State Rep. Tony Goolsby
Dallas, TX - Pit bulls and other dangerous dog breeds could become a hot topic in Austin next year as lawmakers consider the pros and cons of allowing cities and counties to adopt ordinances restricting or banning certain breeds of dogs. Dallas state Rep. Tony Goolsby has put a spotlight on the issue by asking Attorney General Greg Abbott for an official opinion on whether cities and counties have the power to impose the restrictions.
Goolsby believes the current law is unclear and many local city officials assume they lack authority to write breed-specific laws.
During the last legislative session, several North Texas cities (Duncanville, Cedar Hill and Mesquite) sought the power to ban dangerous dog breeds, primarily pit bulls. In 2007, Lillian's Law was enacted, which holds owners responsible if their dog attacks a person off owner property and inflicts severe injury or death. Various counties have prosecuted under Lillian's Law, the landmark case being the fatal mauling of Tanner Joshua Monk.
What the Article Left Out:
- In 2007, Texas led the nation in fatal dog attacks. Of the 7 fatal attacks, 6 were attributed to pit bulls. In 2008, 2 Texas children were fatally attacked by pit bulls as well.
- From January to March 2008, there was a "Pit Bull Epidemic" in Lubbock County. 23 livestock animals were killed by loose pit bulls during this time and a boy badly mauled.
- The article also left out the massive dogfighting issue in Texas, which was highly covered by statewide media as well as the New York Times.
DogsBite.org hopes that Austin lawmakers understand that pit bulls pose a specific problem in the State of Texas in multiple areas. This further justifies the need for communities to be able to enact pit bull laws when needed. Pit bull regulations and animal shelter policies -- such as a "no adopt out" pit bull policy -- are designed to protect the public and our pets and livestock, as well as protect pit bulls from the horrific subculture of dogfighting.
08/20/08: Dog Attacks, Trends and Dog Law Coverage of Texas