New state law frees Boston pit bulls from the tyranny of muzzles

Tom Menino and City Councilor Rob Consalvo, however, are aghast at a law that overrides the city pit-bull ordinance.



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My pit is better behaved than

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My pit is better behaved than 99% of the dogs in our neighborhood. Forcing her to wear a muzzle just makes her looks scary and perpetuates the idea that their are vicious unruly beasts. No one sees muzzled dog and thinks "oh it's just the law", they assume the dog is muzzled because they needs to be. Dangerous dogs, pits or otherwise, are the result of bad upbringing, not breed.


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..didn't Menino just rocket himself into the national spotlight by telling Chick-fil-A that there's no place for discrimination in Boston?

Here's a definition of discrimination in case you're reading, Mumbles: "treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit".

Common sense prevails

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I'm glad to see this ordinance superseded and hope Menino and Consalvo will give up this pointless fight. I have no idea how it was ever enforced, since the majority of dogs I see in Roslindale and JP are at least part pit bull and are usually on-leash, while other "less dangerous" dogs roam freely in the Arboretum and Fallon Field. My only problems with dogs came from these kinds of situations where off-leash ill-behaved "family" dogs cornered me while running or jumped on my daughter.

I owned two pitbulls for over 10 years--ironically before moving into the city of Boston from the suburbs. I'm familiar with the many issues of people crossing the street to avoid us and our almost not being able to buy homeowners insurance until a guy from Liberty Mutual "interviewed" our dogs. Even then, I think we were in danger of losing coverage after we started a family. There is a great website,, that seeks to educate and promote responsible ownership of these dogs and combat the stereotypes and misinformation out there.

Two morons who probabaly don't own dogs..

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Once again Da Mayah and one of his moronic cronies devoting time to the real issues of this city.

Why not put muzzles on some of the two legged animals destroying this city, Mumbles?

My mastiff has never once been bothered by a pit, and we're at dog parks every day. He mostly gets attacked by the small yappers for no reasons. Pomeranians, Yorkies, chihuahuas all snap at my dog for no reason all the time. Does that mean they need muzzles?

Good news

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The law is supposed to be blind, so do the right thing. Don't punish the breed, but punish irresponsible owners with fines and jail for negligence and neglect.

I still find it funny that it's illegal to own a Pitbull breed in South Florida, but owning exotic animals like lions and tigers is aok.

A very misguided ordinance

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A very misguided ordinance that thankfully will be off the books now. I like Rob Consalvo a lot but do not agree with him on this one.

Horseshit. As loudly as you

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As loudly as you care to protest, it will never be anything but a fact that pitbulls, and very often their owners, are dangerous and ought to be muzzled.

Better a pitbull than a pottymouth

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My pit is friendlier than many Bostonians. Her only blanket assumption is that people want to be loved. She would shower you with affection if you let her.

She also has the sense to not be a potty mouth in public. She barely barks much less use foul language.

This muzzle law has been used mostly by certain local police to harass residents. If any muzzle was needed it was these local police.

Pits are amazingly friendly and sweet dogs. They are energetic and enthusiastic and often are actually shy. The only reason pits are painted with a blanket condemnation is that the people who wield the brush need in their lives targets of hostility and belligerence.

Many human beings could learn valuable life lessons from pitbulls.

So, go after the actual problem

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A lot of pitbulls are owned by responsible dog owners who keep them on a leash, have trained them, and handle them appropriately around strangers. Why should these dogs have to be muzzled? (Also, "pitbull" is a subjective term.)

And yes, pitbulls also are frequently owned by people who are actively involved in illegal activity and aren't being responsible with regards to their dog or much of anything else. I get that these laws are largely enacted to give authorities a reason to engage with such people and let them know that the police are alert in their communities and to start a paper trail, and I support that. But people who don't respect laws and who own pitbulls usually don't license them either, so police officers could also start routinely asking to see a license from all dog owners they encounter, rather than having this stupid muzzle law.

