Monday, September 22, 2008
Tuttle, OK - In May of 2007, another pit bull attacked an Oklahoma child. Rep. Paul Wesselhoft said the citizens of Oklahoma should decide once and for all about these dogs. The face of three-year old Larry Williams was covered in stitches after being attacked by a pit bull. The dog was on a six-foot chain, but attacked the toddler when he approached it.
"Legislators need to step up to the plate and do something about these dangerous dogs before another Oklahoman falls prey to these vicious dogs," said Wesselhoft. "It is time they stop ignoring the proof right in front of them."Wesselhoft has continued to fight to protect citizens from dog attacks. In 2007, he filed House Bill 1082, which would have returned the right to outlaw certain breeds. It would have also given county governments the authority to approve ordinances regulating dangerous dogs considered a public health risk. The bill never made it to the House floor for a hearing.
In 2006, Wesselhoft introduced House Bill 2658, which would have essentially banned pit bulldogs from Oklahoma and created a statewide registry of pit bulls and placed additional restrictions on pit bull owners. A statewide survey conducted in August 2005 found that a 55% percent of Oklahomans favored a pit bull ban, as opposed to a 35% percent minority who did not.
Wesselhoft planned to file legislation in 2008 to allow voters the chance to decide if cities should have the authority to restrict what types of dogs may live in an area. "The people need to have a voice in this decision -- it is their loved ones being harmed," said Wesselhoft. "I hope my fellow members support this effort. Lawmakers should want to keep the citizens safety as a number one priority."
09/22/08: Oklahoma: One State's Struggle with a Breed-Specific Prohibition
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