Dangerous Dogs Come Under Scrutiny at State Level
St. Paul, MN - Minnesota legislators are considering whether to tighten dangerous dog laws after some well-publicized Minneapolis attacks. Lawmakers are also considering banning some breeds at a state level. The House Public Safety and Civil Justice Committee could hear up to four dog-related bills Tuesday.
A proposal to ban certain dog breeds, authored by Rep. John Lesch, DFL-St. Paul, would make it illegal for residents to own five dog breeds -- the same five breeds that score notoriously high in human fatality studies: Pit bull, rottweiler, chow chow, akita and wolf hybrids. His proposal may include an outright ban or other regulations. Mr. Lesch, a St. Paul city attorney who has prosecuted several dangerous dog cases comments:
“You get nipped by a dog, or you get bit by a dog and you get a stitch or two, or a scratch or a scrape, that’s not what we’re trying to prevent. We’re trying to prevent the severe injuries, maulings, massive medical bills, emergency operating room visits...”
Minnesota is currently bound by a provision that says cities cannot regulate dogs based solely on breed. But Lesch said this needs to change. He said certain dog breeds are inherently dangerous and should not be allowed. DogsBite.org adds that five other states, who are hindered by the same restriction, still manage to implement breed specific legislation including, Colorado, Texas, California, Florida, Illinois and Oklahoma.
We hope Representative Lesch is successful in his mission.