Responsible Owners License Their Dogs
Sioux City, IW - Last summer, dozens of people showed up to city council chambers to voice their concerns about a breed-specific ban in Sioux City. Many filled out comment cards, with their names and addresses. Sioux City officials wisely used the information to track unlicensed dog owners. The town recently passed a pit bull ban, by law, these owners must register their pit bulls or their dogs may be subject to impoundment.
Pit bull laws do not kill pit bulls. Irresponsible owners that do not register their pit bulls after such laws are passed are 100% to blame for the fate of their dogs.
Sioux City did not "pull a fast one" they pulled a "smart one" that informs dog owners to be more responsible. The city's recent action reminds DogsBite.org of councilman Brian Powers in Lakewood, Ohio. After pit bull activists spoke out against the Lakewood ban at a council hearing, animal control ticketed activists who failed to comply with existing Ohio state law. Ohio requires pit bull owners to have $100,000 in liability insurance and several other measures.
If citizens choose to speak at a public city meeting, particularly about "responsible dog ownership" and that only "irresponsible owners are to blame for attacks," these citizens need to be accountable, responsible dog owners. Licensing your dog is part of being a responsible dog owner. In the instance of Lakewood, the so-called "responsible pit bull owning activists" were far from responsible and got nailed for it. DogsBite.org sheds no tears over the matter.
City manager Paul Eckert of Sioux City defended the city's decision to use the comment cards. He said, "The conversation was about animal registration and people in the audience that night had indicated that their animals weren't licensed. So, we sent all folks who gave us addresses a courtesy letter, indicating that there's an obligation to have your animal licensed." Eventually, he'd like to see animal control services paid for solely by animal registration revenue.
Amen to that!
09/16/08: Pit Bull Ban Passes in Sioux City, Iowa
07/16/08: Noncompliant Pit Bull Owners Cited After Lakewood Hearing
06/01/08: Pit Bull Ban FAQ by Councilman Brian Powers