Motorcycle Town May Regulate Pits
Sturgis, SD - The City of Sturgis passed the first reading of an ordinance that will regulate pit bulls. The approval came after testimony in which people testified both for and against the plan. If the ordinance passes, Sturgis will join the city of Leola, South Dakota in passing breed-specific law. During the meeting, the opposition sang a familiar tune: "What I ask is to hold the owner's responsible," said a Humane Society person.
Sturgis Animal Control Officer Kurt Nulle, however, said the plan is warranted because the city is realizing an increase in attacks and complaints with the pit bull breed. "What I've run into with pit bulls is a lot of blood baths over the years -- and that's exactly what they are. I've seen pit bulls even turn on a littermate and kill it. We're having more and more instances each year with these dogs getting away from their owners."
"These owners are responsible, it's just that the dog gets loose as any dog does. It seems like when the pits get loose, they rip stuff up."
If approved at the second reading without any changes, the regulation would force pit bull owners to carry liability insurance. Owners must also register their pit bulls with the city and keep them restrained at all times. DogsBite.org hopes the ordinance clearly defines the restraint requirements, such as Leflore County, Mississippi did: "A four-sided pen, 6-feet high with a top and concrete floors."
In other news:
Springfield May Increase Dog Bite Fine
Springfield, IL - Limited by a prohibition to breed-specific law, the City of Springfield is trying to crack down in a different way. Only one aspect seems promising. The proposal sponsored by Mark Mahoney seeks to raise the fine for a dog bite up to $1,000. This is a step in the right direction, considering that many "dog bite" fines are similar to the cost of a parking infraction even after someone's ear gets ripped off or worse.
If the dog bites two more times, the law would ban the owner from owning a dog for two years. So after three victims are created, each of which may suffer serious injury, the dog owner will loose the right to have a dog for two years. This particularly strange idea shows that many dog bite laws are still designed for "nips." They are not designed to address severe injury and "dismemberment," which pit bulls often inflict.
07/29/08: Leflore County Passes Pit Bull Ordinance
07/01/08: Springfield Postal Official Pressures Council for Stricter Dog Laws
05/26/08: In Scottsbro, Alabama, 3rd World Dog Fines Abound