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Law & Politics in the Fall River, WI, BDL Fight, Sept. 30, 2014

Fighting BDL in Fall River, WI: Politics & Law

September 30, 2014

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Attorney Fred Kray and the rest of the PBLNR crew welcome Richard Rosenthal, The Lexus Project, and John Schwartz who are both working on overturning BDL in Fall River, Wisconsin. Like many breed-discriminatory laws, the Fall River ordinance lacks due process, in particular, it puts the onus of proving a dog is not a pit bull on the dog's owner (of course, the definition of "pit bull" is broad). Richard outlines some of the legal strategies he is employing, including a First Amendment argument. Richard also addresses the language of an application for a permit to hold an anti-BDL rally. Someone in the Fall River city government passed the application on to the local paper, which published it. Richard maintains that this was done to discredit the anti-BDL effort as extremist. The language on the appliction is controversial and Richard defends it.

John Schwartz has been working on overturning Fall River's BDL since receiving a citation for having an alleged pit bull. He has put together a comprehensive binder of information about why Fall River should adopt a breed-neutral policy. While the city council has floated the idea of appointing a board to study the issue, it has been slow to take action and is using the permit application language against him.

In training, Yvette Van Veen addresses a seasonal topic—helping your dog cope with Halloween. She specifically discusses working with your dog on ignoring the doorbell. She recommends recording the sound of your doorbell so can ring in the "doorbell" in a more natural setting, like while sitting on the couch. Dogs, she tells us, can recognize a set-up.

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