Thursday, February 7, 2008
Richland County, SC - Due to recent pit bull attacks, County Councilwoman Val Hutchinson says she has asked county staff to look at the county’s animal control ordinance and recommend whether it ought to be strengthened.
Hutchinson acted after pit bulls killed a dog and a cat in separate attacks in the Briar Cliffe neighborhood in 2007. Also in Northeast Richland last year, two chained pit bulls broke free and attacked and injured a county animal control officer.
“In suburban neighborhoods it’s an issue,” Hutchinson says, citing safety, noise and sanitation concerns. “It affects a lot of people’s lives.”A council committee plans to discuss the issue Feb. 26. Hutchinson says she would like the full council to take it up as well. Speculation has swirled that Hutchinson will move to ban certain breeds of animals, but she says that is not the case.
Some say though, that it should be.
“I think the county should make it illegal to own dogs that have shown a propensity for unprovoked violence in residential areas,” says Philip Yarchuk, a Briar Cliffe resident who says a pit bull killed his cat in July. “Pit bulls are about the only ones that are like that.”People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) advocates banning pit bulls. It's the best way to protect pit bulls from further abuse they say. They also recommend anti-chaining laws. Laura Brown, a PETA spokeswoman, says that dogs are social pack animals and leaving one chained causes it to go mad, “I mean these animals are like a ticking time bomb if they’re chained."
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