Banning specific type of dog not the answer

Published 12:05 am Thursday, November 13, 2014

Time and time again, in communities all across our country, bans on specific dog breeds or types have failed to safeguard residents.

Here’s why: Dogs that bite are not limited to any specific breed or type.

On Wednesday night, Neil Mohan, the City of Vidalia’s humane and code enforcement officer, asked aldermen to consider banning pit bull dogs in the city.

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Mohan said 36 pit bull dogs reside at houses in one Vidalia school district alone.

“Most of these dogs are for one thing and one thing only. The majority of these dogs are aggressive dogs, and they are fighting.”

The question becomes, if the officer knows the dogs are aggressive and knows those dogs take part in dog fights, why not enforce existing legislation meant to protect animals and people from those things?

Vidalia aldermen balked at Mohan’s recommendation. That was the right move.

The Humane Society of the United States, and other reputable organizations, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association, found in statistics that no breed is more dangerous than another.

In fact, any dog not neutered is more likely to bite than spayed or neutered dogs. The Humane Society says dogs that spend their lives isolated or chained are more likely to bite out of frustration or fear.

Legislation that holds dog owners strictly responsible for the behavior of any breed dog they own has been much more successful than politically popular, but ill-informed breed bans.

The best approach is to work with groups that promote spay and neutering of dogs and educate dog owners to improve their dog’s quality of life.