Jennings, Missouri Targets Pit Bulls, NOT Irresponsible Dog Owners
Here we go again. I can just hear these town officials now --"Oh, its the evil Pit Bulls! Let's get rid of the evil Pit Bulls and our little community will be peaceful and safe!" Here's a hint Jennings and other similarly deluded authorities: it's not the Pit Bulls that are the problem; it's the owners!
The action that Jennings is taking here in response to a problem is so amazingly REACTIVE and WRONG-HEADED I almost don't know where to start. But let me try! I adore my UPS man and, in fact, so do my dogs! I would love to help avoid any other attacks from any breed of dog (or even cats or goats) on UPS folks!
Why not try to fix the problem at its base? Here's how and its not that hard. Instead of asking people to turn in their neighbors just for having dogs how about asking people to turn in people who are treating their dogs badly?
People who keep their dogs chained in the back or front yard
People who don't keep their dogs on leashes when outside of a fenced area
People who live in houses where dogs are continually howling or evincing some other sign that they are in need
People who have what appear to be underfed dogs
People who have been seen harming dogs or conducting dog fights
Just take a quick visit over to the Sunbear Squad site to get a complete list of what to watch for in looking for abused or mistreated animals. In other words, go to the root of the problem and don't just try to use people's fears and lack of knowledge into an excuse to let your community members to take out their individual vendettas against innocent dogs.
Dogs aren't born bad with an uncontrollable urge to run around biting people. That's malarky, fear-mongering and just downright uneducated stupidity! No, humans make dogs mean or hungry or afraid or all of the above! Humans are responsible! So go after the irresponsible humans and you;ll make life better for dogs and other humans as well!
And who makes the decision that a dog is a Pit Bull? Heck, even trained shelter workers sometimes have trouble. Look at the recent case of a Boxer that was mistaken for a Pit Bull and euthanized before he could be cleared of the "charge." In many cases, the term Pit Bull becomes a litmus test of whether or not the worker or whoever fears the dog. That's no way to run a town, Jennings!
Here's a suggestion Jennings. What about asking a local dog rescue group to come out and conduct dog guardian classes for both volunteers and people who get cited for mistreating their pets? Now, that's PROACTIVE!
Jennings, you really fix the problems and you not only won't have dogs biting defenseless UPS men, you'll have a better neighborhood in general.
This article ran in The Suburban Journals.
Jennings seeks help with dangerous dogs
Officials ask residents to report houses with pit bulls
By Scott Bandle
Jennings officials are asking city residents to report homes that have unlicensed pit bulls and other dangerous dogs.
The request comes after a recent attack by an unlicensed pit bull against a United Parcel Service deliveryman on Park Lane. The driver was neither bitten nor injured.
However, the driver refused to return until the situation is resolved, said City Clerk Cheryl Balke.
"We don't know how many pit bulls are out there," she said. "We've only got 10 people who have licenses for 13 pit bulls. There are more than that in the city."
Earlier in the year, police officers had to shoot a dog that attacked them.
City officials said callers may remain anonymous. The city will need an exact address. The dog's owners will be investigated, and the city will then send them a letter warning them to comply with city ordinances.
At its Nov. 27 meeting, the Jennings City Council passed a measure defining conditions under which residents can own a pit bull or other dogs that could be considered dangerous. Pit bulls were specifically defined because they are recognized as dangerous, Balke said.
Residents must have these dogs in a "proper closure," according to the amendment. An enclosure means secure confinement indoors or in a locked pen, fenced yard or cage measuring at least six feet in width, 12 feet in length and six feet in height.
If taken out of the yard, the dogs must be muzzled and restrained by a leash or a chain. The owner also must have at least $100,000 in liability insurance, Balke said.
"The residents have a right to walk in their neighborhoods without worrying about an attack from a dog," she said.