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American Pit Bull Terrier. (MGNonline)

American Pit Bull Terrier. (MGNonline)

Fighting the ban on pit bulls

Last Modified: Wednesday, July 09, 2014 12:48 PM

The town of New Llano has had a ban on pit bulls since March 2013, and one couple who is fighting the ban was able to take their dog, Mazzy, home last week thanks to a judge’s ruling.

U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the ban from being enforced until after the trial. Victor and Christine Nelson filed suit against the town in April, claiming the pit bull ban “violates their equal protection, property and due process rights.”

The ban outlaws dogs with the appearance and characteristics of being mostly like a Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier. It was put into place after several attacks by the same breeds of dog. Mayor Freddie Boswell said last November that eight attacks happened in the two months before the ban.

The Nelsons moved to New Llano in August, and Mazzy was banned in September after a DNA test found her to be 50 percent American Staffordshire terrier.

Before Minaldi’s injunction was issued, Mazzy spent nine months kenneled out of town. The court filing said she was showing signs of “kennel stress,” and was crated all day except for “three bathroom walks” per day.

Louisiana has a dangerous-dog law in place for dogs who bite when unprovoked, causing injury to a person or another domestic animal. Fred Kray, an attorney for the Nelsons, said Mazzy has not bitten anyone and “hasn’t done anything but look like a pit.”

While Mazzy is now back at the home of her owners, there are restrictions they must follow until the trial is over. They include muzzling the dog when outdoors, having $100,000 in liability coverage for the dog, posting a $1,000 cash bond and displaying signs that say they have a “partial pit bull.”

The attorneys for the Nelsons both said they were pleased with the injunction. Kray said Minaldi “was careful in letting the dog go home” and serving the town’s interest in public safety.

Christine Nelson said they took Mazzy home Wednesday, and that she was pleased with the decision. But she said the fight is not over. Kray said a trial date will be set in August.

All dog owners should be responsible for making sure their pets do not attack or injure someone or another animal. But given that Mazzy had not bitten anyone or shown signs of being dangerous before she was taken from her family, it is only fair that she be allowed to stay at home until the court makes a decision regarding the town’s pit bull ban.

Posted By: clarissa starkey On: 7/10/2014

Title: American pit bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier

This is non sense .... Dogs do not just bite someone or an animal. You have to be in charge of your dog to make sure no one is harmed. I have had a number of Pitt bulls and non of them harmed anyone. You give me a Pitt bull hater for a few days I will give you back a Pitt bull lover. A Pitt Bull is the smartest fastest learning dog I have ever seen. It is also the strongest and you have to be able to control that strength to get the smartest and most loving dog you will ever have.
I have seen more dobermans and Chihuahua attack people than Pitt bulls ... if you get them as a puppy and control them then you do not have any problems ....if you get them as and older dog you still can control them to make sure they don't hurt anyone. If you can not control a strong dog don't get one but don't punish the ones who can. Requiring insurance is great as long as it is made available. If you love your dog enough you will pay it if you don't well you don't need it. Oh I can't speak for dobermans but I can speak for chihuahua's I have had tons of them and again if you raise them right you do not have any problems. You have to correct the issue ASAP the min. it appears or yes you will have a viscous animal. They are like any child they will try them selves to see what they can get away with or to see what you want them to do. Correct them and you have the best dogs

Posted By: Cindy Hanson On: 7/10/2014


It is wonderful that Mazzy is back with her family. However, the fight continues. Breed bans are shameful. It is the owner, not the breed that make some animals vicious. I hope New Llano sees reason.

Posted By: Detroit, Michigan On: 7/10/2014

Title: BSL is BS

Ha, if I saw a sign at a home saying "partial pit bull" I would then know where to go for hugs and doggie kisses. Poor Mazzy.....

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