Pretty much NO ONE licenses their dogs in the hood, because everyone knows the laws aren't enforced. The shelter at Angell is full of mostly pitbulls, while folks in public housing are breeding them in cramped quarters and selling the puppies for $20 or $30 to people who can't afford the shelter adoption fees and don't plan to seek veterinary care. Enforcing dog licensing laws would take care of so many of these things. If only we could get the police to enforce quality-of-life issues instead of spending our police budget on standing near construction projects.


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Try $200-400. Look on Craigslist pets and you'll see people every day selling "blue" "Razor's Edge" or "Gotti" puppies for hundreds of dollars (it's against CL's TOS so they tend to get flagged). Theyre a huge status symbol. And then you see dozens of ads trying to rehome adult PBs of every shape and size because the owner doesn't have time to train it or the landlord says they can't have it, etc.--no home insurance will cover those dogs. A huge percentage of them will end up being PTS at shelters but the idiots who breed them will keep going. Makes my blood boil.

I'm sure that happens too...

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I'm just thinking of the families I've worked with who are "breeding" dogs and selling them for not as much, just by word-of-mouth in the projects. I'm sure that people who are more savvy and able to follow through with things can get even more money by advertising.

I worked with one person who would tell me about all the dogs she would sell to various people in her development, then would tell me a few months later none of them would have the dog anymore and she would have more puppies she was selling. She didn't seem to care where the dogs ended up, just "they had to get rid of it" ususlly because of DCF or another provider insisting the person not have an untrained, unvaccinated pitbull. I called the MSPCA several times (told her each time that I would do so if the next time I came over she still had multiple unvaccinated unlicensed dogs in her tiny apartment) and she would then tell me the MSPCA came out and said her apartment was only suitable for one adult dog. They didn't ever, like, take the others, or report her to BHA, or charge her with animal neglect though. I'm sure years later she's still doing it.

Do you own one? Have you owned one?

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Are you speaking from personal experience? At the Fresh Pond dog park, there are many young white and black males that own pit bulls. Are they dangerous? And how do you know that those owners are dangerous?

Sounds like bullshit

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The dog came from a yard behind a house, so it wouldn't have been muzzled anyways. The woman's dog was completely uninjured, so there is no way the pit bull even tried to attack it. This is another case of an owner who is irresponsible by letting heir dog get loose from their yard, not because it is a pit bull.

I've known many

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And I have complicated feelings about them. I have a huge soft spot for them but I've also seen them attack other dogs and people--myself included--out of the blue and its no joke. Nasty little dogs aside, i'd really rather see a Pomeranian coming at me. Unfortunately it's hard to talk rationally about PBs. On one side you have the "they're all monsters who should be destroyed before they eat babies" crowd and then you have the "my PB is the sweetest, cutest thing who would never hurt a fly--its all in how you raise them" folks. I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. They're big, incredibly powerful dogs who have been irresponsibly bred by people with no brains. They have very strong tendencies towards dog aggression and "gameness"--once they set out on a mission, they're hard to stop. They also tend to be very sweet-natured towards people but when things go wrong, they can go very wrong, very quickly. The number of pit bulls out there vs the number of owners who can actually responsibly care for one is horribly skewed. I don't think a muzzle law that is virtually unenforceable makes sense, but I wish there was some kind of law against indiscriminate breeding of these dogs. Having an unspayed or unneutered pit should carry a massive fee, IMHO

See also ill-bred ...

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German Shepherds
and even Labrador Retreivers!

OK how to you determine who

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OK how to you determine who pays the fee? Calling a dog a "pitbull" carries no meaning. There are dogs that have a slight resemblance of a pitbull (generally in the shape of the head) that, nevertheless, are not pitbulls. What about mutts like pitbull or pseudo-pitbulls bread with Labs? Does a bloodtest confirm it? Would you be OK abiding by the old adage of "one drop of black blood makes him a black man?"