Lake
817P.2d 816
1991
Appeal from Davis County District Ct
upholding 1987 city ordinance imposing
requirements for special licensing, insurance,
confinement, muzzling for vicious dogs
including certain breeds (included Tosas and
Shar-Pei).  Trial Court found definition of
"vicious animal" alone void for vagueness,
and the City did not appeal this issue.
Plaintiffs did not show that the trial courts
findings of fact were clearly erroneous as to
determination of breed; ordinance not
unconstitutionally vague on its face or as to
plaintiffs; does not violate 14th Amendment
right to equal protection for over-breadth or
under-inclusiveness.  
SUPREME COURT OF UTAH
WASHINGTON
     
American Dog Owners Association v.
The City of Yakima
113 Wn.2d 213, 777 P.2d 1046
1989
City of Yakima ordinance 3034 banned pit
bulls, specifically the breeds Bull Terrier,
American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull
Terrier, and American Staffordshire Terrier, as
well as dogs "identifiable" as having any pit
bull variety as an element of their breeding,
allowed pit bulls licensed prior to the
enactment to be kept subject to certain rules
and allowed a judge to release apprehended
dog on showing dog will not return to city or
was misidentified.
Ordinance was not unconstitutionally
overbroad or vague.  
SUPREME COURT OF
WASHINGTON
WEST VIRGINIA
     
Steve Hardwick and Sharon Nalley
v. Town of Ceredo
No. 11-1048
FILED, January 14, 2013
November 12, 2009, petitioners convicted
(misdemeanors) in the Municipal Court of
Ceredo for violations of the Codified
Ordinances of the Town of Ceredo, § 505.16
prohibiting
ownership of pit bull terriers within the Town
of Ceredo.  Upheld on appeal to Circuit Court
of Wayne County.  Appealed to Supreme Court
of Appeals.
Memorandum Decision with Circuit Court's
decision attached.  West Virginia Code §
8-12-1, et seq., grants municipalities
general police powers to protect their
communities.  Regulation of dogs within
town limits does not exceed home rule
limits. Ordinance is rationally related to
legitimate interest to impose safety
regulations to insure health and protection
of citizens; not unconstitutionally vague nor
violate due process of citizens.  
WEST VIRGINIA SUPREME
COURT OF APPEALS  
WISCONSIN
     
Dog Federation of Wisconsin &
individuals v. City of South Milwaukee  
504 N.W.3d 275 (Wis.App 1993)  
Appeal from trial court decision
upholding ordinance banning "Pit Bulls"
not registered/licensed by 4/1/1989.  
Ordinance was not unconstitutionally vague
and did not violate right to equal protection
under Fourteenth Amendment of  US
Constitution or Art. I, sec. 1 of Wisconsin
Constitution.  Overbreadth doctrine applies
only to First Amendment context.  
Court of Appeals of Wisconsin

NOTE 6/2016 City Council
declines to discuss repeal,
4-3.