Like "Carrying a Gun"
Austin, TX - After a weekend of pit bull attacks involving three Texan citizens, it was reported that a flurry of animal-related bills had been filed for the upcoming Texas legislative session. Among the list includes: tougher cockfighting and dog chaining laws, allowing sportsmen to hunt feral hogs from a helicopter and a pit bull proposal. State Representative Harold Dutton, a Houston Democrat, wants to make it a crime for Texans younger than 16 to "handle or care" for a pit bull without adult supervision.
He also doesn’t want teens walking pit bulls and intimidating neighbors -- something he says is akin to allowing them to carry a gun. "It may well never go off. It may never hurt anybody," he said, "but the potential there is so great that we need to look at it and prevent it." Dutton’s proposal also forbids leaving a child alone with any of the three bully breeds, which includes pit bulls, or any mix breed that exhibits pit bull characteristics. A violation would become a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500.
Related Bills Filed:
- HB 925: Relating to the handling of or caring for a pit bull breed of dog by certain minors; providing penalties.
- SB 634: Relating to the unlawful restraint of a dog (increased anti-tethering restrictions).
- SB 554 and HB 1147: Relating to dogfighting and the definition of "dogfighting paraphernalia."
- HB 458: Relating to limitations on the number of dogs at a residence in certain counties.
- HB 1320: Relating to the creation of offenses relating to cockfighting and to the forfeiture of cockfighting equipment.
- SB 1845 and HB 4277: Relating to the sterilization of dogs and cats; providing a penalty
Currently, Texas state law prohibits cities from passing breed-specific measures. The Attorney General, Greg Abbott, should soon issue clarification of this prohibition, which was requested by Rep. Tony Goolsby in November.
02/26/09: Two Adult Texans Get Eye Ripped Out By Pit Bulls Over the Weekend
12/18/08: Texas Lawmakers May Tackle Breed-Specific Law Next Year
08/20/08: Dog Attacks, Trends and Dog Law Coverage of Texas