Success: City Lifts Dog-Breed Ban


Target: Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien

Goal: Applaud end to city’s discriminatory pit-bull ban

Pawtucket, Rhode Island and its dog lovers recently celebrated the end to a ridiculous and unnecessary citywide breed ban, which the city had suffered through for a decade. The ban was overturned by a Superior Court judge, who ruled in favor of a 2013 statewide decision that bars cities from enforcing dog-breed bans. A previous ForceChange petition called for the end to dog-breed bans in Rhode Island. Show your support for Pawtucket and the end to irrational breed-based fear.

According to Pawtucket Police Chief Paul Kelly, the breed ban was passed in 2004 in an attempt to stem the regular occurrence of pit bull attacks in the city, brought on by drug dealers training the dogs for violence. The ban’s opponents stressed the sentiment that police ought to “punish the deed, not the breed.”

Breed-specific bans are facing opposition around the nation as people learn more about the propensity for violence in dogs to be trained, not bred. Poorly treated dogs have a far higher tendency to lash out violently than dogs treated well and provided with adequate food and shelter, whatever the breed. Unfortunately, people who train their dogs to become more violent often prefer certain breeds, leading to stigmas founded on the correlation between violence and breed, rather than investigating the causation of the trend.

Rottweilers and pit bulls fall victim most often to this archaic view of violent animals, but thanks to the families who love them and the advocates who fight and care for them, perspective and tolerance are leading to more punishment for those who mistreat animals and fewer punishments for the innocent animals whose abuse so often leads to their violent behavior.

Sign this petition and help give a voice to dogs around the world whose abuse and misrepresentation has led to further mistreatment.


Dear Mayor Grebien,

Breed-specific dog bans are unfounded and harmful to animals that have been placed in the hands of poor caretakers. Abused animals tend to be more violent and nervous, and they also lash out at people more often out of fear. That’s why Pawtucket’s decision to overturn the city’s pit-bull ban is so important. The stigma that certain breeds are more violent than others only furthers their mistreatment. Euthanizing and confiscating “dangerous” breeds fails to address the issue of breed-specific abuse.

Thanks to dog lovers and advocates, the ridiculous ban on pit bulls in Pawtucket has been overturned and hopefully more cities will continue to follow suit. I commend this decision and support the belief that criminals should be punished for abusing animals, instead of allowing animals to be punished for their own mistreatment.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Tattoodwaitress via Wikimedia Commons

Original petition: Stop Dog Breed Discrimination in Rhode Island

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  1. I have family that own a rottweiler. She is the sweetest, most obedient dog I have ever met. The only thing dangerous about her is her slobbery kisses!

  2. Stan Benton says:

    I sympathize with your place. I, too, have found that petition sites seem to choose which petitions to push, and which to ignore. It’s Rhode Island, and even then, the courts, not the politicians, that should be thanked. But what we really need is a national law against discrimination by breed, as more and more places keep starting this absurdity.

  3. Nicky Bell what is your answer when the police come knocking on your door and take your dog that LOOKS like it MIGHT be a pitbull? I don’t understand what you would like to see happen? Don’t get me wrong- I am sick of seeing these puppies in my neighborhood (every one of them is a pitbull look-a-like)being dragged around-I do stop and yell at the idiot yanking on their leash-I just know that dog will be dumped at a shelter and killed. But to kill the gentle animal companions-because of what they look like- is not the answer.

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