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Pit Bulls In The Dog House In Johnston City

Discussion in 'Breed Specific Legislation' started by Vicki, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

    Johnston City vicious dog ordinance to take effect

    By Codell Rodriguez, The Southern

    Pit bulls are officially in the doghouse in Johnston City, Illinois.

    The vicious dog ordinance, which was passed at the Johnston City Council meeting last week will ban the introduction of new pit bulls and other dogs defined as "vicious" into the city with existing dogs being registered.

    Introduced by Alderman Ryan Hornand unanimously approved, the ordinance is not yet in final form but is expected to take effect sometime in early November.

    The ordinance originated from an incident on Thursday, Aug. 16, when emergency personnel responded to a report of a non-responsive male and were attacked by the man's pit bull.

    "I think it will be very successful in the long run," Horn said. "That was not the first pit bull problem we've had."

    Horn also noted an incident when an elderly man and his dog were attacked by a pit bull. Despite the bad apples, others are concerned that such ordinances are not fair to the breed. Beverly Shofstall of Carterville said it is unfair to take a handful of breeds and deem them vicious.

    "To pick one breed and assume it will take care of the problem - it won't," Shofstall said.

    Shofstall worked as a veterinary technician for 20 years and is director of Free Again Inc., which rehabilitates wildlife. She said while pit bulls' genetic disposition can cause it to be vicious if provoked, it doesn't mean they and some other breeds should be singled out.

    She said most of the blame for a dog's behavior falls on its owner. "The sweetest breed will be vicious if mishandled," Shofstall said.

    Horn said he agrees that bad handling can lead to a dog's misbehavior but it's notnecessarily the biggest factor.

    "I hear of a lot of cases where they do have good owners and suddenly turn," Horn said.

    There are others who agree with Horn, with similar ordinances being passed elsewhere, including the United Kingdom. However, there are organizations suchas the Humane Society of the United States which staunchly oppose such actions. Shofstall, who owns pit bulls, said she hates to see pit bulls get such a bad wrap.

    "If well-trained, pit bulls are wonderful pets," Shofstall said.



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