Jefferson City, MI - Hoping to alter existing legislation that places additional restrictions on pit bull dog owners, Senator Jolie Justus, a Kansas City Democrat, belted out to the Senate, "Punish the deed not the breed." It's the infamous one-liner that fails to prevent future dog bite victims from being created.
There are easily over 100 dog breeds in the U.S., yet only one is responsible for 60% of attacks that lead to human death in 2007. While it's difficult to measure the exact percentage of pit bulls in U.S. households, most agree that they make up about 2-9%. These numbers are highly disproportionate and absolutely indicate there is a breed-specific problem.
Larry Jones, the health director for the city of Independence, opposed the new bill. He argued that the City of Independence has a pit bull-specific law that reflects residents’ desires and one that has led to a reduction in reported dog bites.
Mr. Jones brought with him photographs of the injuries sustained by Alan Hill, the Independence man who was hospitalized after being attacked by three pit bulls in May 2006. The loose pit bulls attacked two other men on the same afternoon. Last year, Alan Hill's medical bills surpassed one million dollars.
If a community experiences a problem with a dangerous dog breed that exposes people to a serious public safety risk, that community should be free to address this problem accordingly.
12/14/07: What Pit Bull Attack Victims Suffer: Alan Hill