A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of New Llano's Pit Bull ban was filed this week in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lake Charles Division. The lawsuit alleges that New Llano's Ordinance 4 of 2013 is unconstitutional because, among other things, it allows the Town to seize and identify a “pit bull” without any type of hearing. Even though Louisiana law provides that an owned dog is personal property, under the New Llano law, there is no procedure in which the Town is required to prove it has the right to seize a dog, nor is there any way to legally defend against the Town's designation of a dog as a pit bull.
The case is brought on behalf of New Llano residents Christina and Victor Nelson who adopted their dog mixed-breed dog, Mazzy, from a shelter in Indiana in 2011. Victor Nelson is in the military, so the Nelsons moved to New Llano in September 2013 when he was stationed at Ft. Polk. According to the suit, the Nelsons found out about the ban when having their water turned on. They then agreed to a DNA test based on a promise by the Mayor that if Mazzy was found to be a pit bull under the ordinance, she would be grandfathered in so she would not be banned from New Llano. After the DNA test, Christina Nelson received a call from the Town saying Mazzy was banned because she was allegedly an American Staffordshire Terrier. But when Mrs. Nelson asked for the results of the DNA test, she was told she would have to subpoena them. Mrs. Nelson’s request for an order banning Mazzy was also rebuffed. Instead, she was told the Ordinance was the order of removal. The Nelsons have been fighting with the Town for months now about the banning of Mazzy and have been forced to board their dog outside the Town limits since October of last year.
The Nelsons are represented by Stacy R. Palowsky of Madisonville, Louisiana, and Fred M. Kray of Gainesville, Florida. Mr. Kray stated: "The State of Louisiana in dealing with dangerous dogs, provides a full panoply of due process rights, including a hearing, notice of hearing, a judge, right of cross examination, the right to introduce evidence and rules of evidence. And that is for dogs that have bitten someone or acted aggressively. In Christina's case, she received none of these protections, and Mazzy has been banned from the community even though Mazzy has never harmed anyone or acted aggressively."
The Town has 21 days to respond to the complaint.
The complaint in its entirety, can be read here.
Says It Would Cost $23,855 to Produce Bite Data
Is This Any Way to Run Animal Control?
As we previously reported, PBLN sent a FOIA request to Boston Animal Control (BAC) which can be read in it's entirety here. The Director of Boston Animal Control, Mark Giannangelo, in his response to the FOIA request, required $308.00 to identify the materials responsive to the request, and objected to producing the name of the victims of dog bites due to privacy concerns.
Bite Data Had Been Requested One Year Earlier,
That Request Remains Unanswered
The interesting thing about the response of BAC, was that a similar request had been made a year before, as can be seen here, and at that time BAC demanded $476.80 to identify what amounted to the same data. As of the date of this article, the previous request by Donna Bishop has still not been fulfilled. You have to wonder how this bite data, which has allegedly already been sent to Ron Consalvo (as attested to in his radio interviews) needs any identification, and costs over $700.00 to identify.
Lynn Continues the "Mythology" of Her Dogbite Story
by Asserting the Dog Broke Free and Attacked
We previously did an in-depth analysis of the mythology of Colleen Lynn's dog bite, which can be read in its entirety here. If you haven't read it yet, do so. It will open your eyes to what we called the evolution of a preventable accident to the myth of a vicious pit bull attack. It will also give you a context in which to understand this article.
After our story was reported, dogsbite.org (DBO) described the attack as follows:
(screen shot from DBO, Nov. 16, 2013; as of the date of this article's publication, this is is still the official account). Note that in this version, the pit bull is leashed. And yet, despite this well thought out description of the "attack" on the DBO website, Ms. Lynn cannot fight the temptation to retreat back to the myth that she created before our report. In an article published November 15, 2013, Ms. Lynn states to a reporter:
I have stopped counting the versions of the attack Ms. Lynn has told since the original incident, and the inconsistencies from one account to another. We should point out that the startled dog in her case did immediately let go. But really, all of these matters are covered in our previous report.
You would think that Ms. Lynn could at least, at this point, keep her story consistent with that reported with calm calculation on her own website. Apparently not. Here, in two screenshots, one can see the stark difference in the story that was carefully crafted for her website, and the emotional discussion with a reporter where she could not resist reverting back to the original "story" she told to create the mythology of the incident.
Such a cavalier attitude towards the truth infects not only Lynn's own dogbite story, but DBO's statistics, legal analysis and reports of the sucess of breed-discriminatory legislation.