Open letter from best friends

Dear Friends,
It’s time to celebrate a huge victory for all dogs in Utah. Governor Gary Herbert signed into law our bill that gets rid of breed discrimination. The bill, sponsored by Representative Brian King, protects the property rights of pet owners and allows responsible citizens to own any breed of dog they choose. The measure goes into effect January 1, 2015.
This is the latest in a trend of states’ affirming the right of Americans to own any dog they please. The signing into law of HB 97, spearheaded by Best Friends, makes Utah the 19th state to pass a provision banning some form of breed discrimination. South Dakota’s governor signed a similar Best Friends–sponsored bill last month.
Indeed, the passage of HB 97 is a resounding victory for dogs and dog lovers, not only in Utah but across the country, as the momentum against breed-discriminatory legislation continues to build. We are diligently working on getting similar measures through the legislatures in Missouri, Maryland and Delaware.
We sincerely thank you, one of thousands of Best Friends members in Utah who called, wrote, emailed or testified in support of this effort. Thanks to you, all responsible dog owners in Utah now have the right to live anywhere they choose without having to give up their pets or live in fear of punishment when they walk their dogs.
Current law allows local governments to ban certain breeds or restrict people’s rights regarding certain breeds or mixed breeds. Five Utah cities prohibit residents from owning pit bull terriers and some other breeds, while five other cities impose stringent restrictions on owning pit bull terriers and a variety of other breeds, including German shepherds, huskies, Alaskan malamutes, Akitas, shar-peis and Tosas.
Those cities now must fall in line with state law. It’s a tremendous victory that will save lives.
Together, we can Save Them All.
Gregory Castle, CEO
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