Woman says breed ban applied to dog not in ordinance

By By Lauren Manary / American Press

A woman who owns a business in New Llano said she was issued a citation for breaking the town’s controversial breed ban despite proof her dog is not one of the breeds barred in the law.

Breanna Sanders said she and her husband Mike Sanders were issued a ticket on Feb. 7 by the New Llano Police Department for “failure to comply with the dog ordinance.”

Her dog Khaos is a miniature bull terrier, commonly recognized in popular culture characters Spuds Mackenzie or the Target store mascot, is not included in the breed ban. She said when she received the ticket, Khaos was not actually on the business property and was staying with a family member outside of town.

Sanders said her first encounter with police was on Feb. 6., when they showed up at her business in New Llano regarding a complaint about a pit bull on premises. She said two hours later police returned and told her she was out of compliance and that Khaos had to be gone from the premises within 24 hours. The next day when police arrived she said police asked to search the business for the dog and she and her husband refused and told police they should obtain a warrant.

“I’m on this mission now,” she said. “I will not be bullied around.”

At that time, Sanders said, she and her husband were issued the ticket and a $500 fine for failure to comply with the dog ordinance. She said Khaos was not on the premises at the time police arrived, however. Sanders said she has tried to fight the ticket, bringing American Kennel Club certified documents to prove Khaos’ lineage, to no avail. She is due in the mayor’s court, over which Mayor Freddie Boswell presides, to plead her case on March 12.  She will be represented by DeRidder attorney Tomeka Gilbert who said the city has a flimsy case against her client.

“Even if her dog was there which it was not, the dog was not listed in the ordinance,” said Gilbert. “I believe we have the law on our side.”

According to her citation, Sanders is in violation of an ordinance passed by the mayor and town council in March last year that bans all pit bulls and dogs with similar attributes within town limits. The term “Pit bull,” a catchall term for several different breeds, including any combination of American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull terrier or Bull Terrier, like Khaos.

New Llano’s ban does not include Bull Terrier in its ordinance, however. According to the law, dogs that have any combination of American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull terrier or “dogs that have the appearance and characteristics of being predominately of the breeds of dogs known as Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, or American Staffordshire Terrier” are barred from town limits.

New Llano has had loud opposition to the ban since late last yaer after dog owners and their supporters began attending city council meetings. In November, the American Press reported that several residents moved out of town because of the ordinance.

Boswell refused multiple requests for comment.