POLL: Should Malden Muzzle its Pit Bulls?

Councilor Neil Kinnon has proposed the measure for years, and the council will hear a discussion about it tonight during their 7 p.m. meeting.

Note: If you can't make the meeting, remember you can always watch it live on Malden Patch.

Tonight at 7 p.m., the Malden City Council will reconsider a discussion tabled last week exploring the possibility of .

A number of animal groups, such as the MSPCA, say the measure is cruel, but the sponsor, Councilor Neil Kinnon, points to a number of attacks in the city he said could've been prevented with such an ordinance.

What do you think, readers? Are you a pit bull owner or lover? A victim of a dog attack?

We want to hear from you - take our poll above and let us know in the comments.

Kelly DelSignore April 03, 2012 at 10:20 PM
nkinnon@CITYOFMALDEN.ORG Email him your opinions- I have!
kimx April 03, 2012 at 10:28 PM
I apologize in advance for the copy and paste job, but wanted to put my .02 in. My hometown, Malden, Massachusetts, has proposed and the Ordinance Committee has unanimously approved Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) regarding the ownership of pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs within the city. The proposal would require any and all pit bull type dogs to be muzzled while on public property. They go so far as to say any "dangerous dog" or "vicious dog" as used in the proposal, shall be used interchangeably with "pit bull" or "pit bull mix", thus labeling all of these dogs vicious or dangerous. To say I am appalled... to say I am disgusted... disappointed... it's all not enough. BSL only hurts GOOD pet owners. Do they really think the scofflaws and hoodlums who own *ANY* dog will adhere to this? Certainly not. And who will be paying to enforce this ordinance? Currently, in Miami, FL where I live and have lived for the past 5 years, we have a ban in effect on pit bulls and mixes thereof. The cost to the taxpayers is astronomical; a whopping $3,000,000 a YEAR is earmarked for enforcing this antiquated piece of legislation. And the kicker is, the investigators who label a dog a pit bull or a dog comprised of at least 51% (thus making it illegal) pit bull do not see eye to eye. What one may label a pit or a pit mix, another will label an American Bulldog or Terrier mix (as is evidenced by the intake photos at the shelter daily - take a peek for yourself!)
kimx April 03, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Part 2... So, my friends of Malden - the good, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens - are you going to let your money be wasted on an outdated law that has been proven ineffective and wasteful in just about every community it's been implemented in nationwide? Or are you going to stand up and speak out? Just think of all the vital services that have been cut recently, the police officers and firefighters who have been laid off. Do you want your already over-burdened police force taxed with yet another crazy, difficult-to-implement law while there are other very REAL and pressing issues to be taken care of? I didn't think so. Tonight, the City Council will be holding a meeting regarding this matter. If you're in Malden, please attend if you can. The dogs are NOT the problem. It's the animals at the other end of the leash who need to be directly dealt with! April 3 at 7:00 PM City Council Chambers Malden Government Center 200 Pleasant St Malden, MA 02148 (781) 397-7130
Raj April 03, 2012 at 10:52 PM
In a city where crime seems to be increasing by leaps and bounds, gunshots ring out in the middle of the day, and people of unknown backgrounds, who aren't even necessarily US Citizens are given assistance and shelter and housing, perhaps it would be more realistic for EVERY homeowner to own a pit bull!
Marie_EndBSL April 03, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Mr. Kinnon should be informed that THESE are "pit bull" owners: http://vimeo.com/38411700 and these are "pit bulls"..... http://vimeo.com/36938741
Monica F. April 04, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Which people are "irresponsible"?? Is it the people that push for SANE legislation, or the people who will fly under the radar regardless of the law??? These laws do NOTHING to help public safety. This is ridiculous and gut wrenching...
