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MA---Local Pit Bull Fans Oppose Ban

Discussion in 'Breed Specific Legislation' started by Vicki, May 17, 2007.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

    Local pit bull fans oppose ban
    By Nick Pinto , Staff Writer
    Daily News of Newburyport
    NEWBURYPORT - Pit bulls made their American debut in Massachusetts, and one of the premier lines has been bred in Newburyport for more than a century.

    But, with state legislators considering a statewide ban on pit bulls after several recent incidents in which the dogs attacked humans in Boston and Worcester, that could be about to change.

    State Rep. Vincent Pedone, D-Worcester, House chairman of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, said he wants to consider rewriting the state's dog laws to ban pit bulls in Massachusetts.

    The ban would be bad news for pit bull lovers like Louis Colby, who breeds pit bulls at his Newburyport home. Colby traces his dog's breeding line back 20 generations to animals brought to this country from England and Ireland by his father in 1889. In the 1930s, when the American Kennel Club first recognized the Staffordshire Bull Terrier - one of several breeds now known casually as pit bulls - they chose a Colby dog as the standard for the breed.

    Colby declined to comment for this story, citing bad experiences with media attention in the past. But his granddaughter, Jaclyn Colby, was eager to defend pit bulls from their bad reputation.

    "I grew up right next door to my grandfather, and even back when we were 8, my friends and I would go over and visit them," she said. "They were all so nice - we never worried about anything. It wasn't until much later that I even learned that pit bulls have a bad reputation."

    Now 21, Colby has her own pit bull named Rusty.

    "Rusty is great," she said. "He turns 11 this summer, and he's never hurt a fly."

    Colby said if legislators want to do something to prevent dog attacks, they should consider restricting who is allowed to own dogs.

    Scott Giacoppo, a deputy director of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said Colby is right to place the focus on humans.

    "This issue is really about irresponsible owners," Giacoppo said. "Any dog can be dangerous in the wrong hands. There is nothing inherently more dangerous about a pit bull than any other kind of dog."

    Pit bulls have become the center of an unending cycle, Giacoppo said, as their reputation for toughness and belligerence attracts some owners who train their pets to be vicious. The media facilitates this process, he said, spilling disproportionately more ink on pit bull-related incidents than they do on those involving other breeds.

    State Rep. Brad Hill, R-Ipswich, thinks trying to address dog violence by focusing on breeds doesn't make sense.

    "There are pit bulls that have never attacked anyone, and there are dogs of other breeds that have," Hill said. "There is a problem, no question, but we have to look at the owners rather than saying it's all about the breed."

    Hill has introduced legislation that would define dogs as "vicious" or "potentially dangerous" based on whether they have injured or threatened people or other dogs. He hopes to include his legislation in an omnibus dog bill that he expects to be filed sometime this year.
    Copyright © 1999-2006 cnhi, inc.
  2. Judy

    Judy Puppy

    Was the Colby line the first in this country?
  3. Turner

    Turner Good Dog

    Step in the right direction!!
  4. Wait, what?

    Please tell me banning pits in MA isn't getting anywhere...!?

    I mean, not that I ::cough:: have anything but a lab mix ::cough:: but... you know..:eek:
  5. Suki

    Suki Little Dog

    still no decision...
    my fingers are a bit numb from crossing them, but yeah, we're still optimistic here...:)
  6. jeoestreich

    jeoestreich GRCH Dog

    Hopefully they will do the right thing and not ban them. Fingers crossed here also for you all.

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