Court rules that Pawtucket can’t ban pit bulls

Court rules that Pawtucket can’t ban pit bulls

City officials haven't decided if they'll appeal

PAWTUCKET – A Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of Pawtucket pit bull owner Al Alix in his lawsuit against the city over its 2004 ban on pit bulls.

The decision means Alix can keep his pit bull, “Chubs.”

“I can’t tell you how good it feels, just to prove the city wrong,” Alix told The Breeze on Tuesday. “I had no doubt it was going to come out in my favor."

Alix said he believes his lawsuit against the city cost him the chance to earn a seat on the Pawtucket School Committee, but he’s still happy he fought the city on the issue.

Judge Brian Van Couyghen backed the claims of Alix and the Defenders of Animals against Pawtucket’s breed-specific ban on the dog breed.

City attorney Steve Schonhoff said officials haven't yet decided whether they'll appeal the decision. Once a written order is issued, attorneys will look at that and the transcript of the case before deciding on an appeal, he said.

Schonhoff said he can't say whether he was surprised by the decision or not.

Attorney Mark Morse represented both the Defenders of Animals and Al Alix in the case.

In July 2013, a bill passed and became law that banned cities/towns from passing ordinances that banned specific breeds. It was the contention of Defenders of Animals that Pawtucket could no longer enforce their ordinance that prevented Pawtucket residents from owning pit bulls. Attorneys for Pawtucket contended that the 2013 bill was not retroactive, and therefore didn't apply to their ban.

The head of the Defenders of Animals is Dennis Tabella, who also serves as executive director of Woodlawn Community Development and the Woodlawn Community Center in Pawtucket.

Check back for updates.


This fight was worth the seat on the school committee.
Good job, Mr.Alix!

Even though I do not agree with the idea of having Pit bulls anywhere, I congratulate Mr. Alix on his victory over the city. It appears Mr. Alix is a man that can get results. I encourage him to run for office again and remind people of what he can accomplish. Good job Sir!!

Pit-bull Rescue Central, the leading authority of pit bull types, admits MOST pit-bull types are not safe around other dogs. For that reason alone is why I do not consider them safe family pets for our neighborhoods. These are powerful animals that break away from their guardians all the time and maul & kill another beloved pet or person in front of a child or person. This is a typical pit attack on another beloved pet: Too many children & adults have watched their beloved pets be mauled to death by pit bulls. Many develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after watching a horrific pit attack: Breaking-up pit attacks is dangerous 1/3 end up attacking the person that's breaking up the fight.

According to Pit Bull Rescue Central, "It is a FACT that our pit bulls, AmStaffs and pit mixes come with a built-in fighting heritage.It doesn’t matter where we get them from, whether it be the pound, a stray we pick up, or a puppy we buy from a breeder. The majority of pit bulls will, at some point in their lives, exhibit some degree of dog-on-dog aggression. This type of animal aggression is completely separate from human-aggression; a well-socialized pit bull is very good-natured with people.Yet, chances are that a "normal" pit bull will not share his affection with other animals.We cannot predict when or where it will happen and we can’t love, train or socialize it out ofthe dog. Pit bulls may not start fights, but they will finish them.""

The Pit Bull Rescue Central recommends ALL pit guardians to have a break stick. FOR ME THIS IS ANOTHER RED FLAG! Does not sound like a safe family pet if you need a breakstick on hand. "Since pit bulls have a strong fighting background, we recommend that pet owners also have a breaking stick as a precaution, even if they don't plan to use it in an illegal context. However, please be discreet. Breaking sticks are not something to brag about and the general pubic might have the wrong impression if you walk around with a stick in your hand. Breaking sticks are not illegal, but they are considered dog fighting paraphernalia in certain states and/or with certain law enforcement agents." This person demonstrates how to use a break stick on a pit-bull:

From Rescue Train "It's a mistake to think the fighting gene can be easily trained or loved out of a pit-bull."

I appreciate that Pit bull Rescue Central is telling pit-bull guardians not to take their dog to off-leash parks but many pit guardians are still very ignorant to this recommendation. What is bewildering to me is that Pit Bull Rescue Central admits that other beloved dogs in the community are not safe around pit-bulls because of their genetic makeup but promotes them as a great family pet. For me this is a red flag that you are compromising public safety and the safety of our beloved pets in our communities. Of all the dog breeds, they are the all time number one killer of humans and other people’s beloved pets. If all these guardians would have picked a safer pet like a beagle instead of a pit, we would not even be having this conversation. What other type of dog has the ability to kill humans that would be mistaken for a pit bull type? These families know exactly what breed killed their loved one: Then these pit-bull advocates are oblivious and offended why people do not want these dogs in the neighborhood. REALLY? Are you really that blind? Do I really have to spell it out for you? Many people in the neighborhood have beloved pets that they consider family members. They are concerned for their pet's safety and they do not want their dog to get mauled to death. Now people in the neighborhood who have pets have to live in fear if this powerful pitbull will get away from the guardian and hurt or kill their beloved pet. Almost all dog guardians have experienced a mishap where their dog gets away from them by mistake.

Many pit-bull breeders who are breeding for human aggression to create guard dogs. Most pit-bulls types come primarily from unethical backyard breeders who are trying to breed aggression, not good temperaments. Often, their dogs are the product of reject pits purchased from dog fighters as cheap stock. So with the pool of pit bulls we have, you cannot tell the difference between a cold one and one that might snap. (unprovoked aggression). So basically people who have pits are playing Russian Roulette against our communities. Here is a clip of unethical pit-bull breeders.

"GM says it spent $1.3 billion to repair millions of cars it recalled during the first three months of the year, including the 2.6 million cars whose faulty ignition switch has been linked to at least 13 deaths.

Lots of people, including me, would say recalls are a necessary expense if they keep unsafe cars off the roads.

Too bad the same logic is so infrequently applied to something that kills far more people — a breed called the pit bull, which one count says is responsible for 25, or 78 percent, of the 32 dog-bite deaths in the U.S. last" year.

Not all cigarettes killed people, but they're ban in almost all public places now. Not all sliding railing baby cribs killed babies, govt ban them anyway. Not all ford pintos exploded, govt ban them. Not all lawn darts hit people in the head but govt ban them. Just because not every pit bull kills someone does not mean pit bulls are safe. Dozens of people have been killed by pit bulls in the US already in 2014. I know many people love pit bulls, but that's too many deaths, and sometimes bans save us from ourselves. But don't worry, there are hundreds of other dog breeds to chose from that do not kill dozens of people a year, so everyone will still be able to have a dog to love.

I agree with the comment above. I think there should be stricter guidelines regarding keeping dogs in urban areas. You cannot fight the natural tendencies of some animals. Below is a list of potentially dangerous types of dogs which should be banned:

- Pit bulls
- Female dogs in heat
- Dogs from abused homes
- Dogs with PTSD
- Dogs with young pups
- Dogs in urban areas
- Hungry dogs
- Snoop Dogg
- Hotdogs with high nitrate content