Carol J. Merletti April 04, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Of course Kinnon got his way once again, but with some changes. He not only wanted the dogs muzzled in public, but in their own yards as well. He was shot down. Of course, that didn't go without another outburst from him. On another note, Thank you Councilor Barbara Murphy for your strong statement about discrimination against people in the City of Malden, after Councilor Neil Kinnon, finally, finally, stated his hatred publicly for children with learning disabilities, and for Section 8 people who move into our city! Neil, you know that I have always hated you after what you did to my son when he attended Mystic Valley Regional Charter School. I am so glad that your true words are now on video! I hope to God that you finally get sued! Something that I will regret for the rest of my life will be that I did not sue you, and your school, after what you did to my son, and the rest of the children with learning disabilities. You are a hateful, vicious, mean spirited person who should go to hell for your thoughts! Now the people of Malden have finally seen the real you!
Carol J. Merletti April 04, 2012 at 03:21 AM
In case anyone wants to know why I am so angry, let me give you a little bit about what Kinnon said tonight. They were talking about bringing in more apartment complexes into Malden and charging the developers a $4,000 fee to cover the cost if the building are not maintained. Neil’s concern is that they will end up with Section 8 and children with learning disabilities who attend our schools and live in those apartments. He used the Granada Highlands as an example. He stated that when he was a kid, that if you knew a kid who lived at that complex, you knew the kid was rich. Now, he stated, when you hear a kid lives there, you know that they are either on Section 8, or have a learning disability. So he wants this charge to cover that cost! He sickens me! I am so thrilled that he finally showed in public his true colors! Does this monster ever stop?
Jack b nimble April 04, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Thanks Carol for your candid and on the mark opinions....How does MVRCS in Malden, a city where 72 different dialects are spoken have 0 percent English Language Learners in their student body? How is it that students with disabilities are discouraged from entering the MVRCS or they return to the district public schools? Don't be fooled by their test scores and their multi million dollar athletic facility. They are able to afford such a facility because ELL and SPED students cost money to educate. ELL and SPED students hurt your MCAS scores. No Child Left Behind MV, really???? Are you a pubic school using public funds????? Whether we speak of dogs or children, there seems to be an exclusionary tone with Mr. Kinnon .In his own words, "No child is worth more than another." Apparently, if a child with disabilites costs more to educate it's too bad for that child. If a dog is labeled vicious then the entire breed is now labeled. I am no fan of pit bulls because of their lethal grip. Truth be told, there are many vicious breeds or mixed breeds. One should pause and think about Mr. Kinnon's overall exclusionary tone and message.
Kelly DelSignore April 04, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Jack- pit bulls jaws are structurally and anatomically no different than other breeds. Lock jaw is one of the many myths perpetrating the fear that allows these ordinances to be passed.
Kelly DelSignore April 04, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Carol- that makes me sick! I only watched the part about BSL and I turned it off. Neil Kinnon disgusts me.
Meggle April 04, 2012 at 04:15 AM
I'm shocked (oh wait, I'm not) that the folk actually making this decision couldn't be bothered to take approximately five minutes of their lives to type "dog bite statistics" or "cdc dog bite studies" into google and find out what the CDC has to say about dog bites. I mean good gravy, that's what the CDC is there for. Researching stuff like this. http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Dog-Bites/dogbite-factsheet.html
Carol J. Merletti April 04, 2012 at 04:27 AM
Jack, you are most welcome. I do not mean this towards you, but to everyone else ~ I want to make something very clear to people. I need to say this, because I know that the attacks will come after my statements tonight. I am ready for them, however, anyone who does not post their true names, will not receive a response from me. Period. When my son graduated from MVRCS almost four years ago, I walked away from that school too. I no longer publicly spoke out about Kinnon, or his school. I wanted to put those days behind me, because, in all honestly, it was years of plain hell. I watched my son, as well as too many other children with learning disabilities suffer at the hands of a school who did not want them there. It was heartbreaking. I had to walk away because it was time to give up the fight and let other parents take over. I also wanted to put that nightmare behind me. But you are right, Kinnon’s actions tonight did not make any difference on whether he was referring to a dog, or a child, because his beliefs are just beyond comprehension! It is downright scary the way that this man thinks. Personally, tonight was a victory for me. Sounds very selfish, but it was. I needed to hear those words come from his mouth to confirm what I have always known and believed about him. I am glad that the public will now see him for who he really is. I have waited for the day that this man would do something to show his true colors. Tonight he did.
