Call off the dogs.
Sen. Patrick Anderson said Friday he is not pursuing a bill he filed that would have allowed Oklahoma cities to ban any breed of dog.
“We're not going to move forward on it,” said Anderson, R-Enid. “There's just too much opposition to it.
“I certainly didn't anticipate there would be as many people as vocal about it as they have been,” he said. “We've got more important issues to deal with at the Capitol than that, and I don't want it to be a distraction.”
Sherry Stinson, who started an online petition against the measure, said she was glad to hear the matter is being dropped.
Her petition garnered more than 9,000 signatures in about two weeks.
“We're thrilled, we're absolutely thrilled,” said Stinson, of Bartlesville. “Now they can go ahead and focus on the laws that they really need to focus on and keep all of our furbabies all safe.”
Stinson, who owns a pit bull terrier she rescued three years ago, said she would like lawmakers to form a task force to make sure existing laws dealing with dangerous dogs and irresponsible owners are being enforced.
“If we pass a breed law and we ban a certain breed of dogs, it just gives rise to a next breed of dogs that people decide to abuse and do the same thing that they've done with pit bulls, dobermans and rottweilers and such.”
Anderson said he filed Senate Bill 32 because he thought cities should have the right to restrict certain breeds if they determine them to be a threat. Legislators convene Feb. 4 for the first session of the 54th Oklahoma Legislature.
He said opposition to his measure could have been a distraction to more important issues, such as changing the workers' compensation system, additional funding for public schools, the overcrowding and understaffing of the state's prisons and increasing pay for state troopers.
“There's no reason to fill the halls with people angry about a dog issue that is not a high priority issue,” he said.
Anderson said he doesn't plan to pursue the matter in an interim study later.
“I'm done with the issue,” he said.