Not What Citizens Wanted to Hear
Lubbock, TX - Statement Issued by Mayor David A. Miller:
"In recent days there has been a noticeable increase in Pit Bull attacks in our community. As a result of these vicious attacks, many citizens have contacted the City requesting that Pit Bulls be banned within the City of Lubbock. We do not have that option because state law prohibits us from banning specific breeds. Any changes in this law must come from the State legislature.
However, working in conjunction with local animal service and welfare organizations, I believe there are things our City can do to reduce dangerous animal attacks. First, we must promote responsible pet ownership. Owning a dog is a responsibility as well as a privilege. Animals depend on us for food, shelter, grooming, training and exercise. Responsible pet ownership also means being a good neighbor by not letting your dog roam free and having it spay or neutered.
Secondly, I have asked our City Manager and City Attorney to use every means possible to enforce our animal ordinances within the fullest extent of the law. Lubbock is a "leash law" city, meaning animals are prohibited from running at-large. There will be a zero tolerance on this issue. Our animal ordinances are in place for a reason - to ensure the public's safety.
In the next few weeks, we will hire a commissioned peace officer to oversee animal services field operations. Having a law enforcement professional oversee the day-to-day operations will strengthen our animal control enforcement efforts and provide valuable legal guidance to Animal Control Officers.
I want to remind pet owners of a new state law that took effect September 1, 2007. An owner of an animal that commits serious bodily harm to another individual may face felony criminal charges. Yesterday, the Grand Jury issued Lubbock's first indictment under this new law.
Finally, on the state level, I am committed to working with our legislators to strengthen laws related to animal attacks. I firmly believe that state law should go beyond misdemeanor offenses when an animal attacks and seriously injures another animal. Irresponsible pet owners should be held criminally and financially liable for these horrendous attacks."
03/21/08: Pit Bull Epidemic in Lubbock, Texas (Jan-Mar 2008)