Pit bulls and the people who love them are breathing easier tonight now that the Elgin town council dumped the section of the new animal care and control ordinance that targeted the breed type. They will instead institute a licensing law, according to Steve Dale’s blog. The section of the ordinance dealing with dangerous dogs outlines stringent penalties, but does not include breed specific language.
Here’s the video report by Nancy Pender of Fox News. Look how well-attended that meeting was:
There was the threat of revisiting breed specific legislation should there be further pit bull incidents, but what we know is that it is the people who own the dogs that are responsible for dogs off leash and whatever happens as a result.
I think the Swiss have it right–you get a dog, you sign up for mandatory training. It is something that has to be done in any case; it keeps the dog safe, you bond through the experience, and you have a good doggy citizen that won’t be seeing the inside of a shelter again when training is satisfactorily completed.
As I had mentioned in another post, since the reason often cited for dogs being turned in or returned to shelters centers on behavior, maybe a well-heeled foundation or two would target a group of shelters and provide funds for training purposes for adopting families. It would really make a great study and become one of the defining tools keeping dogs out of the shelter system…oh, but I digress;-)
I know it’s an absurdity, how many ordinary things we seem to be compelled to turn into prerequisites, ordinances, or legislation. New rules are everywhere we turn. But when it comes to averting an injustice for animals, especially for a breed type so unfairly battered from both those eluding the law and those handing down judgement, I think it’s the least we can do.