Ban Passes 5-1
Fayette, AL - Back in March, Christina Selman was terribly mauled by three of her neighbor's pit bulls. She had stepped between her daughter and one of the pit bulls after her daughter tried to pet it. The dogs immediately bit into her leg and pulled her to the ground. Fayette Police Chief Danny Jenkins said her injuries were unlike anything he had ever seen. This debilitating attack was the driving force behind Fayette's new ordinance to ban pit bulls.
The ordinance, passed 5-1, bans new pit bulls or dangerous dogs from living in the city limits and will require current owners to fulfill strict requirements, including structures to contain the dogs, liability insurance and registration for the animals before July 3. It also expands the dangerous dog rules already in place. "The ordinance we had in place was kind of toothless," Jenkins said. Jenkins also reiterated in the article a very important point:
"After this attack we had down in Cotton Mill Village, I think that was the tipping point for something else to come along as far as ordinances go," Jenkins said. "I'd seen dog bites before, but I'd never seen a mauling. A lot of people, if they had seen [Selman's injuries], they would have been like me, and their opinion would have softened if not completely changed."
Councilman Cedric Wilson was the lone opposition vote to the ordinance. He voiced several 25-year old themes about the pit bull debate. As Jenkins points out, however, the real issue is what victims like Christina Selman suffer in these terrible attacks. They do not suffer "dog bites," they suffer life-altering injuries. Following these injuries, they frequently must bear the weight of the medical bills as well. Attaining civil recourse in these attacks is often impossible.
04/30/09: NYC Housing Authorities Ban Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and Dobermans
04/18/09: Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Bans Dangerous Dog Breeds
03/18/09: Ridgeland, Mississippi Passes Pit Bull and Wolf-Hybrid Ban
03/17/09: U.S. Army Adopts Breed Restriction Policy for RCI Privatized Housing