Meanwhile, People and Animals Suffer
Lubbock, TX - Despite a growing outcry for local leaders to get involved, city and county officials say they can't ban pit bulls or impose breed specific restrictions. They say this is due to state law. What officials can't or won't do in Lubbock, however, was done by the city of Denver:
Under Colorado's "home rule authority" provision, the Colorado State Supreme Court ruled that Denver's pit bull ban ordinance superceded state law that prohibited local governments from regulating dangerous dogs by specific breeds.
Not only did the Colorado State Supreme Court uphold Denver's pit bull ban, it set aside 14 unique characteristics pit bulls display "when they attack" that distinguish them as a greater public threat than other breeds. This paved the way for many communities nationwide to enact their own pit bull legislation.
While the differences between state laws in Colorado and Texas are likely significant, one important factor stands out between the attitudes of officials from each state. In Denver, officials were steadfastly committed to the ban as a public safety measure, and were willing to fight court battles that interfered.
Citizen's of Lubbock on the other hand, are left with Mayor David Miller who is expected to "urge residents to be responsible with the pets they have." They are also left with Councilman Floyd Price who says, "There's nothing the council can do until there is a state law."
Such attitudes come at the high cost of creating future victims.
03/21/08: Pit Bull Epidemic in Lubbock, Texas (Jan-Mar 2008)