AKC and Pro-Pit Bull Lobbies Put on Cowboy Hats
ALERT: Pit Spamming | Dallas, TX - The City of Dallas has been threatening tougher dangerous dog laws for some time. Surely the "pit bull attacking livestock" problem in Lubbock caught their attention a few months back. Dallas council members appear committed to addressing the growing stray dog problem, far more committed than the folks in Lubbock.
Like many large cities, Dallas has a huge overpopulation problem with unwanted pets. In 2007, Dallas city shelters euthanized 28,479 pets. Each day about 200-300 unwanted pets came into the city shelter and only 10 were adopted out. Agencies and people that are aware of the problem are tired of the "catch, cage and kill" routine.
Dangerous dogs are also a problem. Of the 63,000 calls animal control got in 2007, 25,000 of them pertained to loose, aggressive dogs. Texas has the strictest roaming dog law in the country, Lillian's Law, yet dog owners seem oblivious to it. If your dog is off leash, off property and it causes significant harm to a person, you could do 10 years in the slammer.
So why isn't Lillian's Law working? Why is the loose, dangerous dog problem only growing?
The proposed ordinance has the usual people puckering: pit bull owners and backyard breeders. In a move to swift kick the population of pit bulls, the new law bans pit bull breeding by only allowing AKC recognized breeds to attain a breeding license. The escape route around this is for pit bull breeders to register their dogs as American Staffordshire terriers, as these breeders know.
The city also wants to make it easier for agencies to euthanize a dangerous dog or force it out of the city. One screw up on the new confinement rules, and the city can impound the dangerous dog immediately. These are excellent ideas. Too often we hear about a dog labeled "dangerous" that ends up loose again and officials have their hands tied.
The final vote on the new ordinance is expected by July. This leaves the AKC and pit bull lobbies ample time to water down the proposal. Neither organization supports mandatory sterilization or high breeding licensing fees. They don't care about the 30 thousand pets that got euthanized last year, nor about the south Dallas neighborhoods teeming with loose, dangerous dogs.
Limits on ownership
- No more than a total of six dogs and cats per household.
Mandatory spay / neuter
- Exception: Those whose owners purchase a $500 breeder permit per animal, per year. The permit would only be available for breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club or the American Cat Fanciers Association.
- Exception: Animals younger than 6 months, service dogs for the disabled and animals that compete in shows.
- Dogs cannot be restrained outside the presence of an owner except for "a period of time no longer than necessary for an owner to complete a temporary task."
- Tethered dogs must be tied up wearing a nylon or leather collar.
- Confinement restrictions
- A minimum of 150 square feet for an adult dog
- A structure sufficient to prevent escape
- Access to shelter in a building or dog house
Dangerous dog proposal
- Streamline the process to determine if a particular dog is dangerous.
- Allow the city to hold a dangerous dog longer than 10 days to determine whether it's dangerous.
- Allow the city to order a dangerous dog euthanized or removed from the city.
- Allow the city to impound a dangerous dog, if an owner fails to comply with confinement requirements.