Oppositional Animal Groups in High Gear
Omaha, NE - In the wake of Omaha's recent attack, a flurry of voices is calling for a pit bull ban or other restrictions. Mayor Mike Fahey plans to meet with the Nebraska Humane Society and the Omaha Police Department to try to prevent future attacks. It is reported that the ASPCA is already engaging with Omaha city council members, undoubtedly to hoodwink such meetings.
Wednesday night's attack on a 15-month old girl that severed her scalp and sent 3 people to emergency care marked the 48th pit bull attack this year in Omaha. Last year there were 88, and in 2006 there were 109. The situation is entirely different across the river in Council Bluffs. "We have zero pit bull bites thus far this year," said animal control officer Galen Barrett.
Council Bluffs enacted a pit bull ban three years ago. Now, there are only about 80 of the animals in town that were grandfathered in when the ban took effect. Before the ban, Council Bluffs had 29 attacks in 2004. Since then, the numbers have dropped significantly. Barrett attributes the drop to the ban, "it's the only thing that's been introduced since then."
The Nebraska Humane Society, like the ASPCA, strongly opposes pit bull bans though both agencies understand the deadly genetic traits that embody pit bulls. Pam Weise of the Nebraska Humane Society states, "We just don't think breed specific legislation works." On the other hand she says, "We'll do whatever it takes to protect the citizens of Omaha."
So if a ban does pass, should Omaha citizens expect that the Nebraska Humane Society -- chalk full of attitudes like Weise -- will adequately enforce the new law? (We assume the NHS will be the enforcers). As we have stated at DogsBite.org before, many animal groups are at odds with carrying out public safety measures. A better solution may be to do as Cincinnati is doing with their Pit Bull Police.
06/28/08: Coverage of the Omaha Pit Bull Attack - DogsBite.org