Carol J. Merletti April 04, 2012 at 04:28 AM
It is sad Kelly.
Randi April 04, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Great list, Betty! I plan to borrow it for the letters I write opposing BSL.
Marie_EndBSL April 04, 2012 at 08:56 PM
I'm sorry, Carol, that you and your son had to deal with such horrendous hatred and ignorance from Neil Kinnon. He made it clear that he hates not only pit bull type dogs, but their owners. I was very disheartened and angered to see the BSL ordinance pass. It is clear from your statement above that he also did not hide his disdain for children with learning disabilities. I just hope that Malden realizes that they are allowing a monster to dictate what goes on in their community.
Deanne tolley April 04, 2012 at 09:43 PM
No!!!!! Never came across one I didn't like!!! I find that small dogs are more snippy and a lot of them have the small dog syndrome which I don't trust at all!!!! I would trust a Pitt bull more than a small dog!!!!!
Carol J. Merletti April 04, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Thank you Marie. Kinnon is an angry, hatefull little man, who enjoys bullying people. He get away with it because everyone is afraid of him. I never allowed him to bully me, or get away with it. If more people stood up to him, he would be sitting in his cusiony job at city hall. He's nothing but a "little" bully and one day people will see his true colors!
stella April 05, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Carol very well said. The people of Malden are so sick of Mr Kinnon. Hopefully he does not get re-elected. I am also glad that they got his creuel remarks on film. How would he deal with one of his children if they had special needs. Or if he was ever to lose his job and had to file for section 8. I believe we should always help the less fortuneate isnt this why we vote for our public officals. Lets start now to unseat Mr Kinnon so he does not get re-elected.
betty geist April 05, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Randi I want to help you Please email me at bgeist1@comcast.net
Bobby James April 05, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Push to unseat? How about find a viable candidate? The last election there was the guy with the platform of "get rid of the dog park" and the other guy that seemed totally disengaged, almost as though he was pushed into doing it by his "campaign manager." Both were totally useless. I live in Maplewood. Do I agree with everything Kinnon does or says? No. Does he get stuff done around the community? YES! Is this muzzling ordinance silly? YES! Animal Control is a joke in Malden. They operate Monday throgh Friday, 9-5. We were walking our dog on a Sunday last year when two Boston Terriers came flying from out of nowhere and flat out attacked us. Called the police - "Nothing we can do, Animal Control is only available Monday through Friday..." These dogs were relentless, owners nowhere in sight, no tags, nobody in the neighborhood knew who they belonged to. So, yeah, let's hope that Animal Control can get off their lazy asses and actually do something instead of relying on BS regulation to hopefully do their job for them.
Carol J. Merletti April 05, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Thank you Stella, I would like to believe that the people of Malden are sick of Kinnon, however, they continue to vote him back into office. He wouldn't know what to do if one of his children had special needs. That would be a huge embarrassment to him. It would tarnish his (in his own mind) image of the perfect person, perfect dad, and perfect business person.
whatsup April 11, 2012 at 02:06 PM
What about all those dog owners who don't pick up the dog shit ? This is a repetitive thing over and over again. These irresponsible dog owners give a bad name to the responsible dog owners. Malden should make it a criminal offense to make irresponsible dog owners accountable, because frankly they could care less unless there are strict laws that are being enforced to punish these offenders who are defacating the neighborhood.
Fran C. April 11, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Sounds to me that many people will be waiting to vote in the next city council election and rightfully so. BSL has proven to be both very costly and ineffective. To discriminate and profile all based on appearance is darconian at best and shows a "certain" type of mentality. How about making just BAD owners pay and not ALL dog owners whose dogs LOOK a "certain" way.
