Hidalgo County Suffering from Attacks
Edinburg, TX - A local judge in Hidalgo County recently said that pit bulls and their vicious attacks have become a "serious problem" in Hidalgo County. Justice of the Peace Charlie Espinoza said he believes the government needs further control over pit bulls so they cannot attack innocent bystanders or children. "I would like to get some kind of serious ordinance or legislation or anything we might get," he told the Commissioners Court.
His comments fall after the death of Pablo Lopez, 5-years old. The family pit bull, named Greco, flew into a sudden rage after another dog walked by the home. The dog tackled Pablo to the ground and killed him. More recently, the 2-year-old daughter of Marissa Abrego was paralyzed and lost sight in one eye after being mauled by the family pit bull. In 2006, 3-year Mariah Puga was also killed by a family pit bull in Hidalgo County.
Less than 1 percent of stray dogs picked up by Hidalgo County officials are pit bulls. That means the dogs are not randomly wandering the streets, said Eduardo Olivarez, who heads the Hidalgo County Health Department. Rather, they are in the yards of homeowners and families. "I'm not an expert, but I would feel very cautious about having a violent dog like a pit bull or rottweiler in close proximity to any child," he said.
Espinoza wants pit bulls banned, and he wants them banned statewide. He is unconvinced that Lillian's Law is effective. He said he and other county leaders, together with other justices of the peace, would sit down in the coming weeks to consider drafting a resolution to lobby the state to impose even greater restrictions on pit bulls and vicious dogs. "I don't know what it's going to take," Espinoza said, "but I would like to see something done."
In addition to Hidalgo County, the cities of Duncanville, Cedar Hill, Mesquite, and Center are also considering breed-specific laws. Fort Hood Army Base recently passed a pit bull law as well.
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