Susan Lawrence April 11, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Hello everyone - The comments here indicate strongly that Malden does not want breed-specific dog laws. Unfortunately, so far it seems we are dealing with a reactive, short-sighted City Council on this issue. Thank goodness for "checks and balances" and the Mayor's ability to slow this process for careful deliberation. PLEASE watch the news! Make sure you take advantage of any opportunity Mayor Christenson offers us to help educate one another -- particularly our lawmakers. It is very important that we speak up about WHY breed-specific laws will be ineffective at reducing either dog bites or the instances of people using a dog for intimidation in Malden. Both of these problems are real, but, they both have better solutions than the proposed ordinance. PLEASE continue to speak up. The Mayor and your Councilors need to hear from you!
Fran C. April 11, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I hope someone attending the meeting will look at and print off one of the three studies done, by three different organizations in three different counties that ALL came to the same conclusion that banned breeds are NO more aggressive than ANY other type of dog including the golden retriever. LOOK up "Is there a difference? Comparison of golden retrievers and dogs affected by breed-specific legislation regarding aggressive behavior". This particular study was done at the Institute of Animal Welfare and Behavior, University of Veterinary Medicine in Hanover Germany. It included 70 family goldens and 450 dogs of the banned breeds. The other studies were in Holland and Canada. The study in Holland was seriously intense and 97 pages long. The Canadian one was at BC University. Also look up "Panic Policy Making; Canine Breed Bans in Canada and the United States. Also another university study. Paws crossed for ALL dog owner in Malton as this is going to effect every medium short haired MUTT around.
Andrew L April 12, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Does anyone know where all the money went that they got to put in the dog park at trafton? I would love to know. Are there public records on what they got for funding the park and how much they spent? Kinnon is nothing but a typical politician, A Big Fat Liar. The dog officer is useless and anyone who thinks pitbulls are bad dogs has either never owned one or misinformed. It is all on the owner and how they raised them. Its just like kids, bad parenting usually equals troubled kids. Don't hate pitbulls hate the bad owners.
DannyBoy April 12, 2012 at 04:07 AM
This is a message to the Malden city council: if you are serious about public safety and cracking down on crime, follow the lead of Boston's city council members as described in this link: http://www.universalhub.com/2012/councilors-want-crack-down-irresponsible-sober-hom
betty geist April 12, 2012 at 02:13 PM
From Boston.com Christenson to weigh merits of pit bull law Malden Mayor Gary Christenson said he will weigh carefully an ordinance expected to land on his desk Wednesday that would include pit bulls in the city's definition of vicious dogs.The designation would also require owners to muzzle their dogs when in public. "I will have both the opponents and the proponents in to give me some insight," Christenson said in a phone interview.Christenson said his office has received more calls from dog owners upset with the move than he has for any other single issue in his three months in office. "I'm going to give it the due diligence that it deserves," the mayor said, adding later: "I'm certainly not going to sign it willy-nilly."The City Council voted Tuesday to ordain the measure, a formality that sends it to Christenson, who now has 10 days to either sign the ordinance or veto it. If he decides to take no action, the law is automatically approved after the 10 day period expires.The ordinance was passed by the council April 3 in the face of loud public outcry. Pitbull owners said the breed-specific legislation is ineffective and unfair. The councilors said they were looking to curb intimidation by dog owners, and to reduce dog bites.
Fran C. April 12, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I hope people will remember WHO the councillers where that voted for this horrific ordinance as obviously NONE of them cared enough to actually research the many studies done and how this sort of nonsense effects ANY citizen of ANY medium sized short haired MUTT. Someone needs to ASK them what exactly IS a "pit bull" as in reality there is NO such breed and what media has done is call and or label any and all short haired medium sized dogs "pit bulls" that could be a mix from as many as 62 different registered breeds of dogs. So in effect "pit bull owners" are indeed ANY citizen that has a sized short haired mutt. Politicians who pander to media hype and pass laws based on that hype, without doing due dilligence, should be the ones muzzled.


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